Counter support options

wolverine2June 3, 2013

We have a space in our kitchen where we are going to have seating under the countertop. It was originally designed to be between two base cabinets, but I would really prefer that the seating be moved over a bit as it would be more out of the way of the rest of the kitchen and allow closer access to the trash from the sink. But then the counter would end at the fridge, leaving no support. What would I need to do support-wise to make this possible, or do I really need to have the cabinet back where it originally was. Here's a drawing:

The 18" base cab is what was originally next to the fridge. I would rather have it where I put it in the drawing. We could build a narrow support at the fridge end- how wide would it need to be to support granite? I assume I'd also need some kind of support in the middle too (a bracket?) The actual seating space will be around 48-49" wide, I think. There is also a radiator under there we are not moving, but we could build some kind of box around it so that the granite is resting on something over the radiator.

Hope that makes sense... I fear I'm not explaining it very well...

This post was edited by wolverine2 on Mon, Jun 3, 13 at 14:09

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You could use a couple of decorative legs to support the end of the counter.

Supporting the rest of the span might be a challenge, unless you build some horizontal supports. Maybe like taking the base of a table, cut off two of the legs and secure that free end to the cabinet. Hopefully, that makes sense.

This post was edited by gpraceman on Mon, Jun 3, 13 at 15:21

    Bookmark   June 3, 2013 at 3:16PM
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This photo would explain it better.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2013 at 3:23PM
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Granite requires a very stiff support. You should talk to your fabricator about it. Unless there is some hidden steel in the above photo of the island top extension, I would consider it risky because of the arched skirts, which are very shallow at the top of the arc. Many granites (mine, for instance) with a strong pattern of veining have a significant risk of cracking. If there is any chance that someone would sit on the edge, or stand on it, the risk is obviously higher.

Support board deflection improves as the cube of the height. So making it twice as wide only makes it twice as stiff, while making it twice as high makes it 8 times as stiff. Likewise, the deflection increases as the cube of the length. You need under 1/40" deflection at the middle, fully weighted.

In your case, I would suggest something like a true 1.5" x 4" for the skirts. Either use the feet as suggested above, or a cabinet-matching panel at the end. If it were me, I would add a 3rd longwise supporting board.

Here's what I did for my granite table. Table kit ordered from Osborne Wood, but would be another good source. The skirts/legs come mortised and tenoned, with corner braces. The outer skirt with the kit is true 1"x4", and I added two longwise 1-5/8" x 4" boards, and cross bracing, plus 5/8" plywood on top. This table base is 57"x33".

Here is a link that might be useful: table base kits, made custom

    Bookmark   June 3, 2013 at 4:47PM
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@attofarad - That's basically the type of structure that I was trying to suggest, minus a pair of legs. Thanks for posting that.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2013 at 4:53PM
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That makes sense to me and I don't see why we couldn't put it there- would we need all four legs or could the 18" cabinet substitute for one pair of legs? I think you're saying it wouldn't work to have only one pair, as in the first picture, right? The only problem with having all 4 legs is that the right back corner would be a problem because the radiator is there.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2013 at 5:18PM
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The cabinet can support the one side, so you should only need two legs. But as attofarad suggested, you should check with your granite fabricator to make sure the granite will be well supported.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2013 at 5:22PM
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