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How To Support A Countertop

by - Monday, August 06, 2012

Did you have a good weekend? We escaped to the cottage again, but not before we managed to get the countertops installed in the laundry room. We debated a few different options - laminate, Corian, natural stone - and before I show you what we went with, I thought I'd share the steps we took to support the countertop. If you are installing your own countertops, no matter what your material is, the supporting structure will pretty much be the same.

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.

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  1. Carol Ann Sandell12:48 PM

    Great choice on the countertop.  I love everything about this room and am so jealous!

  2. Ben@Lea Furniture1:01 PM

    Looks fantastic!
    Love the post! Good

  3. lipstikevents1:03 PM

    Oh my, your laundry room is looking amazing! I love the counter top.

  4. OurWiredLives1:04 PM

    lovely choice!

  5. Cassie {Hi Sugarplum}1:04 PM

    Oh wow -- I love that! This room is going to be fabulous!! thanks for the great tutorial!

  6. Katrina Sullivan1:04 PM

    nice! The counter tops look so sleek :)

  7. Wow, the basement is looking really good. I think you chose a great stainless steel countertop. It makes the basement look even bright when we really like. Can't wait to see more !

  8. Love the stainless steel. They look great with your appliances and the sink. It's exciting to see everything coming together!

  9. Oh my! This looks AMAZING Jennifer. Seriously, I had to do a double take because it looked like a Sarah Richardson and Tommy Smythe room...gorgeous. xo

  10. barbara@hodge:podge1:05 PM

    I love the stainless steel, you are right, perfect for a windowless space!

  11. Michelle1:05 PM

    Looks fantastic!

  12. Grace @ sense and simplicity1:05 PM

    I love the stainless steel counters.  It's funny, but I was just thinking the other day how much I like them and that I would consider them for my next kitchen if I could find them for the right price.  They look great in your laundry room.

  13. jbhat1:05 PM

    Much ooh-ing and ah-ing has ensued here.  Brilliant choice--both stunning and practical.  You guys made the installation process look so easy too. 


  14. Simonereis1:05 PM

    It looks just W.O.N.D.E.R.F.U.L! Way to go!

  15. Love the countertop!! 

  16. Keira @ The Bennett House1:05 PM

    The stainless counters are amazing! Great choice and a really interesting how-to. -- thanks!

  17. Heather1:05 PM

    Maybe I would like to do laundry if I had a room like that! Can't wait to see more!

  18. What a great lesson!! I will have to do the same when I'm ready to tackle a similar project.  Jen your laundry room is looking fantastic! I can't wait to see it all completed!

  19. I love stainless steel countertops so much - it looks fantastic!

  20. I love love LOVE the counter! Thanks for the great inspiration!


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