Floating Kitchen Countertop (Support Brackets & Ideas)

Kitchen design has evolved, and along with modern changes, there’s a new trend in countertop support that makes your counters appear as if they’re floating.

Spacious kitchen with floating stone countertop, center island, wood cabinets, and hanging lights

These stylish suspended counters are popular in kitchens and bathrooms because they appear to float without support, so how do they do it? [toc]

What Is A Floating Counter?

Minimalist kitchen, suspended countertop, washing machine, and indoor plant

A floating countertop uses brackets to give the appearance that the surface is floating in the air. Floating kitchen countertops can be installed in two different places. It could either be up against walls, or it could be put on top of an island. 

When installing a countertop where it will back up to a wall, it’s best to fix the brackets by attaching horizontal wall cleats to wall studs for countertop support. If wall studs aren’t available, use drywall anchors. For a floating island countertop, they’ll have to be secured to the cabinetry.

Understanding the type of material for your suspended kitchen countertop and the best way to install and secure it is particularly important. The addition of a sink and faucet will add weight to the structure. Choosing the best-floating kitchen countertop and brackets to maximize accessibility and strength will contribute to its durability and long-term use.

How Do You Support A Floating Countertop?

Modern design with wood wall, flooring, chairs, and floating waterfall counter

Nowadays, there is a convenient way to mount a countertop to appear as if it is floating, as you are not supporting it with base cabinets or legs. Hidden countertop support brackets are the new trend in kitchen design. These brackets are mounted before the counter is installed. 

Once the countertop is placed, these steel support products are virtually invisible. These brackets are reliable and are intended for heavy applications. Incorporating these brackets as support will provide legroom beneath the counter. 

The brackets come with screws or anchors to attach to the wall. It is always advisable to screw the supports into the wall studs, combined with adhesive on the attaching edge for better adhesion. If you cannot find a stud in one area then use a wall anchor.

Floating Counter Brackets

Kitchen with island, hanging lights, wood plank floor, floating counter, and white cabinets

There are many hidden countertop support brackets to choose from, with a perfect ninety-degree angle, and are available in a variety of lengths. These brackets range from seven to twenty-four inches and should be installed every 24 inches, maximum.

One popular support is the hidden T-bracket. It is the type of bracket that uses the weight of the counter material to support your countertops. This bracket is installed across the top of the cabinet, half of the bracket lies inside of the cabinet, and the other half is exposed under the overhang.

The vertical angle drops down inside the back of the cabinets, it holds the T- bracket in place until the countertop is put in place. This will give the countertops the appearance of floating once installed.

Wall mount brackets are ideal for concealed mounting for solid and heavy materials such as granite, quartz, and glass kitchen countertops directly on the wall. It offers a concealed support bracket and creates the look of a suspended surface while increasing its functional carrying capacity.

Knee Wall or Pony Wall Brackets are concealed overhang brackets for counter support that are mounted on top of half walls to support extended overhangs. Other types of heavy duty wall stud mount shelf brackets can be used in order to hang floating kitchen cabinets and open shelves.

How Far Can A Countertop Overhang Without Support?

The overhang is the part of the countertop that extends beyond the body of the cabinets below. It is simply designed for a floating visual effect, or it can be extended to accommodate bar stools and create a seating area.

The standard countertop overhang is one- and one-half inches over the front edge of the base cabinet while the standard overhang for kitchen island counters is 12 inches. Read more about kitchen island size guidelines here.

A raised bar should be between 42 to 48 inches high with a standard overhang of 12 inches. This will provide enough space to accommodate bar stools and adequate legroom for seating.

As a standard installation rule, 70% of the overall countertop width must be supported. The recommended offset for an overhang without support is 34 inches from the top edge. However, different materials have different requirements.

Solid surface countertop material can have a 6 inches overhang without additional support, a 3 cm engineered quartz stone can have an overhang of 14 inches while a 3 cm granite should not exceed a 10 inches overhang without additional support.

It is important to consider the standard dimensions of counters and keep in mind that they are a vital part of establishing an effective kitchen design. Also, think about how appliances such as a refrigerator, dishwasher, or microwave may open and potentially hit the leading counter edge.

Floating Kitchen Countertop Ideas

Kitchen with cabinets that are floating, countertops, black backsplash, and wood look tile floor

Here are some showstopping floating kitchen countertop ideas. They only offer stylish designs and enhanced functionality. They also create an interesting optical illusion of more space. Typically, if a countertop has a thickness of one and a quarter inches, it can hang eight to 10 inches over.

Knee wall counter: Known also as half wall countertop or pony wall, it can be installed and extended above a base cabinet to create a counter used for eating or serving.

The counter is placed on top of the knee wall and extends one to 2 inches on one side. It can be extended past the edges of the top of the knee wall to appear like suspended design to create a breakfast bar or be a stand-alone knee wall.

Floating bar countertop: A suspended bar will be a wonderful addition to your kitchen because of its decorative style and extra function you can enjoy. 

This application is a decorative-style surface elevated above a base counter supported entirely by brackets that mount to the face of the support structure. The brackets used in the application are larger and require excellent stability.

A floating countertop at a different level than the primary countertops can elevate the value of your home and add a unique character to your kitchen. 

Kitchen with overhang countertop, paneled island, cabinets, and brown glass backsplash

Floating kitchen island countertop: These are island counters that seem to float without support and provide a feeling of openness and lightness. Most floating kitchen island counters extend from a freestanding solid base such as a column or an open base cabinet appearing to float & support themselves.

Generally, a countertop will use two or three corbels mounted to the island panels to add support to the overhang material.

Floating kitchen island table: Besides a floating kitchen island countertop, you can also try a suspended kitchen island table, especially if you have a cramped space in the area. This kitchen island table will offer an open and light ambiance to the room.

You can choose a portable freestanding kitchen island with an open base and shelves underneath it or a monolith for a more contemporary look to your kitchen. 

Inset base kitchen island: This is built like an ordinary kitchen island, but the baseboard is inset so that it is not visible from a person’s view resulting in a floating effect on the kitchen island.

Monolith: These are contemporary designs, wherein solid concrete rebars are used for support that is formed to create a suspended counter that is durable.

Wall mounted: This is another application where the full weight of the counter is supported entirely on the brackets while the back edge of the counter is butted up against the wall.

The brackets in a wall-hung application must be nailed directly to the wood studs or a supporting structure in the wall. For a wall mount counter application, it is best to use gusseted brackets.

Floating Granite Countertop

Kitchen with rounded countertop island, white cabinets, and ceiling lights

Granite countertops have the most durable natural properties and make excellent options since they can withstand extreme temperatures, chips, and cracks. This variety can be paired with wooden cabinets in rich colors such as cherry, walnut, and oak, and would also look elegant when incorporated with white, gray, or black cabinets.

When installing granite countertops, they cannot be drilled, bolted, or screwed on. If you want to install granite that has the illusion of a floating surface, it must be glued onto large 1/4-inch steel brackets using adhesive.

These brackets have a large, flat surface that supports the granite while cantilevering it over the edge of the counter. The brackets for granite are spaced 18 – 24 inches apart and are set 4 to 6 inches away from each side.

Floating Butcher Block Counter

Kitchen with modern wood counter, cabinet, backsplash, dining area, and window

Butcher block countertops offer a natural color with a grain of wood that adds warmth to your kitchen. Butcher blocks are usually made with thick wood strips using a staggered, random pattern and combined with modern manufacturing methods.

The most common is maple due to its hardness and durability and it is more resistant to humidity. By using a butcher block oil and finish, it protects the wood from stains and spills.

A floating butcher block counter can be used whether you are covering a small kitchen island or creating a bar counter with stools below it for seating.

A butcher block overhang can go up to twelve inches past the cabinetry it sits on while on the sides where seating is not required, the overhang should extend between an inch to an inch and a half out from the cabinetry. 

Floating Glass Countertop

Kitchen with countertop, dark floors, black cabinets, and windows

Installing a floating glass countertop in your kitchen can offer a unique focal point in your kitchen. Using glass materials is an innovative way to create a stylish counter design. Glass is among the most versatile materials when it comes to design options due to the versatility that glass has. 

Thinner glass may require installing an underlay such as plywood. But since glass counters are usually thick, you can directly install them. The amount of glass overhang will depend on various other measurements, such as the aisle clearance and the cabinetry.

Floating glass counters are stabilized by a metal bracket that supports the see-through surface and offers an eye-catching glass surface that enhances an airy, spacious feel of the kitchen, and is coupled with a suspended design. 

One concept for a floating glass high bar over a kitchen island aims to be creative in maximizing the utility, beauty, and safety of the raised bar design. It incorporates a minimal overhang that is lined up with the rest of the kitchen countertop and upper cabinet lines.

Read more related information in our guide on Glassos countertops here.

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