< Back to All Videos
December 22, 2016

Types of Overhangs

Today we’re talking about what you want to do when you have a high bar, a peninsula, or an island, and you want to have some overhang to sit down at. The most common, obviously, is the high bar.

A high bar is a ledge, usually built out of wood and sheetrock, that sits higher than your countertops, usually about 6” taller than the actual countertop.

People put bar seats there, or it’s used as a shelf to kind of pass things maybe to the breakfast nook, or if it’s adjacent to your living room you can interact with the folks that you have hanging out.

So, when you want to keep a high bar as just a shelf, and usually how it starts when you have formica is about 12” wide, right? The 12” wide total usually amounts to 3-4, 5” of overhang past the wall. That doesn’t leave you with enough knee space, but it’s enough space to pass a drink, to lean on it, to put down a glass or put down a plate. But it’s not that comfortable to actually eat at and pull up a chair or a barstool to.

Most people these days increase from 12” and they jump up to 15”. And 15” is a really good proportion. We can put a glass on a table. You can still have a plate. You also have enough knee space to sit at. Maybe anywhere from 6 to 8” of knee space. But because of that knee space that you need, it also creates overhang.

An overhang is like a teeter-totter, and granite’s really heavy. And when people don’t support it at 15″, like many companies don’t, you could potentially lean on it and It can actually fall off, fall on your foot, and do some serious damage.

So if it’s at 15″, we’re going to definitely put some metal flat bars to support it underneath the granite to carry the weight in case anyone pulls on it or even just leans on it at the wrong angle. When we do the flat bars, we may have to interrupt that trim piece underneath the countertop.

We’re not carpenters, so we wouldn’t come back and replace it if we need to. Half the time that trim piece that goes underneath your high bar, that currently is there right now, it has to come off to give us access to saw that flat bar appropriately for it to do it’s job and provide safety for your family.

Now for people who really want to go all in, and they want really just a ton of space and 15″ isn’t enough, those people can kick it up to 18″. Now 18″ is still the same concept as the 15″ countertop. You have a ton of more knee space, maybe up to 12″ at that point, but we do have to saw a super heavy-duty flat bar to carry that weight. It’s no issue, it’s just a little bit more expensive. It’s a little thicker steel to carry that extra overhang but still 100% safe as the 15″.

Now, let’s go real quick, the peninsula island. You have an island or peninsula, it means the countertops all on one level. It just extends past the cabinet and the wall. Now at this point you have so much leverage, it’s not as much of a teeter-totter because you have a whole countertop for it to sit on before it goes into the overhang. So at that point, you can go from an 8″ to 12″ without needing any bracing whatsoever. And most people land somewhere between 10″ and 12″, which is plenty of space for your knees.

So, if anyone wants to go more than that, you have to install furniture legs, which can be costly. Sometimes people don’t like how they look. I personally think 12″ is enough, but there’s always a way to make it more if you want to make it a table top extension with furniture legs. Just more expensive to you guys.


  • 12″, no flat bars needed at all, minimal overhang, not really that awesome for knee space.
  • 15″, pretty good proportion, not oversized, has flat bars.
  • 18″, super big, maybe too big for two people, maybe intrudes too much into your space, into your walkway, but it’s really, really good for knee space, and you have the heaviest-duty of flat bars.

That pretty much sums it up. You all can think about these things. When we come meet you, we can take out the tape measure, we can and show you what 8″, what 12″, what 15″ looks like and let you decide for yourself. So guys, we’ll see at our appointments and thanks for watching.

Ready For Your Next Project?

Get Started Today with Your Quartz & Granite Experts