Countertop overhang in contemporary kitchen

Ott2March 15, 2013

For a contemporary kitchen with countertops fabricated with a simple eased edge, does the 1.5" overhang standard still apply?

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It's easier for cleaning and to avoid dripping down the front of the cabinets to maintain at least a 1.5 overhang. Flush looks very minimal and clean but it is harder to wipe crumbs into your hand and allows drips down the drawer and door fronts.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 12:40PM
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Thank you palimpsest!

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 1:37PM
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You could perhaps make them overhang slightly less, but I'd forgo completely flush for the reasons pal mentioned.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 2:13PM
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I originally wanted a very thin, flush counter to go with my contemporary vision for the kitchen. I was dissuaded by reading this forum and learning of the troubles mentioned in this thread.
If you search GW for "reverse bevel" you may find the thread that gave me the look I want without the issues (I hope!). My granite counter hasn't been fabricated yet, but I've ordered a "reverse bevel." It will look something like this edge:


Here's a diagram that shows a reverse bevel on the bottom row. My fabricator is making it less rounded and more angular.


I have a sample and it looks great. We'll see.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 4:22PM
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That's very handsome, Fredanj.

Ott2, I personally wouldn't be afraid to do a flush edge for a very handsome contemporary look (in my case counter the same color as lower cabinets), but I would design the lowers to minimize the spill problems. They'd be very durable to take more wipedowns over their lifetime, very impervious, and I'd like the doors inset flush also so the rare big spill wouldn't be encouraged to run inside the cabinets.

Sometimes we overthread the needle here. I designed my current kitchen to be very easy maintenanceand have about 1-1/4" overhangs, but all kitchens are heavy maintenance anyway. All spills have to be cleaned up, whether they head straight for the floor or run down a cabinet. The more important issue for me is that both surfaces be good and scrubbable and release dirt well. And a light color so I can see and clean up any spills before they turn to stone.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 8:20PM
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Thank you all for taking the time to share your thoughts. You have given me lots to think about with regard to my countertop design.
Fredanj - The link suggestion was really helpful. I remember following that thread last summer, but that was many gardenweb threads ago for me, and at that time, countertops were far into the future (which is now!).
cat_mom and rosie - thanks for your different perspectives. It helps in making sure I think things through from all sides.
Love this resource!

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 10:32PM
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Our normal overhang is 1-1/4". that is plenty to mask the interface between the cabinet and the stone.

A flush joint can be very difficult to execute properly because the back side of stone slabs is neither polished not flat. Additionally, many slabs are slightly thicker on one end. The irregularity in the flatness and thickness of the stone slab can make maintaining a very tight joint between the wood and the stone virtually impossible. It also requires a literally PERFECT measure of the cabinetry dimensions since even a 1/16" error becomes conspicuous when you are expecting the stone and wood to mate perfectly. With a CNC the stone can be cut to very exact dimensions but the measure of the wood muct be perfect and the wood must not expand nor contract over the life of the install if you expect your perfect flush joint to last.

We once had a customer that INSISTED on a flush mating between stone and cabinetry based on advice from her designer. We wrote up an information sheet that communicated the info in the preceding paragraph and had her sign it. We did install her tops and they did match perfect. We had the backside of her slabs honed for flatness and we specifically selected slabs that were a consistent thickness. Several months after the install she called and complained that the joint between the island top and island cabinet was no longer flush on one end and she was NOT HAPPY! I referred her to the info sheet she signed and recommended she talk to her cabinet guy since there wasn't anything we could do to the stone.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2013 at 9:18AM
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