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Old Dec 29th, 06, 6:23 am   #1
Mykitchen
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Question How far should counter overhang?

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We're starting work on the 8th of Jan with a contractor, and need some advice. For a granite countertop on an island, how far should the overhang be to provide stooled seating on one side? I had thought 12" which would likely require some support, but our contractor says 8 - 9" which will not need any further support than the cabinetry below.
Rhonda

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Old Dec 29th, 06, 10:01 am  
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If you want to have stools and be comfortable sitting at them 8 to 9 inches would not work. You would sit pushed back and have to lean forward to eat... or risk having dinner in your lap. You need sufficient clearance for knees and feet. Although it is done quite often even12" is not enough. A class I took many years ago when attending design school gave a hand out of industry standards for counters, boothes, etc. The hand out said a proper counter with stools should be 15" deep. That is one thing I vividly recall from the class. I have designed as small as 13 1/2" due to space restraints, but never 12".

To check out counter overhang depths and comfort go to a kitchen showroom, Ikea, Home Depot, or Lowe's where they have counters. Bring a tape measurer. Find a stool. Place it at the bar. Sit down and pretend to eat. Swivel and move side to side and check out what happens to your knees and feet. If the bar is 12" deep see what happens. Many new homes are built with 12" overhangs to save the builder $$$. If there are model homes in your area go and check them out if you cannot find one at a showroom. You may find that you are OK with 12".....but no way 8 or 9".

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Old Dec 29th, 06, 10:09 am  
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At counter height, I'd say 12" is the minimum. I have that, and most people are comfortable there, except for very long-legged people. If you are doing a bar height (42" or so high) then you could go a bit shallower because your knees are not at a 90 degree angle like they are with a counter stool.

If your fabricator is balking at more depth without support, you can do steel bars embedded in the substrate for support without visible brackets.

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Old Dec 29th, 06, 11:15 am  
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Thanks so much to both of you for the advice! Eva, do you have extra supports built in for your 12" overhang?
R

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Old Dec 29th, 06, 11:57 am  
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No, I had them available but the fabricator told me that because my granite is the densest there is (absolute black) there was no need for it. I also have a 3/4" high density fiberboard substrate.

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Old Dec 29th, 06, 12:00 pm  
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Eva, I loooovveee absolute black. I am soo jealous...I've got Ikea Numerar. Ok, I like it too...but someday...when I win the lottery...after the holidays....Granite here I come.

Shouva

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Old Dec 29th, 06, 8:38 pm  
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Amazing how much bad info there is out there. I could have sworn that I read/heard that 12" is sufficient. Glad I planned for 14", and me and DH are pretty small, too.

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Old Dec 30th, 06, 11:23 am  
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Rhonda: Congrats to you for getting a new kitchen!!

12" isn't recommended, but if the space won't allow for anymore space, of course it has to suffice. As Eva has said, it depends upon the angle your legs will be under the overhang. A taller bar height counter will require less overhang. If you're at counter height, 15" to 18" is best. Our current inefficient kitchen has an 8" overhang and we have to sit sideways to eat there.

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Old Dec 30th, 06, 4:19 pm  
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I'm so glad I asked this question! I'll be making changes based on these answers, going with a 12 - 14" overhang reinforced. Many thanks to all.

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