What Are the Different Types of Countertop Supports?

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  • Written By: B. Turner
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 07 November 2018
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Countertops are a major investment for the average homeowner. To maximize the life of kitchen countertops and ensure they remain safely anchored in place, buyers must take the time to choose the right supports for each countertop section. Some of the most common types of countertop supports include base cabinets and standard metal brackets. Other types of supports range from corbels to island legs, which may be decorative or basic in design. Different types of countertop supports should be carefully matched to the weight and material used to build the countertop, as well as the overall style and aesthetics of the kitchen.

Base cabinets are the most common type of countertop supports. In this type of installation, the countertop is simply placed directly on top of the base cabinets, then screwed or nailed in place. If the countertop doesn't overhang the edges of the cabinets, there is no need for additional supports. In applications where the countertop extends well past the edge of the cabinets, such as with a breakfast bar, additional support brackets may be needed to adequately support the weight.


Corbels serve as a highly decorative type of countertop support. They consist of a stone, wooden, or metal bracket that fits within the space where the countertop and base cabinets meet. Corbels can also be installed at the joint between a countertop and a wall if no base cabinets are present. Classic corbels are quite intricate, with swirling patterns of flowers, vines or other shapes. Modern units are also available, and may be much more plain to match the decor of modern kitchen.

Island legs can be used as countertop supports in a number of applications. They may be placed at one end of a countertop or breakfast bar, while the other end is supported by base cabinets or a wall-mounted bracket. These countertop supports resemble table legs, and come in a wide variety of designs and finishes. They can be constructed from wood, metal, or composite materials, and are often designed to complement the look of the countertop and surrounding finishes.

Metal brackets are the most utilitarian of all countertop support options. They may consist of simple steel structures formed into a 90-degree angle, and installed at the intersection of the countertop and the base cabinets. For a cleaner look, installers may use a T-shaped bracket, which can be hidden inside the cabinet walls and along the underside of the countertop.


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