Thursday, July 1, 2010

How To Support My Overhang

Yesterday we talked about how to know when you need to support your countertop overhang. Today we are going to talk about how to support your countertop overhang and what type of support may be used.

There are many different ways that you can support your counter top overhang. Included in these ways are traditionally used methods as well as more contemporary methods. Below is a listing of a number of support terms and brief descriptions of what they represent:
  • Corbels- corbels are generally wood, some are metal and some are even made in plastic. Corbels are decorative in nature and are limited as supporting members. A Key hole is used for attaching the corbel to the support structure. This method allows for no fastener to be seen from the face of the corbel but it also weakens the connection between the support structure and the corbel. In most cases the keyhole set up provides less fastening strength than a through hole.
  • Brackets- brackets, also called braces or supports, are most commonly made out of metal but also may be made using wood. Brackets are true supporting members that provide a great degree of carrying capacity than corbels. Brackets use a through hole set up so that the full extent of their carrying capacity can be utilized. A metal bracket is stronger than a wood bracket of the same dimensions. However, wood brackets can be made thicker and bulkier in size to increase their strength. A thicker metal bracket is stronger than a thinner metal bracket.
  • Legs or Columns- these are terms used to describe supports that extend from floor level to the base of the countertop. When installed with the base secured to the floor these types of supports with carry the most weight. Due to the size of legs and columns they tend to be the most expensive type of supports.
  • Plywood Substructure - this describes the use of plywood board to "stiffen" and add additional support to a countertop overhang. However, it is important to understand that plywood board tends to be flexible overtime and may deteriorate over time in some environments. Plywood should not be relied upon as a supporting member for large countertop overhangs.
  • Metal plates- metal plate are sometimes used as support for countertop overhangs. When using plate to support a granite overhang remember that it will act just like a non gusseted bracket (for information on non gusseted brackets click here). Under point load situations or in large overhang applications metal plate will be susceptible to deflection or bending.

Whatever support system that you choose for your countertop overhang application remember the importance of tying your supporting members into a strong support structure (stud wall, reinforced cabinet backs, etc.) In some application, such as a standard cabinet back, you will not find sufficient fastening material into which to anchor your support system. Make sure to make the most of your countertop support by setting it on a strong substructure. Also, at Federal Brace we recommend that the counter top support extend within 4 inches of edge of your countertop overhang to prevent compromise from point load events. Use fasteners that are substantial enough to hold your supports to the anchoring members. You can either use an adhesive or fasteners to attach your countertop to the supporting brackets and structure.

First and foremost plan ahead. Do not wait to the last minute to determine the need for your supports. It is best to know what you need to early and make preparations before the installation day. If we can help you please let us know --

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