It’s becoming more common for homeowners remodeling a kitchen to add a casual, eat-in option to the plan. In many cases this involves creating a counter-height seating area at an island or peninsula, giving the kitchen a variety of uses and functions in one small area. To facilitate this counter-height seating area, the countertop must be extended past the edge of the cabinetry, often by as much as 12 to 18-inches, or enough for people to comfortably place their knees beneath. There are several ways that this can be achieved, most of which involve some form of support for the stone.
Some homeowners may feel that by adding a support beneath the stone that it detracts from the look or style of the kitchen. And while it is true that in some contemporary spaces, it can be difficult to find a visible support that also complements the space, stone should not be extended more than 6-inches past the edge of the cabinetry without some type of support.
While natural stone that is 3cm thick appears substantial, not all stones are durable enough to withstand the pressure of 12 to 18-inches of no support. Over time, some stones may slope or bend slightly, eventually cracking or breaking at the point where they pass the cabinetry, simply through daily use. Sitting on the counter or placing heavy objects on its edge may increase the risks of this happening more quickly.
Using a support bracket helps ensure that your stone will function in this position for the longest possible time. If a bracket is truly not going to work in your kitchen design, consider putting a thin piece of pressed steel beneath the counter, out to within three inches of its edge. As long as the metal is around 1/8-inch in thickness, it will be strong enough to support the stone, but won’t be visible from above.
Always support stone overhangs on counters to ensure that the stone maintains its integrity as long as you own the kitchen.