A breakfast bar countertop overhang is one of the factors that determines a lot about the kitchen space, the countertop workhorse, and its comfort while dining. However, a few factors affect the countertop overhang measurement that determines the width and the length of the countertop overhang should be.
Since an overhang in the present day has been sensitized to be part of the home décor you should therefore consider choosing the best kitchen/breakfast bar with the right countertop overhang to make it versatile, reliable, and flexible in your kitchen.
What Is An Overhang?
This is the extension or the projection of the countertop to provide cover for the cabinets and drawers below, prevent spills, crumbs, and many more from falling off the countertop, and also be used for visual effect or be extended to accommodate bar stools to create a seating area.
What To Consider On Determining Bar Overhang Depth?
The depth of an overhang determines the comfort of your leg while seated on the barstool, but the comfort varies due to the overhang distance available. However, the measurement of the overhang depends on several factors. These include;
The Availability of spaces
Available space will always determine the depth of the kitchen island because the more comfortable and comfortable the kitchen island the longer the overhang. Thus, the shorter the overhang the more uncomfortable it will be for you to sit on the bar stools/chair, it becomes less functional and you will have to pull out the bar when seated for you to get comfortable thereby affecting the space behind the stools which may be used as walkaway path for accessing to other areas in the kitchen.
Therefore, it is recommendable to invest in a large overhang because it is a good choice for a place/kitchen with high traffic since its depth is deeper enough thereby minimizing the legroom; thus, providing more comfort when seated and the stools can be easily tucked away underneath keeping the chair out of the walkaway.
Besides, a deeper overhang also provides a good and wide workplace and an ample dining space.
However, it is worth noting that the longer the overhang the more it becomes weaker because it lacks ample support to prevent it from breaking due to much pressure exerted by the weight pressure from the user.
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Type of material used to make the countertop
As mentioned above that the deeper the overhang the more it becomes unstable when it exceeds the standard depth overhang which is 12-inches.
However, when choosing the kitchen island it is important to consider the type of material used to construct the countertop and its thickness strength because some materials are delicate thus making them weaker the deeper the overhang gets.
Thus, if you settle for a deeper overhang you should consider the countertop material and the thickness strength.
For instance, a countertop made from fragile materials such as granite will be weaker no matter how deeper they are thereby forcing you to provide additional support beneath the countertop to make it stable, but in the end, the support will be restrictive on space and make your dining experience uncomfortable.
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• The height of the Bar
When it comes to designing the overhang, it is a complicated issue that requires a deeper understanding before you come up with a final decision whenever you purchase a kitchen island with seats.
Thus, it is worth noting that the higher the seat the shorter the overhang distance because the longer seat will force the user to sit at almost an upright position like she is in a standing position for comfort which creates a good posture for seating and you will naturally pull your legs back into the seat.
But since your knees are less bent, therefore you will need less space thereby creating, more space for a walkaway in the kitchen. Though this idea does not apply to all stools because there are some bar stools with the gas lift that allows you to adjust to your ergonomic height that is suitable to your desired comfort depending on your height. So it is important to have such knowledge for the best option to help you consider the right bar stool for countertop overhang and the space available.
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• The purpose of the Bar
As mentioned above that the standard overhang depth should be 30 cm or 12 inches which is the best and the most comfortable overhang depth.
Therefore when you intend to purchase the bar for dining, you should consider the countertop with standard size, because it will make the user sit in comfortably without the need of pulling out the stool/chair to create enough knee/legroom, thereby saving on the space and also you need not to compared to the lean/slouch too much forward when dining/eating.
Besides, the deeper countertop overhang is a more inviting one that is smaller. But if the bar is intended for perching then a smaller overhang would be satisfying, because its purpose is straightforward and does not require a lot of comfort zone.
When Does An Overhang Need Reinforcement?
A standard installation rule suggests that 70% of the overall countertop width has to be supported by the base cabinets, knee walls, and many more. However, you should note that different countertop materials have different requirements, thickness, and strength; for instance, the solid countertop can are capable of overhanging up to 6 inches without any additional support, while engineered stone countertops like granite and quartz are delicate.
Like Granite countertop can overhang up to 10 inches and quartz overhangs up to 14 inches without any additional support. Therefore, for any overhang depth beyond, the mentioned inches you will be forced to reinforce the countertop overhang not to break or stabilize it because it has become a fulcrum that cannot withstand the tension weight on the other end.
Lastly, it is vital to note that the total width of any countertop should not exceed 1/3 of the total width of the top without additional support regardless of how robust the material is it will require reinforcement to preserve it.
Meaning the stability of the countertop is only best if is 2/3 cantilevered by its base. When reinforcing the larger overhang you provide the support beneath the countertop which can be in the form of counterbalance plates, brackets, and corbels. If you consider reinforcing the overhang it is good to use the ones that can add an interior décor touch and is not restrictive on space.
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Below are some of the situations that you may consider to reinforce the countertop overhanging, they include;
• Shelf, seat Installation with no base shelves
Base shelves are also another countertop overhangs that are installed depending on their purpose, however, when it comes to overhanging that is used as a seat they will require robust support like the brackets to be used where there is no base to support the stone. Therefore, in conjunction with the front legs securing the wood support on the back walls will also help to support the countertop.
However, whenever you use brackets ensure the wooden studs are solid enough or build additional plywood or wood to support the bracket if the wall is made of metal studs.
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• Hi bar stones supported on top of a stud wall
If your base is not big enough you will need a supporting system to support the overhanging platform, like for instance the raised bar sitting on the knee walls, which are usually 4 5/8″ wide including the dry walls; hence, you will need support brackets, or plated installed before your countertops are installed.
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• Long overhangs supported by base cabinets
A wall cabinet always does not provide ample and sturdy support like the bar stones thereby creating a weak overhang that will require a bracket that will extend over the total width of the cabinet.
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• How much overhang do you have?
This is also another vital factor that you should thoughtfully consider because it determines how robust the overhanging is and it will determine whether you need to reinforce the countertop or not. However, this factor is also attributed to the type of materials used for constructing the countertops.
Therefore the longer the overhang the weak it is, therefore you will need to reinforce it as compared to the less deep overhanging.
How Much Should A Breakfast Bar Countertop Overhang?
The countertop of your breakfast bar should overhang between 8-15 inches, however, the measurement depends on the available space in your kitchen to accommodate the breakfast bar, the type of material used to make the countertop, and the height of the persons who are going to use it.
Thus, it is good to consider an overhang that is comfortably deep for versatility, flexibility, and reliability when using it since the legroom is adequate for individuals sitting at the breakfast bar.
Therefore, when choosing the best breakfast bar you should consider the one that has the standard depth mentioned in the above paragraph to provide a multi-functional bar that will also help in food preparation and also use it as the space to serve food or provide extra seating during parties; thus replacing the dining room table.
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How Much Should A Kitchen Bar Countertop Overhang?
There is a set standard for a kitchen bar countertop overhang but it is not used by some of people and designers due to some factors that limit the consideration like the height of the user, the purpose of the countertop overhang, and many more.
However, there are some measurements that we should always adhere to our benefits. In the kitchen surrounding the standard depth of the worktop should be 24 inches including the overhang measurement, but the most comfortable overhang should be around 12 inches which will leave enough knee room and adequate space between the countertop edge and the person seated. Thus as the depth of the overhang increases so does the comfort and the usability of the bar.
The standard overhang is 1.5 inches, meaning the countertop is 1.5 inches over the edge of the base cabinet which is the standard measurement, but it is not a suitable measurement for all kitchen countertop overhang.
For instance, there are some exceptions whereby you might find that someone needs an ADA-friendly space which will require a standard countertop overhang of 17 inches and a height is 227 inches.
Therefore the counter should be at least 28 inches from the floor and it can even go beyond that height. However you should keep in mind that the bigger the countertop is, the less space it will be around it; thus, wasting the available space in the kitchen. Even if you want a big kitchen bar you should at least have a 42-inch space between the countertop and the cabinet around.
But if you intend to use a kitchen island as part of your dining area, then it is good to ensure that you have enough legroom when sitting behind the island. Therefore in that case you will need more countertop overhang. However, you should note that the higher the stool bar the lesser space you will need for your legroom compared to the shorter stool bar.
If you intend to extend your kitchen bar countertop overhang you will be required to add some sort of support for the countertop. Therefore, hidden countertop bracket support will create a functional overhanging countertop.
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Have you sat on the kitchen/breakfast bar with an overhang that is slightly deeper? You can imagine how hell it was for you dining while trying to fix yourself to fit in the kitchen bar, eating carefully to avoid spillages and things from falling off the counter.
Since this article has provided you with vital information about how essential an overhang is to you and your kitchen, therefore, I hope you will not disappoint yourself when looking for the best kitchen/breakfast bar with the right overhang.
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