bracket supports

Installation Tips – Support Brackets for Butcher Block Overhangs

The majority of butcher blocks we sell are for kitchen islands, many designed with an overhang to allow for seated dining. If butcher block overhangs by 8″ or more on a side of an island or 12″ or more on the end, it must be sufficiently supported. We recommend steel brackets to support these overhangs. We sell a variety of styles, and installation is pretty simple. We will take this opportunity to share with you some key learnings from our installations so as to better prepare you for your butcher block installation.

Learning #1 – Every installation is going to be CUSTOM. There is no such thing as a standard kitchen island. Most islands are very unique in size, shape and construction. It is best to remove your current island top, then take a look at the design and construction before you order support brackets. Islands can include materials like plywood, hardwood, particle board, or a combination of these. The type of wood and its thickness will all dictate where a bracket can go, or what additional wood support you may need to place in order to install your bracket of choice.

base cabinet

Learning #2 – Hidden L Brackets and Flat Brackets are very often the bracket of choice. The Hidden L Brackets work well for a cantilever on a short side of an island where a long bracket may not be applicable. And Flat Brackets are not just for pony walls. If the island has sufficient hard wood support on the top side of the base, flat brackets are an easier install solution. Don’t overlook a Long Bracket. These provide maximum support and strength as they span the island from front to back. They also work well when drawers prevent the use of another bracket style. Long brackets are very easy to install.

support bracket type

Learning #3 – Brackets with an “extra hole” at the tip are specifically suitable for butcher block installation. This hole serves as the critical connection between the butcher block countertop and the brackets. There is no glue used to set a butcher block on a base, so screwing into the base cabinet with expansion holes and using the extra hole in the bracket is what holds the butcher block in place on the island base. Additionally, because wood is not always completely flat like stone is, the additional hole can help to draw the wood down to the bracket. (If you are installing a granite top, it is often placed over a plywood underlayment, in which case this extra hole comes in handy to also anchor the plywood to the bracket.)

extra hole

Learning #4 – An oscillating multifunction power tool is your go-to tool for “notching” the base cabinet. Notching is necessary to allow the bracket to rest flush to the top of the base cabinet. Simply score the wood on the base cabinet first using a utility knife. Then notch out the area using your oscillating power tool.

power tool

Key Learning #5 – Check that brackets are level before final installation. After notching, clamp brackets in place on the island and place a level on the brackets to make sure the countertop will set level. It may require notching more out of the base cabinet, or conversely, placing a small shim under a bracket to get it perfectly level. This will be a big time saver for you, before installing the brackets and setting the countertop.

level brackets

For additional information, read our introductory blog on overhang supports which will help you choose the right support bracket for your application.

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