Why Your Countertop Needs Adequate Support

Published: 23rd May 2011
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Most homeowners would prefer granite stone for their countertops. Granite is generally regarded as a very heavy stone. It weighs about 18 pounds per square foot. Even if your countertop is of the average size, it would be quite heavy. A countertop support is recommended, especially if you have an overhang. Stone suppliers usually recommend this set-up to avoid accidental damage to the countertop.



You can have an overhang of 11 inches in your granite countertop without the need for support as per the recommendation of the Marble Institute of America. If two thirds of the overhang is cantilevered, you can even extend it to 12 inches, as some in the industry claims. You can safely do this if your stone is very hard and of high quality. But if your stone is softer, you have to follow the MIA standards strictly. For stones which are brittle or fractured, it will be safer to put supports even if you only have a 5 inch overhang.



There are many ways you can support your countertop, no matter how long or short it is. Many types of weight supports have been produced that will suit any type of situation. If you have a bar countertop with a small overhang, you can strengthen it by using hidden countertop brackets. They are small steel plates with cross bars attached to the base of the countertop. A corbel would also be appropriate when you are particular about the aesthetics. Both of these types come in different sizes.



If your overhang is longer, an Island Bracket would give it adequate support. This countertop support is made of steel, usually 24 inches long and is thicker than the average countertop bracket. The number of pieces you will need will depend on the length of the countertop. They are typically installed, equally spaced, to the cabinet and the bottom of the countertop.



For very large applications, there is a manufacturer that produces what they call Counter Supports. They are large and thick steel plates that are attached to the bottom of the countertop and the countertop cabinet or platform. The size and thickness of these plates will allow you to have more than 10 inches of countertop overhang.



If your countertop is not supported by a cabinet or a platform, you will need steel pole legs or wooden legs, whichever is appropriate. This type of countertop support is designed for free-standing countertops like breakfast bars or shelves.



When a countertop is overhanging by a large amount then it is also important to choose granite edges that are strong.


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