How to Install Bracing for a Countertop Bar Area


Today’s custom kitchens usually include a high top or bar countertop for additional seating. The high top often installs on a knee wall separating the kitchen from the dining area. Because the bar countertop is usually much wider than the knee wall it requires additional bracing to help support its weight. A simple solution is to install decorative corbels underneath the countertop. Available in different styles and materials, the corbels mount to the knee wall using wood screws or anchors.

Things You'll Need

  • Stud finder
  • Pencil
  • Tape measure
  • Small level
  • Wood screws
  • Screw gun
  • Silicone adhesive
  • Locate and mark the studs inside of the knee wall with a stud finder and a pencil. Mounting the corbels directly to a stud allows it to support the most weight.

  • Measure the distance between the studs with a tape measure to determine the desired spacing. It is not necessary to mount a corbel on each stud. Three corbels, spaced evenly apart should support a countertop of up to 8-feet. It is important to note that larger countertops and those made of heavier material such as granite might require additional corbels.

  • Place a corbel in one of the selected locations over a stud and slide it up until it is flush with the bottom of the countertop. If necessary, use a small level to straighten the corbel before installing.

  • Install wood screws of sufficient length through the pre-drilled holes in the corbel using a screw gun to secure the corbel to the wall stud. Repeat this step for the remaining corbels.

  • Caulk around the edges at the top of the corbel where it meets the bottom of the countertop with silicone adhesive for additional support.

Tips & Warnings

  • Caulk around the corbel where it meets the wall for a finished look.
  • Some types of corbels are strictly decorative. Purchase corbels designed for support.

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