How Far Can A Quartz Countertop Overhang Without Support?
Quartz countertops are amazing status symbols for any upscale kitchen, but they still have their limitations.
These stylish countertops are known for having a certain limit they can overhang before they require some extra support. After all, they’re heavy and can tilt over if they are left to their own devices. So, what’s the deal? How much space can you let a countertop overhang before you need to step in?
You can install a quartz countertop to overhang by 14” as long as other fixtures support 70% of it. Use countertop bases and wall knees so that you can let your quartz countertop overhang by 14”. Support your quartz countertop with brackets, corbels, substrates, or posts so that it can safely overhang.
Like with most other projects, getting the results you want is all about knowing what you can and cannot do. This guide will give you a little enlightenment about what to expect with an overhang, why you might still want support, and what other materials can do in comparison. Let’s take a look at this situation a little closer, shall we?
How Much Can A Countertop Overhang Without Support?
The amount of space a countertop can overhang all depends on the material that it’s made from. Denser, heavier countertops can handle a larger overhang than those that are lightweight.
In a typical installation, this is how far your favorite countertop materials can overhang without needing support:
- Solid Surface. This type of material can overhang around six inches past your counter without any support in most situations.
- Quartz. Manufactured quartz can handle 14 inches of overhang in most cases, though you may still need some reinforcements.
- Granite. Another common stone material, granite countertops really shouldn’t have more than a 10 inch overhang.
- Marble. If your marble countertop is 1 1/4 inches, you can extend your countertop up to a total of 10 inches.
- Butcher Block. These wooden countertop materials are a little different than most. You should avoid making more than an 8 inch overhang without support.
Like with any other construction project, there are rules and guidelines to making sure you can max out your overhang.
So, before you decide on an overhang, you should be aware of what you need to do to make it feasible.
What The Rules Of Creating An Overhang For Your Kitchen Counter?
Overhangs are not going to be easy to self-sustain, especially if you’re dealing with an overhang near the maximum limit of your material.
To make sure that your overhang doesn’t tip over or break, make sure to keep in mind these rules:
- The 70% Rule. This rule states that 70% of your countertop needs to be supported through the use of other fixtures. These can include corbels, countertop bases, as well as knee walls.
- Cutout Supports. If you’re going to be doing any sort of cutouts close to your overhang, you’re going to have to install some extra supports to counterbalance the weight. The most common risky cuts include stovetop cutouts and sink cutouts.
- Thin Supports. If you are going to be using a thinner countertop with a larger overhang, you will need supports regardless of the material.
- Fragile Material. Quartz is not a fragile material, but many of the comparable countertop materials you might be considering fall in this category. Fragile materials like marble need to be supported regardless of the overhang, assuming that you’re going past the typical 1 1/2 inch overhang that’s found on kitchen islands.
- Brand Differences. Though the general rule is that quartz can handle a higher amount of overhang, the truth is a little dicey. Differnt brands and types of quartz can have varying amounts of strength. To make sure that you get the full span, buy the most durable quartz you can.
Should You Create An Overhang On Your Kitchen Counter?
In most cases, people don’t really create a major overhang. They just at an inch or two for aesthetic reasons.
If you want a larger overhang for shelving purposes or as a cooking counter area, then creating an overhang can be a smart decision. However, you have to ask yourself if your material can handle the type of overhang that you want to have.
What Should I Use For My Quartz Overhang For Support?
If you want to stay on the safe side, you should really consider getting some supports for your overhang. Thankfully, there are a bunch of ways to get the kind of overhang that you want without having to sacrifice much. The most popular ways to support a quartz overhang include:
- Corbels. Corbels can support anywhere from a 15 inch overhang up to a 24 inch overhang. However, you have to make sure that the corbels are mounted to studs, and that they’ll be designed to support the weight of the counter. They also have to be installed three feet apart.
- Substrates and Posts. If your overhang is going to be greater than two feet in length, you don’t have many options available to you. You will need to balance your countertop on posts that are spaced three feet apart. This can be a good fix, but adding legs to your countertop can (ironically) reduce your legroom.
- Brackets. Brackets are a lot like corbels, but they also have an installed portion on the underside of your countertop. They’re slightly less expensive than corbels, too. However, you will need to calculate the size of the brackets you want to install to make sure they suit your needs. These should be used on shorter overhangs.
- Separate Islands. If you’re looking for a heavily extended overhang, such as one that’s three or four feet long, you should hit the pause button. At this length, you might as well just add more counters to your kitchen. If counters aren’t your thing, consider getting a rolling kitchen island made out of the same countertop material.
If you aren’t sure what kind of overhang support you should get, or if a type of support will work with your plans, it’s a good idea to ask a kitchen counter specialist. They’re there to help you make the best possible purchase for your projects, and they’ll be able to clue you in.
How Do You Support A Quartz Countertop Over The Dishwasher?
Sometimes you’ll want to have a bit of an overhang over the dishwasher if the dishwasher is not flush with the counter.
This gives the illusion that everything is equal and balanced so that you can keep that area of the kitchen pleasing to the eye. Usually, you will want to have some plywood below the quartz or use a mounting strip. However, not everyone has that additional space.
Use Cabinet Clips
If you don’t have the additional space for a mounting strip, you can always install some side cabinet clips to your dishwasher to help keep it secure.
Then, you’ll want to make sure you have the correct distance between your overhand and your dishwasher. You don’t want the dishwasher to hit your overhang. So if your appliance is too close to the countertop, an overhand over the dishwasher may not work for you.
What If There’s Not Enough Space For An Overhang Over Your Dishwasher?
If there isn’t enough space over your dishwasher for an overhang you could opt out of a quartz overhang. However, this may look funny if your dishwasher isn’t under its own separate counter space. So instead, you could always look into moving your dishwasher into a more ideal space.
However, if you decide to move your dishwasher, this can cost a pretty penny in plumbing costs, regardless if you hire a professional or not. But, if you do decide to move your dishwasher, you may also want to think about purchasing or upgrading to a new one while you’re at it.
After all, if you’re remodeling your kitchen, then you have the excuse to buy a new one now! You can always simply cut the space an inch deeper to slide your dishwasher down so that you can put the overhang in.
Our Final Take
Quartz is actually one of the best materials for people who want to create a countertop overhang, and not just because it’s an elegant material. Quartz’s uniquely strong build makes it possible to support more weight without the need for support. That’s why you have the potential of being able to have a 14 inch overhang without any additional support required from things like corbels or support posts.
Though it’s possible to get an overhang that’s over a foot in length, you have to remember that there are other rules you need to follow.
You need to make sure that at least 70 percent of your countertop is supported, and you also have to remember that the thickness of your quartz will also make a difference. That’s why most building pros agree that it’s better to support your overhang. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
Of course, there’s a certain point where an overhang just doesn’t make sense. If you are looking for a very long overhang, ask yourself if you wouldn’t rather have a table instead. In most cases, it actually could be a better option. After all, trying to support an overhang on legs isn’t always easy to do, nor is it cost-effective.
Ossiana Tepfenhart is an expert writer, focusing on interior design and general home tips. Writing is her life, and it's what she does best. Her interests include art and real estate investments.
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