What is the Maximum Cantilever Overhang of a Natural Stone over the side of a Cabinet?


We are putting a piece of quartzite on our island which is 102” x 44”. Because the doors are 3/8” from top of cabinets, we would like to not have brackets. Can we support a 15” overhang? If not, what is the maximum? Any input is much appreciated. Thank you.


ANSWER - Industry standards state that for 3/4" (2 cm) thick stone you can cantilever the support 6" and for 1.25" ( 3 cm) stone you can cantilever 10".  But in no case can you cantilevered a portion of the stone that represents more than 1/3 of the width of the countertop.

It is always a good idea to support the cantilevered stone with corbelled supports.

4 thoughts on “What is the Maximum Cantilever Overhang of a Natural Stone over the side of a Cabinet?

  1. Carol M says:

    We have a similar installation question but on soapstone. We have a soapstone island counter top that will have a cantilever eating bar on top of the primary island. The eating bar will be 17” of cantilever with 8” on top of the primary counter top (25” total bar width). So, I believe we meet the 1/3 rule. My question is on the how-to install details and worried about stress on the primary island counter. The fabricator has black metal (iron?) brackets on the underneath side of stone (attached to a hidden piece of black quartz) that will bolt through the primary soapstone slab with a washer. As well, I’m assuming adhesive will be also applied in the 8” overlap area to the primary counter.
    Does this application meet standards and/or seem robust for soapstone?

    • Donato Pompo says:

      You have an unusual configuration countertop with the overlapping cantilever slabs. With the overlapping slabs the cantilever bottom slab is being subjected to a lot of weight not to mention what else it will be subjected to with plates of food on top and possibly someone who might attempt to stand on it to change a light or whatever.

      So the concern is what is the flexural strength of the soapstone and will it be adequate for all of the weight and stress it will be subjected to. Industry standards doesn’t cover this configuration and condition. The 1/3 rule of thumb is based on a single slab of stone. Soapstone is one of the weakest natural stones in terms of its physical properties, but is very chemical resistant.

      You need a natural stone structural engineer to do the calculation’s based on the physical properties of the soapstone you have and the configuration of the countertop and the potential loads it will be subjected to.

  2. Carol says:

    Thank you for the feedback. I have 2 more questions:
    1) how would I find a natural stone structural engineer in my area ( Minneapolis MN)
    2) I’m assuming a safe bet would be to do support corbels underneath the cantilever overhang that attach to the cabinet instead of the primary Island slab ?

    • Donato Pompo says:

      Yes you definitely need to add some corbels to support the cantilever stone countertop.

      I have heard of others who have used Larson Engineering out of White Bear Lake, MN, but I have never worked with them.

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