A little off topic, how to support a bar countertop

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Forum topic by rut posted 05-27-2012 11:47 AM 4660 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View rut's profile


65 posts in 2558 days

05-27-2012 11:47 AM

I have a wall where I intend to have a 15” deep x 60” bar type counter top. There won’t be any cabinets under it. My problem is that I’m having a hard time coming up with a way to support this and make it look nice.

Not sure of the material yet. My kitchen will have granite tops but that seems out of the question on an unsupported counter.

Any suggestions or pics would be greatly appreciated.


12 replies so far

View WDHLT15's profile


1786 posts in 2652 days

#1 posted 05-27-2012 12:13 PM

You could use threaded rod and drill a hole in the back of the counter top and slide the counter top onto the threaded rod. That is how I attached my fireplace mantle. The mantle is 4” thick, 12” wide, and 7’ long. Your counter top will not weigh nearly as much if you make it out of wood. The corbels are just glued on and do not function as support.

-- Danny Located in Perry, GA. Forester. Wood-Mizer LT40HD35 Sawmill. Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln.

View jmos's profile


892 posts in 2545 days

#2 posted 05-27-2012 12:20 PM

I would plan on putting a cleat along the entire length of the bar, screwed into the wall studs. You can then place the bar on the cleat and have excellent support on the back. Attachment will depend on the material; wood would be simple.

In the front I would think two legs might work, if you placed them in from the corners, say 1’, leaving a 3’ span in the middle. If you put them at the corners I would go with three legs, as 5’ unsupported span feels too long. This will depend on how rigid the top is, and how heavy. Since it’s a bar, folks will likely be leaning on it, so I’d go for overbuilt.

I’m sure there is a way to do this in granite, maybe build an ~8” deep wooden torsion box, or some type of platform, to support the granite. I’ve got an island with an 8” unsupported overhang (1.25” thick granite) and its very sturdy. This would leave the support largely unseen. Lag the wooden support into the wall and glue the granite to it. Attach the legs to the wooden platform.

Just some thoughts.

-- John

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

5106 posts in 4136 days

#3 posted 05-27-2012 01:35 PM

Use corbels attached to the studs in the wall. Look at Osborne Wood Products for ideas. They are in Toccoa, GA. Google ‘em.
3 corbels in 5’ should be no problem.


View AandCstyle's profile


3170 posts in 2433 days

#4 posted 05-27-2012 01:47 PM

Make a torsion box (very strong and very light). Attach it to the wall with a french cleat screwed into each stud and put your granite on top of the torsion box.

-- Art

View Sawkerf's profile


1730 posts in 3244 days

#5 posted 05-27-2012 02:00 PM

I think that you’ll need some corbels (at least two) for your situation. Mantles are usually fairly narrow and seldom get live loads so corbels can be more decorative than functional. Cantilevered countertops get a lot of support from the part that sits on a cabinet.

Using threaded rods or a cleat for attaching to the wall is good, but you’ll probably have live loads from people leaning on your counter and it will want to pivot at the wall attachment point. Without some help, it will probably sag eventually.

-- Adversity doesn't build reveals it.

View rut's profile


65 posts in 2558 days

#6 posted 05-27-2012 06:47 PM

I’m not familiar with torsion boxes. Doing a google it seems something you would make a shelf or table out of but I’m not clear how that would assist in the mounting to the wall.

The corbels seem logical but I’m not sure how you determine what size you need for a given weight or span. I would really like to go with the granite to match the kitchen but I would be surprised if corbels would support them without having several under it, which would be knee knockers if you try to eat at the bar.

View oluf's profile


260 posts in 3215 days

#7 posted 05-28-2012 03:07 AM

French cleats to attach it to the wall the full lrgnth. Chain or cable from the celing to the outer corners. A center rail two inches high from the bottem 1/3 of the way back from the front edge. You can build columbs to cover the cables /chain if you like that look better.

-- Nils, So. Central MI. Wood is honest.Take the effort to understand what it has to tell you before you try to change it.

View AandCstyle's profile


3170 posts in 2433 days

#8 posted 05-28-2012 07:59 PM

Make the torsion box to the appropriate size and attach the upper portion of the french cleat to the back of the box. The sides and bottom of the box should over hang the cleat to be flush with the wall. Then attach the bottom of the cleat to the wall with lag screws into the studs or threaded rod going all the way through the studs if the back side is accessible and can be refinished. Attach the granite to the top of the box with silicone. You can make a modified french cleat using angle iron if you feel the additional strength is required. HTH clarify the design. :)

-- Art

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2170 posts in 3026 days

#9 posted 05-28-2012 09:35 PM

Some pretty nice brackets here. I’ve used ‘em.



-- " his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

View mark4345's profile


71 posts in 2599 days

#10 posted 05-29-2012 02:33 AM

Corbels are what you should use. Either make them or big box stores carry them, attach then to studs, or even better if you can…open up the wall and put in solid 2×10 blocking to attach to. then you can go from the back side into the corbel. This is what i did in my house. Counter top is 16” wide Quartz attached with silicone.

View rut's profile


65 posts in 2558 days

#11 posted 05-29-2012 11:37 AM

The corbels look good but I would not have a partial wall to rest it on. It will butt up to the vertical wall (like a mantel would). Would the corbels support that also?

View mark4345's profile


71 posts in 2599 days

#12 posted 05-29-2012 08:33 PM

You may need larger corbels but yes they should hold it just fine. Use 3 of them one near each end and one in the middle. The other option which i have done at work for what you are talking about is to use a piece of tube steel like 1 inch by 1 inch shaped like an L (upside down L when installed) which you would screw/lagbolt into the studs inside the wall (you will have to patch the wall when you are done) leaving the short part of the L sticking out to mount your counter to.

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