Please help - Countertop overhang disaster!

August 27, 2008

What is the standard overhang on the front of countertops? My guys installed

1 1/4 on one side (per KD's design, flush with fridge panel), and a full 1 3/4 on the other sideof my kitchen.they are right across from each other (it is a galley kitchen) and it looks awful! they are saying that is what i wanted, and they won't change anything. Silestone - forget it!



Comments (25)

  • lacuisine

    more details: the 1 3/4 side already has the sink / plumbing attached, so it would be better for me if they made a new, deeper piece on the other side, rather than ripping out the sink side and making it less deep.

  • sw_in_austin

    I think our overhang is 1 inch. I remember thinking that wouldn't be enough to cover the drawer/door faces but our contractor said it would be and he was right. Our kitchen is sort of contemporary/transitional so we wanted a clean look and we got it.

  • Fori

    Standard be dam*ed--the only standard that is important is the one (1) in the kitchen. Just one. You shouldn't be expected to accept mismatched counters unless you did the templating.

  • alexrander

    Would the extra 1/2 inch overhang affect the way the fridge door opens?

  • lacuisine

    No, we checked that. Fridge opening is fine.
    THe installers seem to think that, because i didnt SPECIFY that they match, that the difference in overhang is totally within acceptability. (Is "acceptability" even a word?). Oh, i am sorry, i didnt get a degree in kitchen design, so i didnt think of "specifying!" It really looks awful. My husband is willing to pay extra for them to get it right, but i feel like they should take some pride in their work and get it right at THEIR cost.
    ps i think i now know more than most KD's, even without the degree in kitchen design!

  • casey_wa

    When our granite was installed we had a 1/2 inch difference...and had the installers remove the glued in large slab and remove it. It was corrected by moving the cut in deeper where the slab attached perpendicular to the rest of the countertops... in a "L". The part removed was the peninsula. By fixing the cut the overhang was not the same on both sides of the peninsula.

    What I am trying to say is that it sounds like you agreed on a "uniformed" overhang all around and that is what you should hold them too. I say make them correct the mistake they made...and mistakes do happen.


    " McDonagh"

  • kidshop

    There is no question that all cabinet overhangs should match as a rule. I believe standard is 1 1/2 inches, but that depends on cabinet style too. Ask them how they arrived at which side was 1 1/4 and which was 1 3/4....what was the reasoning? OH, I see they said that is what *you* wanted? (yeah...right!) Have them show you were that is written.

    I had my island overhang at 1 inch on the sides b/c of clearance worries, but I had to specifically request that. Before my installers left we measured all the overhangs together to be sure they were all the same at the front and at the sides.

  • lacuisine

    yes, i wanted the fridge side 1 1/4 because that way it is flush with the fridge panel, and everything matches up. but i never said that that means they can cut the other side longer. i dont know why they didnt make the other side to match. they claim that i asked for the fridge side to be that size, so i have to deal with the fact that the other side doesnt match. the problem is that they installed the sink side a week before the fridge side, and i didnt think to measure the overhang on the sink side! UCH. So should they pay for the new slab on the fridge side?

  • kidshop

    It seems obvious to me and I am sure most people, that requesting the fridge side to be a certain size meant the whole kitchen should be the same, especially in a galley! They should have caught it at some point and clarified. I think they are responsible. You don't do countertops every day for your job and they do...they have the knowledge and experience as the professionals. They know different overhangs would not look right! Good luck!

  • annettacm

    When my kitchen counters were done, I had a strange template:

    The cabinet in the front of the island was too long, and the cabinet installers (not the cab maker) decided to cut the side of the cabinet to make it fit. When the countertop people templated, the head guy called me later to say "did you realize that where that angle comes out, the two sides aren't even? It's noticeable on the template." It hadn't occured to me that cutting off one side of the cabinet would throw off the symmetry of that part of the island, though it should have occurred to me AND the pro cabinet installers. But the counter guy didn't just assume that because that's what was there that that was what it should be. I ended up getting a filler piece on the dropped down section to even it out and keep the symmetry. Had they not mentioned it, I wouldn't have realized until the counter was all done. They saved me a lot of headaches.

    My point is that each person should do their job correctly, and if they thought you WANTED two different overhangs, that would have been abnormal, and they should have asked, double-checked, called you first just to make sure. That's their job.

    BTW, these counter guys also pointed out that my two slabs were not exactly the same color, and even though the variance might have been "acceptable", they said they would contact Cambria and fix that. They did, Cambria did, and my slabs were replaced with matching pieces.

    Your guys need to step up. Or at least work with you to come to a compromise. If the overhang situation is not specific and in writing, they failed to provide the service you contracted them for. They were the experts.

  • mindstorm

    LC, you say this is in a galley kitchen. So the two overhangs are not next to but rather are across from each other. Can you even tell the two different overhangs from each other? I can't imagine that you can tell a 1/2" difference particularly easily!

    As an aside, is this 1.25, 1.75" the overhang over the front of the cabinet face or over the doors? I have a 1 3/8" overhang over one side of my kitchen because I wanted the counter to line up with the doorway entrance and not cut into it. Because I have frameless cabs, that means that the overhang over the 3/4" thick cabinet doors is 5/8". The opposite overhang is the "normal" 1.75" which means a 1" overhang over my 3/4" thick doors. I have to say that even I can't easily detect that difference although I know just where to look should I want to.

    Furthermore, I prefer the 1 3/4" overhang because when liquids spill, they tend to be less likely to spill on the doors. The 1 1/4" side is the bane of my existence because spills absolutely and always go all over the doors. That side is a nuisance ... so much so that I wish I'd just settled for moving the doorway 1/2" instead of reducing the cabinet overhang.

    Anyhow, I'd commiserate with you but I'm having a tough time understanding how you can detect a 1/2" difference in overhang across two non-contiguous counter faces. And also to let you know that you may just be trading issues to go for the smaller overhang on the side that doesn't need it.

  • lacuisine

    Mindstorm - Thanks for writing. i am not just asking for commiserating but for differing viewpoints so your comments are truly welcome and appreciated.

    Yes, i can tell, if i couldnt tell we wouldnt even be having this debate. On one side, the overhang just covers the doorfronts. (1.25 from the box). Directly across, the overhang is so much more , so obvious, and is also creating a much longer shadow on the door fronts which makes things worse. Because the deeper overhang is on the sink side (sink and plumbing attached) and therefore more difficult to dismantle, i am actually hoping that they will redo the other side,and make a deeper piece to match. Obviously this entails cutting a new slab, a cost that someone will have to absorb. And it will not be flush with the fridge panel as originally preferred, but i determined with the installers that if they make a radius against the panel, it will look intentional, and not sloppily mismatched.

  • pharaoh

    I dont know standard but ours are 0 overhang! The front edge of the counter is flush with doors and drawers.

    It was a design feature we had to have and worked very hard to make it happen : )

  • kompy

    I don't think they should have to redo the refrigerator side. Why can't they remove the other side and cut it to work? Seems to me like it would save them the cost of a new slab. I had a client with Caesarstone. The top subs set her tops (4 in all) and one of them was deeper. Luckily, it was only about a 50" top. But I asked the subs to make my customers happy...and they did it. I think your top guys should too. Was it a particularly difficult top to get installed?

    BTW, Overhang differences are much more noticeable on frameless and full overlay cabinet. Not as much on standard overlay, lipped and inset styles.

    And a pet peeve of mine is when my top fabricators assume a 1.5" overhang on INSET cabinets! Luckily, they also send me faxed copies of the template and the customer sign off sheets on color, appliances....etc. I look it over and sign it as well.


  • lacuisine

    kompy, the other side has a sink and plumbing attached to it. is it still removable? what do i do about the plumbing? and will it ruin my cabinets if they take it off?

  • vrjames

    Your installers are flat wrong. As someone said earlier they need to step up.

    Is there any money still on the table you can hold back.

    They need to fix this, I would not stop squeaking until they do.


  • iamnodiy

    If you only replace one side, do you run the risk of color variation? That might look worse.

  • bayareafrancy

    I'm sorry you are having so many counter woes! (I've had them too, and it stinks!)

    It seems like since you specified the fridge side, then even though the fridge side is easier to redo, they might only have some obligation to match the sink side.

    Do you want to post a picture so that we can tell you it isn't all that bad? *smile*


  • raehelen


    I'm not clear on the timing.

    Did you ask them to make the fridge side 1 1/4" AFTER they had already installed the sink side?

    Even though someone should have mentioned to/reminded you that the sink side was different, if you specifically asked after, then really, you have no legitimate gripe.

    However, if the overhang was mentioned when the counters were first templated/ordered, it comes down to shared responsibility. I hate that we as homeowners doing a kitchen maybe once or twice in our lifetimes, have to become experts in so many areas. I would be tempted to have a friend phone the company and ask for a quote over the phone, and also happen to inquire as to what standard overhang is. I think 1 3/4" seems excessive as the standard.

    Do we have a granite questionnaire/list in the FAQ's? Guess there needs to be mention of the overhang if it's not there already. Golly, detail # 1035 that the homeowner has to be aware of!!!

  • lacuisine

    they brought in the fridge side first, and i saw that it wasnt flush with the fridge panel AND it had a chip AND it had a square corner , so they brought it back to the truck.
    Then they immediately brought in the sink side, put it down and since i didnt see any chipping, i had them install it. I didnt measure the overhang! i assumed it would be "standard" - whatever measurement calculated by my KD for the fridge panel. (she has since told me that she based it on the "standard" overhang of 1 1/4.) HAD i known to check, believe me, i would have, but i just didnt think about it. the fridge slab was back in the truck and i just honestly didnt imagine it would be different.
    Now the sink slab is installed. With my sink, water dispenser, faucet , garbage disposal and dishwasher. How much of a problem will it be to pull it out? So far i have not heard from them today. I am letting my KD talk to them. These installers do work for all the quartz companies, you'd think they would want to keep their reputation intact.
    it has been FIVE WEEKS since templating!

  • iris16

    Just a comment on my experience today. It may be totally different from your situation.
    My granite counter was just installed this morning. I think it looks fabulous. When I measured the overhangs all around the U shape they vary from 1.25" -1.75". When I measure the depth of the counter it is consistent all the way around. The templater told me in advance, after templating that my cabinets actually vary and so my over hang would also vary. Honestly it is not noticable to the eye from any angle.

  • edlakin

    i think it looks fine.

  • aliris19

    This is an old thread and I don't know if any of the personage are still with us. I've been looking around for some notion of what is a "standard" countertop overhang and came up with this.

    I just wanted to say if lacuisine is still here, that I *love* the looks of your cabinets! Absolutely love them. The countertop, well -- I'm sure you've made some peace one way or another. FWIW I can see the difference, but whether it matters functionally, you hopefully worked out. But overall, I think your kitchen is stunning. YMMV of course!

  • PRO
    Ripples and Pleats

    I'm a designer and doing my galley kitchen with different overhangs.

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