Kitchen overhang disaster in new house - 8.6 in - how can I use seats?

User Guser
July 11, 2019
last modified: July 11, 2019

I have purchased a new house. It is almost completed. The island is 96 inches long and is perfectly fine. I have just found out that the overhang is 22 cm i.e. 8.6 inches.

This is a disaster - isn't it?

I simply can't use seats at it. Am I right about that? Or is there any saving this?

Using it for sitting was a huge, huge attraction. So what do I do???? Replace the entire counter top - it's 96 inch x 48 inch?

Comments (36)

  • Kristin S

    Is it counter height or bar height?

    At 8.6" neither will be comfortable, but at bar height, it might work for a short perch.

    As for replacing the countertop, you'd need to make sure you could support it, and also that it didn't intrude too far into other areas.

    What is under there? Perhaps you can adjust cabinets? Can you share the floor plan and/or pictures?

  • PRO
    Sina Sadeddin Architectural Design

    To comfortably sit at an overhang you usually want 12 inches MINIMUM, but 15-18 is better.

    User Guser thanked Sina Sadeddin Architectural Design
  • User Guser

    It is counter height. It is all done now. The house is finished effectively. So do I just forget about it? The only option seemed replacing whole counter or just resigning myself to no seating. This picture is rubbish but it is all I have. The counter top is covered. You can see the white marble protruding on the right.

  • User Guser

    I absolutely know now about the minimum advised but the house and kitchen were built before I bought it.

  • pippabean_5b

    If there is enough space for an eating counter, you could do something like what was done intentionally in the below pic. There are many more such pics, but I'm at work, limited time.

    The beauty of the one below is that one sides is supported, so less support would be needed in between.

    Of course, the wood counter could easily be lined up with your existing counter and be supported on both sides.

    Wood finish Laminates · More Info

  • PRO
    Filipe Custom Woodwork

    If there is nothing you can do then I would suggest to move in and live with it for a while to see if you change your mind. For now try to get a credit on the island counter in case you have to use it in the future. More than likely you will probably opt to change the counter; in the meantime get a credit. every fabricator should know the basics.

    They mey have also opted for the very shallow depth in order to have enough room on that side for walking space.

    Many times some builders will force an idea bc clients want it even though it does not necessarily fit the space or help sell the house. They can say it's a seating island and technically it is but it is not 100%.

  • vinmarks

    What is in the area under the overhang? Is it cabinets or was it built out? You mentioned that the island is 48 inches deep. What is making up that 48 inches leaving only a 8.6 inch overhang?

  • User Guser

    I don't have exact measurements but I will get tomorrow. There are appliances on one side e.g. dishwasher etc and then cabinets on other. So on side that there is the overhang there are cabinets. Is that a much neater job maybe??? Redo the cabinets or am I fooling myself?

  • Kristin S

    I am not an expert, but I wonder if it would be possible to remove the cabinets under the counter and just add a panel to cover the back of the cabinets on the other side of the island. That would give you much more space than you need (24"), but if seating is important to you it might be an option.

    If you have space and no cabinets face to the short side of the island, you could also look at a variation of what pippabean shows but with a wood waterfall counter that sits partially over the top of the current counter but adds more overhang. I would think that would probably be the most affordable option. It would basically be a custom-made wood waterfall table. If you planned right, you could even have it moveable, so you could pull it out when using the island as seating and push it in when not, so preserve more space around the island.

    User Guser thanked Kristin S
  • Kristin S

    Think something like this, but custom made to fit your island perfectly (could be with or without wheels).

    User Guser thanked Kristin S
  • Anne Duke

    My peninsula overhang is a little less than nine inches and we sit at it daily to read, eat or do paperwork. We’ve never been uncomfortable and are using standard size stools with backs. They don’t push in like dining chairs under a table, but until I read your post I never thought about the depth.

    User Guser thanked Anne Duke
  • artistsharonva


    1. replacing whole counter $$$
    2. accept as is no seating.

    3. removing wall cabinets on back side of island to get more leg room, then skin underneath

    3a) use removed cabinets elsewhere

    3b) use cabinets removed & take off the doors & use over skin as dec panel doors under

    3c) cut down the depth of the cabinets on back side of island to get desired leg room then put less deep cabinets back in place

    If the plans that were shown, showed chairs in layout, imo, the GC should adjust to your liking if seating was implied.

    Hope that helps:)

    User Guser thanked artistsharonva
  • User Guser

    Really Anne Duke??? Could we live with that ?

    I was looking at these. Are they stupid looking?

  • User Guser

    I didn't have any role in any planning. I bought the house when it was in the process of being built. And this island is in situ.

    I really appreicate that list artistsharonva

    Can I ask if there is any you recommend as being least expensive option? I really want seating.

  • User Guser

    Can I ask what these mean?

    3b) use cabinets removed & take off the doors & use over skin as dec panel doors under -


    3c) cut down the depth of the cabinets on back side of island to get desired leg room then put less deep cabinets back in place?


  • artistsharonva

    I see.

    I think it's fixable still to get your seating comfortable now.

    As far as costs, it depends on how much they would charge in labor.

    As far as material costs, the skin would not cost much to get & easy to put into place.

    It should not cost much more to use the existing doors on cabinets as dec doors either.

    The countertop may need more metal support braces under. GC would know.

    If I was in your position, I would copy the list of options & ask the installer/builder, or GC which they are able & willing to do & get an estimate.

    I would do one of those options now, if seating was what you truly wanted & it's still in process of installation.

    I be curious to find out what the costs come in as & what choice works best for you.

    User Guser thanked artistsharonva
  • User Guser

    Ok. That is incredibly helpful.

    Out of interest is there a reason you don't factor in getting a "waterfall" wooden table like ones above?

  • User Guser

    And can I ask what is "skin" and "dec" doors? Sorry if that is very stupid!

  • Kristin S

    Think the wooden waterfall counter could look great, especially with your more modern style kitchen. I particularly like the first inspiration picture you showed.

    User Guser thanked Kristin S
  • jslazart

    I'll also throw in that our peninsula currently has an 8" overhang and we sit there all the time. Not that I wouldn't prefer for it to be much deeper, but it's functional. You could certainly live with it for a while while you decide what, if anything, you want to do.

    User Guser thanked jslazart
  • pippabean_5b

    User - if you go down the route of removing one row of the island cabs, make sure you check if the flooring continues underneath them, otherwise you'll have to pay for new flooring and the possibility of not being able to match it.

    User Guser thanked pippabean_5b
  • artistsharonva

    All good.

    Skin is a thin matching sheet to cover & look finished

    dec door panels also called dummy doors because they are not as smart. (lol)

    Not stupid.

    I think they are called dummy doors because they are just decorative & do not open.

    User Guser thanked artistsharonva
  • artistsharonva

    The white island is smooth skinned underneath

    The grey island has smooth skin then added the decorative door panels also known as dummy doors.

    Since underneath overhang will be deeper within , with chairs in front of it will not be as visible.

    Imo, both will work.

    Ideally it would be nice to have the cabinets cut down then put back on, however if they charge too much not necessary.

    The one thing that may be an issue is if they did not put flooring down under cabinets, That will have to be addressed as well. Hopefully that have more flooring or they could do some creative baseboard to cover gap.

    I would look into a quote for new countertop as well. Just to compare all options.

    I would weigh out all the options with installer & chose the one all can agree to get the seating you truly wanted.

    A solution can be found in this scenario to get seating.

    User Guser thanked artistsharonva
  • User Guser

    Thank you everyone. That is so helpful

    I am coming around to the extra piece of wood as possibly looking good!!??? Not the waterfall but this below.

    Anyone have a view??

    But will investigate it all.

  • artistsharonva

    The island is standard cabinet heigth 36" high , not 42" high bar heigth.

    12" or less is not enough for countertop heigth. 12" is ok for bar seating at 42"high.

    Bar seating is also higher & legs can hang longer down.

    Sitting in a lower chair causes legs to bend more & knees to stick out more.

    15" minimum suggested because the seating is lower & therefore the legs bend more & need more room.

    User Guser thanked artistsharonva
  • User Guser

    But am I right in thinking that a piece of wood that provides an extra 8 inches of overhang therefore fulfils the purpose? Is there some reason the above plank of wood solutions wouldn't work?

  • artistsharonva

    The extra plank of wood would work to get more leg room.

    I personally rather same material to look more cohesive.

    I would also rather have 1 solid surface for easier cleaning, spreading out room, & not having to lift my plates up on to.

    User Guser thanked artistsharonva
  • User Guser

    I know and I wouldn't even be asking this if I had the overhang. But bizarrely all of the above are Leicht kitchens and this is a Leicht kitchen. It appears to be a style.

    But I expect it's the most economical. I will find out!

  • lindahambleton

    won’t work if it sticks out too far into the room on the stool side of island.

    User Guser thanked lindahambleton
  • User Guser

    There is about 3.5 metres to the other side of the counter top. I think space won't be the issue

  • User Guser

    This is a rubbish photo but it is all I have

  • junco East Georgia zone 8a

    What other furniture do you want to put between the island and the sliding doors? Make sure you have enough space for the stools and for people to pass by.

    User Guser thanked junco East Georgia zone 8a
  • User Guser

    There will be a table and chairs

  • flopsycat1

    There must be something wrong with us. We have a curved overhang on our counter height peninsula which measures 10” maximally at the center of the arc. My husband and I sit there comfortably for almost every meal.

    User Guser thanked flopsycat1
  • artistsharonva

    Take some chairs & go sit at it as is before changing. Maybe you will get lucky & it works enough for your needs as is. The guidelines posted above are what guidelines kitchen designers use. Taller people need more leg room,too.

    User Guser thanked artistsharonva

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