Do Quartz Counter Overhangs Require Support?

Ask a bunch of contractors whether quartz counter overhangs require support, and you’ll get a bunch of different answers. I recall 30 years ago when I installed a countertop on a peninsula with an overhang and did not use support brackets. It was a breakfast counter with bar stools, and the overhang never cracked, but it was also formica. Nobody ever stood on it.

Although, whether quartz counter overhangs require support depends on whom you ask. Seems every single countertop installer I talked with about this said yes, use support on any overhang exceeding 6 inches. Also don’t believe everything you read online that contradicts that statement.

When I asked general contractors whether quartz overhangs require support, these guys said no, they do not. Not unless they exceed 12 inches. My particular quartz overhang is only 10 inches, with a 24-inch cabinet, for a total quartz surface of 36 inches.

So I asked myself, why do countertop installers want to support an overhang and general contractors do not. I suspect it’s because fewer GCs fabricate and the liability falls squarely on the shoulders of the countertop installers. Perhaps countertop installers are more cognizant of risk management? But if that is their sole job and only job, their opinion carries more weight.

I stopped in at Big Island Countertops in Kona yesterday. They told me about flat steel braces that measure 13 inches long by 2 1/2 inches wide and 3/16ths deep. Not cheap, either. They charge $65 to install each but reduced it to $45 for each since I have an installer. You install the end with the holes at the edge of the overhang by embedding the steel brace in the plywood, after using a router to dig out the space.

For our 60-inch long peninsula, we are embedding 3 flat braces into the plywood. Screw them in, and call it a day. Then they are hidden from view after the quartz is glued on top of the plywood. Don’t have to use corbels, either. 

It might be a little bit overkill, but with what we spent on quartz, getting it shipped to Kona from Honolulu, it is better to be safe than sorry. This is our only house in Hawaii.

Elizabeth Weintraub

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