Wednesday, December 22, 2010

How to Elevate Your Kitchen Countertop

An elevated countertop brings a countertop to a new level of majestic appeal. Today, I’m focusing on how to install an elevated design that is considered fine hardware and can enhance the finest of kitchens. Federal Brace cannot make any recommendations on specific applications, because every application is different. But they can give some general information on particular styles of countertops, which I will do in this blog.

The first thing to do before ordering the brackets is to see how many you will need. Federal Brace recommends that you use a bracket at least every 24 to 30 inches on an elevated counter application. You will need to make sure that the bracket you select works with your sub-counter arrangement.

Now that you have your support in hand you will want to set to mounting the bracket using the mounting plate at the base of the support. You can set the height of your elevated counter by moving the mounting position down from the bottom of the sub- countertop. The support’s gusset will extend out and over the sub-counter.

You want to mark where to place your starter holes with a pencil. Make sure that your locations for fastening the bracket to the substructure allow for enough material for the screws to “bite into." Take an electric drill and put an eighth inch drill bit to make the pilot holes for your fasteners. PLEASE NOTE: Make sure that you don't drill all the way through the material the screws will fasten into.

You’re going to change up your drill so you can put in your quarter inch lag screws (or bolts), that will connect through the fascia material and into the stud or substructure. Now that the first lag bolt is connecting the brace to the material and the stud you want to make sure it’s level before you add additional bolts.

Once all the lag bolts are in you can use a ratchet to make sure they are snug. Don’t over tighten them or you may strip out the wood. You want to make sure you use an extension when using the ratchet so you will not scratch the finished surface of the bracket.

With your brackets attached ready to support your elevated counter, you can place your counter on the support plates of the brackets. Make sure that the slab width does not extend over 4” on either side of the plates and that the stone slab is evenly distributed over the full length of the counter. You will want to use an adhesive or chalking to fix the counter to the brackets.

With an elevated counter you will have a real showpiece in your kitchen area that can be used for serving. The spacious appeal and beauty of the elevated granite slab will enhance the look of your kitchen or even office reception area. ~ SK

Sunday, December 12, 2010

How to Wall Mount Brackets for A Floating Shelf with Backer Boards

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A quick fun installation of a floating granite shelf using some Brunswick Brackets and backer board. Federal Brace VP of sales, DJ Toal, and Allen Burge take you through the steps using brunswick brackets and backer boards.

This is an excellent illustration of a common granite countertop support application with the important areas to consider when doing a granite countertop extension with support brackets. The Federal Brace countertop support brackets used in this installation are the popular Brunswick Designer Countertop Supports with the curved gusset.

For further information on the brackets please contact Federal Brace at or #877-353-8899

Thursday, December 9, 2010

How to choose a Bracket. There is no comparison: Box-Store Brackets V.S. Federal Brace

This one is for the customers that are thinking of buying the local hardware store or large box company support brackets, so I’m posting this on both blog sites at Federal Brace. Before you buy consider this comparison:

First of all, when you are picking between the two types of different brackets you’ll notice a considerable weight difference. The Federal Brace countertop support is made out of one-quarter inch steel, and the standard box bracket is made out of a material not even as half as thick. The Federal Brace countertop mount is a wider dimension than the local hardware corbel. The material size and dimensional difference between the Federal Brace and the box store bracket means that Federal Brace has a stronger bracket that will hold up your shelves and countertops better.

Federal Brace gives you a choice and a benefit in the brushed nickel finish that matches common stainless kitchen countertop appliances. They provide the stainless steel option, knowing that some customers are willing to pay for a certain type of look.

You will notice that the Federal Brace bracket has less dings in it than the store bought corbel, because of the care involved in the finish of the brackets. Also, the box store bracket may have the evidence of a long trip – being loaded and offloaded from cargo ships from foreign lands. Federal Brace brackets will come to your doorstep, individually packaged in boxes that are designed to secure your product during shipping. You can go pick out your box store bracket from a bin that looks like the old game “A Barrel of Monkeys.”

You dig a little deeper and you see that Federal Brace has carefully designed countertop brackets with no weld elements on the face of the bracket. The bracket is constructed with plug welding which gives a flawless finish on the face of the bracket. Not only are these super-strong brackets, but also they enhance the look of the countertop they are supporting.

Some may point out that the price comparison needs to be made. That’s fine with us. Our brackets are priced higher than the box store brackets – for the exact reasons listed above. As the old adage goes “you get what you pay for.” In this instance, you get a better looking, better made, stronger and safer support bracket for the investment you didn’t skimp on – your countertops. Go with Federal Brace countertop supports when your countertops matter. ~

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

How to install Freedom Countertop Supports

Many people will purchase Federal Brace countertop supports because they are looking to limit knee knocking under sitting areas. Today, we are going to review how to install a granite countertop to a knee wall such as a breakfast bar installation.

The Freedom Countertop bracket is a ninety-degree piece of steel without a gusset (the piece that connects the bottom and top of the L-bracket). It is a quarter inch thick up to 12 inches and goes up to .375 inch thick 14X14 – 16X16 and up to a 1/2 inch at 18X18 –20X20.

You want to make sure you have the right number of brackets - you want to have a bracketed support every 12 to 18 inches and no more than four inches of over-hang extending beyond the end of the bracket. Every application is different and we cannot be there to advise an application we cannot see, you want to consult an installer, but some general tips when speaking to the installer are…

In most instances, customers using the Freedom style countertop supports are attaching the brackets directly to the studs and covering with wall board material. You will want to attach the Freedom hidden countertop brackets with lag screw fasteners. You will go from flange to flange making sure the brackets are level. You can use a four-foot level to do this. You can put some paneling on the front of the knee wall to hide the down flange of the brackets. You will clean the brackets and put adhesive on the brackets. When you place the countertop you want to make sure they sit evenly and all the weight is being properly dispersed across the brackets. After an appropriate amount of time for them to dry you can slide over some chairs and you’ll be all set to go.

If you’ re looking to put the supports on top of sheet rock dry wall, you are going to need some kind of backing on the wall, like a backer board. When you position the brackets you want to make sure that the supports are carrying the load not the backer board. You would attach the backer board with several rows of nails going into the stud. A quarter inch lag bolt will then go into the backer board when attaching the brackets themselves.
However, if you want to attach the bracket on the studs on a wall that is finished you will need to recess them into the sheetrock and make sure you connect them directly to the stud using lag screws. Once the wall has been repaired, you can apply granite adhesive to the tops of the brackets – this also goes for when using the Bracket Backers™ as well.

You will clean the brackets and put adhesive on the brackets. Be careful not to let the glue drip off the side when you go to place the granite.

I hope these basics lead to a better understanding of the installation on this popular style of bracket. Thank you very much and have a great day. ~ SK