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Newman0912
Granite Countertop overhang question
Newman0912

Hello! First post here. Thanks in advance for your help / opinon.
We purchased new granite countertops for our kitchen. Standard size base cabinets.
During the measurement phase of the process, the person from the granite company explained that we would need Flat, pieces of steel to be installed across the tops of the base cabinets and extend under the 12" granite overhang.
There are (2) overhangs on the countertop, one is a 7 foot long, 12" overhang and then the end of the last base cabinet peninsula that is 3 foot wide/long and that too overhangs 12". (I hope I explained it ok).

On the day of the installation, we were instructed to "leave them alone so they can concentrate on doing their job". We waited until they were done, and inspected the job before they left. They did not put the flat steel braces between the underneath side of the granite and the tops of the base cabinets. When I asked about it, he asked me if I wanted them? I said "why are you asking me? You're the professional that's installing them. How do I know?"

With that, he said that we would not need the braces because 2/3's of the granite top surface was supported by the base cabinets and that the steel braces are only used to stop the granit from 'flopping' over when the overhang is the same as what is held by the cabinets.

We let them go and did not get the braces, but that was 2 weeks ago and I'm growing more concerned about someone leaning on the overhand (or jumping up and sitting on it) and breaking it. It would be a dissaster!

Any thoughts on this? The granite thickness is 3 cm - so it is almost an inch and a quarter thick.

Should we be worried, or is it fine the way it is?
Thanks,

Wayne

A. Spruce
Re: Granite Countertop overhang question
A. Spruce

More importantly, what was in the contract, what did you pay for? If you paid for the braces and they were not installed, then they either need to come back and install them or refund your money.

I am not a stone guy, so I can't address whether the braces would be necessary of not. I would be inclined to say not, however, the quality, type and graining of the stone can make a big difference in it's structural integrity. An alternative to the steel braces would be to install corbels on the face of the cabinet at the overhangs, this will actually work better than a flat piece of steel, which can and will flex as weight is applied to it, and since the brace is there to PREVENT the stone from flexing . . .

ed21
Re: Granite Countertop overhang question
ed21

12" is the absolute max for an overhang without support. Any thing over 8" I would specify with support.
The steel won't be a knee bumper. Brackets will work.
The steel support needs to be installed before the countertop.
I agree that you should get what you pay for or get a credit.

Newman0912
Re: Granite Countertop overhang question
Newman0912

Thanks for the quick responses.
The problem, as you may have guessed, is that the counters are already in place. They are fairly large, the one with the overhang is actually 'L' shaped, with 10 foot along the wall and then the 7 foot peninsula. So this piece of granite is very heavy, very large, and will not move.

Is there some product that can be installed now, without removing the granite - or could the granite company lift it and install the brackets if I insisted that they do it.

As far as the cost, as I remember it, the steel brackets were put on the quote but I didn't pay for them because they didn't use them.

dj1
Re: Granite Countertop overhang question
dj1

If you say that 2/3 of the 7' length is over the base cabinet and 1/3 is hanging, that means that the hanging part is 28" - way too big for an unsupported overhang.

If all your efforts to have the installers rectify the situation fail, and you decide not to pursue it legally, you can install supports, such as shelving supports. The what, which, how to and how much - is another topic all together.

I just think supporters are a must, no matter what kind of stone you have.

Jeanne
Re: Granite Countertop overhang question
Jeanne
A. Spruce
Re: Granite Countertop overhang question
A. Spruce
Lily wrote:

Spruce mentioned corbels - an attractive option though some people do complain about hitting their knees on them. They can be sleek or bulky, metal or wood.

Agreed, corbels are not the cure all, be all, end all, however, if the overhang space is not going to be regularly used as a sitting area, then corbels will be the easiest fix, and can be quite aesthetic. Corbels can also be spaced such that they are less inclined to interfere with knees/seating, you just have to lay out your seating arrangement and then install the corbels in between the seats.

Trying to retrofit the steel supports that should have been installed before the counter top will be a huge undertaking, and not likely something that the seller or installers will take responsibility for, regardless of whether or not they should have been installed in the first place. This is also not something that anyone else will take responsibility for, IF you can find someone willing to do it. Sure, they may pull the top and put in the supports, but if the stone breaks in the process, they will not be held responsible. That's just the way things work these days, unfortunately.

HoustonRemodeler
Re: Granite Countertop overhang question
HoustonRemodeler

The amount of overhang depend on the species of granite used.

Heavily veined granite will break easier than solid granites such as absolute black.

What granite do you have ? How thick is the granite ?

Mastercarpentry
Re: Granite Countertop overhang question
Mastercarpentry
A. Spruce wrote:

More importantly, what was in the contract, what did you pay for? If you paid for the braces and they were not installed, then they either need to come back and install them or refund your money.

This is where you're really at. If the stone supplier specified bracing and the installers agreed, then they will have to make it right at their own expense (even if they get breakage on removal). If no bracing was specified you need to determine if you were charged for it and if it is truly needed. A 12" overhang not abused will be OK but if you've got kids who treat the counter tops as a gymnasium or a hubby who sees it as another workbench you will need more support. For the best approach I'd pay another visit to the stone supplier and get specific recommendations. Being that they want to protect their product they may 'go overkill' with support but at least they have expertise with that product so you will know that if they say "it's OK' then it is.

If you have problems with the installer's work then give them one chance to make things right as per the contract specs. If you don't get satisfaction it will be lawyer time and we hope it doesn't go to that. Good contracts are very specific about what is to be done and how, as well as where responsibilities lay. Contract law is quite specific but varies from state to state. I always recommend that you have your lawyer check every contract you go into before you sign so that you know you are protected and will get what you're paying for. I want you to have that peace of mind ahead of time and throughout the job because it avoids misunderstandings and makes for better endings when I'm done too!

Phil

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