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Granite Overhang Limit

Granite Overhang with Corbels

Granite Overhang

Granite Bar Top with Overhang

Granite Bar Top with Overhang

We are installing a granite bar top in our new kitchen remodel and the question came up…how far can the granite overhang before it needs support?  We have a 2×6 wall below the bar top.  The bar top is 18″ wide and we plan on having a 1.5″ overhang on the short side.  Attention all math whizzes, what does that leave us for an overhang dimension?  You are correct if you answered 10″.  So, the question is, do we need any supports or corbels to support the granite overhang?  There seems to be a great deal of uncertainty on this subject.

Granite Overhang Limits Per Experts

I did some research and found nine different opinions.  As a builder I have always put support underneath unless the overhang is 6″ or less.  But since we want our contemporary kitchen to have as many clean lines as possible, I decided to go directly to the stone experts.  According to the Marble Institute of America, you can safely overhang granite that is 1- 1/4″ thick up to 10″ without supports.  However, the cantilevered portion cannot be more than 1/3 the total width of the countertop.  So, we are ok on the first criteria, but we exceed the 1/3 criteria by four inches.  So, we will need corbels or supports to keep the countertop from being in an unbalanced condition.

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Our Project

We have corbels on order, so for now, we have added some temporary brackets made of plywood.  Basically, a triangle and a rectangular flat piece is cut, glued and screwed together and then screwed to studs in the knee wall.   The rectangular piece that goes flat against the wall is cut two inches bigger than the thickness of the triangular piece so you have a surface to screw into.


What if you are spanning from cabinet to cabinet for a desk area or appliance?  What is the granite overhang limit in this case?  Well, according the Marble Institute of America, you can span up to 2′-0″ for 3/4″ thick granite and 3′-0″ for 1-1/4″ thick granite.  Just keep in mind, you will want to speak with your fabricator/supplier before making a final decision as he/she is more familiar with your particular type of stone.  Some stones are more brittle than others so the granite overhang is affected by the actual stone chosen.

Have you ever thought about building your own home?  Be sure to stop by the Armchair Builder How to Build Your Own Home resource page.

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5 Comments for Granite Overhang Limit

Granite Countertops: Quality Considerations- Armchair Builder :: Blog :: Build, renovate, & repair your own home. Save money as an owner-builder. | December 12, 2011 at 4:28 am

[…] Overhangs:  If you plan on putting an overhang on your kitchen island or at the bar top, be sure to support it properly.  Typically, anything over 10″ (overhang dimension) needs support with either brackets or posts.  Check with your granite supplier to see what they recommend.  Check out our previous article on granite spans. […]

Killer Kitchen Design- Armchair Builder :: Blog :: Build, renovate, & repair your own home. Save money as an owner-builder. | December 16, 2011 at 4:53 am

[…] plenty of room to eat here…as well as drink of course.  Be sure to check out our article on granite span for proper overhang […]

paul | March 5, 2012 at 4:36 am

Good morning, If you would like to have the 10″ overhang on the bar top, then i would sugest you use 2 or 3 steel plates attached to the top of your 2×4 wall. the plates will not be visable unless you get down on a knee to visualy inspect the underside of the granite. This will give you the added suport while preserving the neet clean lines you desire.

Hope this helped.


Author comment by armchairbuilder | March 5, 2012 at 12:15 pm

That’s a great idea Paul. I have always used corbels…but they do get in the way of bar stools at times. With the proper steel plates, you should be able to get the same support. Thanks for sharing.

Install Countertops in Your New Home. Tips for getting it right...- Armchair Builder :: Blog :: Build, renovate, & repair your own home. Save money as an owner-builder. | June 26, 2013 at 8:53 am

[…] your fabricator the methods needed to support the overhang.  Want to know more about how far a granite slab can overhang without […]