1. Draw a level line to indicate the underside of your countertop.
2. Under this line, install a cleat. A cleat is a strip of material which the countertop will be attached to and will provide support. HandyMan used a scrap 3/4" piece of plywood cut into 2" strips to create the cleats. He affixed the cleats with construction adhesive and screwed the cleats into the studs.
You'll notice that the cleat is mitred at the end and is set back from the face of the countertop. By doing this, the cleat won't be visible once the countertop is installed. You could even paint the cleat your wall colour to make it less visible.
3. If your countertop spans a wide area, you'll also need to install a gable to support the countertop in the middle and prevent it from sagging. Here's the one we created out of plywood. The short vertical pieces will screw into the cleat at the top and a spacer piece at the bottom. The long horizontal piece will be screwed into the underside of the countertop. Again, you'll want to make your gable less deep than your counter so it isn't visible.
4. Optional: If you have a prefabricated countertop, you can skip this step. If you are building your own countertop, say out of plywood, MDF, or an old door, here is an example of how you can structure it. This countertop is built out of a sheet of 3/4" plywood with additional 3/4"strips around the perimeter and middle.
5. Affix the countertop to the cleats and gable. You can use a combination of L-brackets and screws.
And here's our plywood countertops installed!
Not exactly the look you thought we'd go with, right? Well, you're right because the plywood is actually the substrate for our countertop and we clad it with...
... stainless steel! The more we thought about it, the more stainless steel countertops made sense. They are resistant to water and heat damage, hygenic, and would create a nice integrated look with the stainless steel sink. Plus, they are reflective and nicely bounce the light around this windowless laundry room.
Stainless steel can be expensive but we called around and found a local fabricator with an amazing price and very quick turnaround. We've already done tons of loads of laundry and I have to say it feels great to fold clothes on these sleek countertops. This is quickly becoming one of our favourite rooms in the house :)
There's more to come in this room, hence the missing paint in the corners. But we'll leave those surprises for another post.