How to support free-standing countertop

Written by barbara freeman
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How to support free-standing countertop
Brackets come in many styles from plain to scrolled. (jars of clay/crockery/kitchen utensil/containers.j image by L. Shat from

A free-standing countertop is one that is not mounted on top of a cabinet or that partially overhangs a cabinet. Free standing countertops are often used as breakfast bars or shelves. They can be supported using attached steel pole legs or wooden legs, but heavy duty brackets attached to the wall will give your family the most leg room for sitting at the countertop. The brackets must be strong enough to support countertops, bar tops and breakfast bars.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Tape measure
  • Stud finder
  • L-brackets 4 inches shorter than the countertop
  • 3/8-inch lag screws
  • Drill
  • Level
  • Contractor grade adhesive

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  1. 1

    Use your yardstick and a pencil to measure and mark the area for the countertop. Use your stud finder to find each stud in this area and mark the height for installing the L-brackets to the studs using your yardstick and pencil. Check the alignment for the brackets by lining up your yardstick with the height marks for the brackets and placing your level tool on top of the yardstick to see if it is level.

  2. 2

    Mount each bracket to a stud with 3/8-inch diameter lag screws; for a 6-foot piece of granite you will need to connect 3 brackets to 3 studs if they are 24-inches apart, or 4 brackets to 4 studs if the studs are only 18-inches apart. To verify horizontal alignment before making a permanent installation, position the countertop on top of the L-brackets and use your level. Support brackets should not extend more than 4 inches from the front of the countertop.

  3. 3

    Place a bead of adhesive onto the horizontal flange for each bracket. Press the countertop firmly onto horizontal flanges. Let the adhesive dry for 24 hours.

Tips and warnings

  • The standard height for a kitchen countertop is 36 inches; standard height of a bar is 42 inches.
  • For very heavy overhanging countertops, gusset brackets are recommended. These are larger brackets with panels that give them more strength.
  • When mounting on masonry use concrete bolt anchors or stud anchors.

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