In general, people seek the maximum amount of kitchen countertop overhang possible without the assist of additional support mechanisms. How much overhang can I have without additional support? The answer is of course, "It depends". It depends on a calculation that considers stone rigidity and the percentage of the total counter that is "cantilevered" or independently supported. In general, the maximum overhang length will vary between 12 and 16-inches. Our kitchen countertop service is one of the most accomplished and most respected across RI and MA.
For overhang, 12-inches is the general rule for overhang. It could be less when using soft stone such as Onyx. For Granite, the most popular choice in counter tops, the answer is up to 12 inches providing 2/3 or more is cantilevered to offset the unsupported weight. For the other materials (Corian, Cambria Quartz, etc) the considerations are many and too detailed to discuss here. That is why it is critical for you to consult a professional kitchen design team like Kenneth C. Lewis. You are embarking upon some complex design engineering decision making...don't do this alone.
You can add significant overhang space by integrating a supported design. The use of Corbels or legs to support additional overhangs of course have both pros and cons. They are:
- Corbels- Visible but decorative
- Brackets- Inexpensive and effective, installed properly works better on wall tops than upon cabinets themselves.
- Legs -Visible, decorative but in the way of chairs and peoples legs.
- Support brackets- Hidden and concealed but offers great support. They must be installed before the granite and cut into the cabinet itself. They are specifically designed for this challenge.
Think about the worst case scenario such as someone deciding to jump up and sit on your counter-top. Then ask yourself, "would that be safe"? Would you or your spouse forget about max supported weight and step up on the unsupported counter to change a light bulb? So your unsupported counter tops should be designed to support human weight. Think of your heaviest relative...there's your target support weight. You can trust Kenneth C. Lewis to make that happen for you.....no matter how big your husband's brother is.