Standard Overhang for a Kitchen Countertop

The Standard Overhang of a Kitchen Countertop
The Standard Overhang of a Kitchen Countertop


The Standard Overhang of a Kitchen Countertop

With so many designs out there today, the Countertop market is hustling to invent new trends for us to incorporate. Look at the past years, and you will see my point. The surge of Quartz countertops, Copper styling for bathroom, and White Quartz are just a few of the trends that formed what we see today.

While the market is getting more and more creative, there are a few rules that we must go by. Some are more technical, and others are just trends meant to be broken.

How big should a counter overhang be?
How big should a counter overhang be?

Standard Overhang For your Countertop

One of the Iron Rules revolves around the countertop Overhang. While we can look at these from a few different angles, there is always a standard we must follow to get the best results.

Without an overhang, your kitchen counters wouldn’t be as functional. An overhang provides a refreshing new look and adds a special touch to your overall design. On a basic countertop, the typical Overhang extends between 1-1.5 inches from the cabinet bases, not the doors. This extension helps avoid spills and crumbs to find their way into your drawers and cupboards. It also depends on what can of surface you have which depends on your material.

How much should a counter seat overhang?

Countertop seating in a kitchen is one of the many social ways to interact with people as you cook. Matching your clearance of the seating to the height of the countertop helps ensure that other people who use this space won’t bump their knees on the countertop, accidentally hit each other or rub elbows as they eat.

So what is the necessary clearance for this? Most countertops are 36 inches high and will accommodate bar stools, or chairs that are slightly higher than dining chairs. In order to assure it will comfortable for your guests, you want to make sure there is a 15-inch difference from their knees to the countertop. Stools for raised 42-inch countertops are usually between 28 and 30 inches tall, giving a comfortable 12 to 14 inches of knee room.

The recommended countertop overhang varies with the counter height. Experts suggest that 15-18 inches are the ideal for the lower counter, and for raised counters, the number holds at 12 inches. Most importantly is the clearance for furniture close to the countertop as you should allow at least 32 inches from the edge of the countertop to anything behind the seating area.

An Overhang on a Quartz Countertop

Another rule of thumb to follow is the 70 percent installation rule. 70% of the overall countertop width has to be supported by base cabinets, knee walls, corbels. Different materials have of course different requirements. Solid surfaces can overhang 6 inches with any further support. For the example of a Quartz surface, 3 cm Quartz can handle a 14-inch Overhang. For Granite, you don’t want to exceed a 10-inch Overhang.

The Standard Overhang of a Kitchen Countertop
The Standard Overhang of a Kitchen Countertop

Kitchen Island DON’TS

As we explained, earlier there are a few rules you must follow. Here are a few Don’ts for kitchen islands.

● Island’s Purpose: An island can fill any of the five functions: storage, prep, cooking, serving, and washing up. Because it has so many functions, you want to decide on your Island’s purpose before starting your design, since this will have an effect on your width and depth of your Island.

● Too Big of an Island: Even if you have a big-sized kitchen, but your Island is too large your kitchen will feel cramped. Another rule for you to follow is to leave at least 42-48 inches of open space.

● Workflow: The workflow is considered the area between your sink, stove, and fridge. You want to strategically place the Island that won’t obstruct your workflow. The path needs to be kept free in order to work efficiently and comfortably.

● Making an Island too Small: An Island should be at least 2 feet long, ideally, it should even be 3 feet long. In terms of depth, usually, islands are 4 feet deep to accommodate 2 sets of 24” deep cabinets back to back.

● Forgetting the Creative side: While having an Island in your kitchen has to follow a set of rules, don’t forget to be creative and enjoy the process. Style up your Island and chose the best material for your counter. Have fun with a contrasting countertop or cabinet color. Try different seat colors, as you know this can be easily replaced.

Follow the Rules

The Iron-Clad rules in this article are a must if you want to get the best results produced. Of course, you can play around with the numbers, but ideally, it will be better not doing so. Even with so many Overhang Rules, don’t forget to have fun when purchasing your Island.  What kind of Island do you have in mind?