Have you been thinking about installing new granite countertops and need help with the planning process? Do you plan on including an island with a large enough overhang for bar stools? If so, you will need to know how far granite can extend without additional support. We found all the answers and created this post to save you the hassle.
A standard 1-1/4 inch (3 cm) thick granite countertop can overhang up to 10-inches without additional support. Some things you will need to consider when planning a granite countertop overhang are:
- The thickness of the slab
- The cantilevered portion of the slab, in relation to the anchored portion
- The intended purpose of the overhang
You’re probably wondering how large the average overhang needs to be if you plan on using bar stools. What if you want an overhang larger than 10-inches? Maybe you want to span your granite between bases. Keep reading to find out everything you will need to know, as well as details on the stipulations listed above.
Granite Countertop Thickness
Most granite kitchen countertops are made using 1-1/4-inch thickness granite. But in the bathroom, you may sometimes see 3/4-inch thickness granite countertops. If you work with 3/4-inch thickness granite, you will need additional support for any overhang wider than 6-inches. If you expect the countertop may be leaned on excessively, or used to support a lot of weight at times, then you may want to consider providing additional support even if the overhang is under 6-inches.
Cantilevered Portion Of Granite Slab
The term cantilever refers to a protrusion with only one fixed end. A general rule with granite countertop overhang is to avoid cantilevering more than one-third the total width of the countertop. So, if your countertop is 3-feet wide, your base would need to be at least 1-foot wide to support a 2-foot overhang without an additional support system.
General Purpose Of Countertop Overhang
The purpose is an important aspect to consider when planning your countertop overhang. Will you be using the countertop to support heavy items? Do you have young children who might climb on the overhang to try and reach the cookie jar? If so, it is best to use additional supports, even if the overhang is shorter than the standard recommendations. The stress of large amounts of weight on the cantilevered portion of granite could cause it to crack, and if there’s a person on top, they may get injured.
What is the Minimum Overhang on a Kitchen Island?
Most kitchen countertops have a standard 1-inch overhang. If you plan on adding an overhang large enough to fit stools so you can use your island as a dining area, you will need at minimum a 12-inch overhang to accommodate for legroom. You may even want to go deeper than that if anyone in your family is tall, or to allow extra space for decorations on the countertop. Overhangs this large will require additional support like legs, wooden corbels, or steel L-brackets.
What Is The Maximum Overhang For Granite Countertops?
There have been cases where people have used 24-inch overhangs to create a table from their granite overhang. As long as you have the proper support, this can be a unique and interesting option for your kitchen. In situations with such a large overhang, you will need to use legs to support the weight of the granite. You could also try to find a company that could make you custom brackets, which would need to be at least 21-inches long.
How Far Can Granite Span Without Support?
To span granite between two bases without support beneath it, you will want to stay under 36-inches. Anything larger than 36-inches will require supports spaced at 24-inch intervals. When it comes to the length of the supports, you will follow the same guidelines as you would with overhangs, so 2- to 3-inches from the outer edge of the countertop. This type of installation can create a nice eating nook, or even an area to sit down and read your cookbooks.
Can I Extend My Granite Countertop [and How]?
It is possible to add more granite to your existing countertop to extend the width. However, the chances of finding an exact match to the existing granite are slim. The addition will probably be noticeable and may require professional installation assistance, which can get costly. The overhang would also require additional support if applied this way, even if it is less than 10-inches.
There are some ways to accomplish this goal without compromising the flow of the kitchen. You could consider varying the height between the existing countertop and the bar addition, which can help to break-up the flow of the granite and make the difference less noticeable. Many people use tavern sets pushed up against an island to provide the appearance of a breakfast bar without such an enormous hit to the wallet.
How To Match Existing Granite
If you are determined to create an extension and match your existing granite, there are a few ways to help you accomplish this. Granite is made from natural stone, so the slabs vary in color, grain, and texture. Try taking a picture of your existing granite and go to a few local granite dealers to see if they have anything close. You could also try a faux granite option; there are different countertop paints and contact papers that can help you accomplish the look of granite without the price tag.
How to Support a Granite Countertop?
When cantilevering a granite countertop, your supports should extend as far as 2- to 3-inches from the outer edge of the slab to provide adequate support. You will need to place supports in 24-inch intervals spanning the length of the overhang. The material you choose for your supports may depend on the size of the overhang. Find steel L-brackets in just about any size, but if you are hoping to use wood corbels, you may be limited in your options.
Another good choice for supports is table legs. You can find some eye-catching ways to incorporate this look into your overhang.
How To Support A Shaped Granite Countertop?
The same rules apply for shaped granite overhangs, even though the cantilevered portion may weigh a little less since the corners are shaved off. Stress on the overhanging portion can still cause the granite to weaken or flip when weight is applied. Eating areas tend to take a lot of abuse over the years and are regularly leaned-on. If you invest in granite countertops, you will want to protect that investment, and your loved ones, by using the proper support!
Creating an overhang with granite countertops is a fairly simple process and with this guide, you can create the kitchen of your dreams. If you are trying to work a breakfast bar into an existing granite countertop, there are many options to accomplish this without a complete overhaul of your kitchen. Now that you know the basics, you can start planning out your perfect kitchen.
If you have more questions on countertops, take advantage of the various resources available right here: