Granite countertop overhang on island cabinet

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Old 01-18-11, 07:36 AM
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Granite countertop overhang on island cabinet

We just had the measuring done yesterday for our kitchen countertop, and the installer said that the maximum overhang we could have for the island cabinet was 12", even though there are two corbels in place at either end of the 6' long unit, extending out by 9 inches. My understanding of the basic rules for user comfort is that you need a minimum of 14" - 15" leg room underneath an overhang, and given that the corbels are there for support I would have though the granite could have come out another few inches? Any thoughts on the matter?

If necessary, I have no problem cutting out some recesses in the cabinet top to insert some 1/4 inch flat steel bars for added support in the middle of the overhang. I thought two bars, extending to within 3 inches of the edge, wouldn't be noticeable unless someone dropped down to their knees to take a look at the underside of the granite.
 
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Old 01-18-11, 11:49 AM
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You could provide corbels to boost the support in the middle as well. We used 2x2 angle steel attached to our substrate on a commercial job last spring. It has held up well considering the width of the countertop was over 36" and was solid surface.
 
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Old 01-18-11, 08:09 PM
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Hey again,
I was actually trying to avoid using corbels anywhere but the ends because I hate banging my knees on the damned things when I'm sitting at a counter. That's why I was thinking about using two or three 1/4 inch flat steel bars, maybe 2" wide, to act as cantilevered supports for the middle of the granite. For a 16" overhang I think the bars would give sufficient support, together with the existing corbels, without hopefully flexing. What do you think?
 
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Old 01-18-11, 08:53 PM
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1/4" X 2" steel bars are nowhere near stiff enough to support a cantilevered granite overhang. At a minimum use 1/2" x 2" bars at 2'-0" centers. Run them from the front of the cabinets, let them in flush with the cabinet backs, and extend them out to 4" from the edge. Cold rolled steel is stiffer than hot rolled. If you want an unsupported overhang out to 15", use 3cm engineered stone, such as Zodiaq or Silestone. If it's going on standard 24" deep cabinets, be sure they're well anchored to the floor because if your 300 lb truck driver BIL sits on that overhang, it could come crashing down. Good luck
 
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Old 01-18-11, 09:41 PM
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Firstly, are you forgetting the corbels already in place at the ends, which extent out to 9 inches? There's some stiffness already in place, it was the middle I was concerned about. I've read that 12 inches unsupported is normally okay as long as people don't go jumping on the overhang, so I figured that 9 inch corbels plus a little beefing up in the middle would be okay for a 16" overhang - but hey, if it means preventing a big chunk of stone breaking off and landing in the lap of my kids I'll happily go further if necessary.

Regarding your point about going to 1/2" steel, I have no problem with that, and the points about recessing the pieces, starting from the front, were already in place for the 1/4" steel. For a 6' long island, are you suggesting 2 lengths of steel spaced 2' apart in the center area of the overhang, with the corbels taking up the corner loads?

And with regard to the anchoring, trust me, I did the job myself and that baby ain't c'min down even if trucker Bob and a slew of his pals jump up and down on it! It might shatter the granite, but the cabinet will still stay in place!
 
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Old 01-20-11, 10:23 PM
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Since the corbels are already in place, then two pieces of steel as you described should be sufficient. A 12" overhang gives enough knee room for most people, but if you're taller than average then more is better.
It's good that you did a good job of anchoring your cabinets to the floor, because tipping can be a serious problem with heavy tops like granite. Good luck
 
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