How Much Can My Granite Countertop Overhang?

Everyone appreciates island seating, or counter seating in their kitchen. It adds a nice extra flair to the kitchen, and alleviates crowding around tables, and allows you to sit while working on complex meals. However, in the past, people have felt the need to forsake nicer counter top materials if they want to have this kind of seating available.

There are a lot of questions frequently asked about overhangs when you involve real stones such as marble or granite. Obviously, heavy stone like this usually needs quite a bit of support from the cabinets themselves, meaning that any kind of overhangs would be fragile if not impossible. But, is that true? Is it really impossible to install a granite overhang in the kitchen? The answer may actually surprise you, but some concessions do have to be made.

The assumption that stone cabinet top student support is entirely true, within reason. It all depends on the thickness of the stone, and what concessions you can make in order to provide additional support for the overhang. It may be surprising that the thinner the material, the more fragile and in need of support it is.

For a Thickness of 2 Cm

This is a more common thickness for granite in general, with a higher availability all around. Unfortunately, it’s the hardest one to provide a stable overhang with. Center stone like this, even when supported by the cabinets, still needs plywood or MDF to provide additional support. It’s a fragile stone at this thickness.

There are really only two solutions if you want to create an overhang with stone this thin – you can either place cabinets within 4 to 6 inches apart across the base, with a gap providing legroom, or you can use a thick steel plate underneath the overhang to provide additional support. There really is no other option when it comes to this sort of thickness.

For a Thickness of 3 Cm at Grades 1 through 3

Thicker granite tops like these are much more forgiving when it comes to an overhang. In fact, some of these materials can extend up to 12 inches, but you should consult your fabricator before attempting this. These grades have a higher tensile strength, which makes them less prone to fissures and cracks.

A general rule of thumb with these is to check for fiberglass support, or filled fissures along the material. If you see either of these, then you most likely can’t extend it into an overhang of any real measure. Still, you’re definitely usually safe to go up to 10 inches, sometimes upward of 12 with these grades of granite at this thickness. Again, consult with your fabricator before you actually attempt it.

For Grade 4 Granite

This grade of granite has very little tensile strength. As a result, you’re not going to get much more than 6 inches of overhang at best from it. Of course, if you’re attempting something like supported overhangs, most materials can be extended up to 24 inches past the cabinets.

To learn more about supported overhangs, and other ways to solve overhang issues with less durable grades of granite, fill out our contact form below or call us today. We’re happy to help!

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