The Experts in Greensboro, NC Kitchen Makeovers

June 24, 2024

How Much Overhang for a Kitchen Island with Seating?

When designing a kitchen island with seating, one important consideration is the overhang. The overhang is the part of the countertop that extends beyond the base of the island, providing space for people to sit comfortably. This article will help you understand the different overhang options and what works best for your kitchen.

What is the Standard Overhang on a Kitchen Island for Seating?

Remodeled kitchen with new cabinets, center island with marble countertops and updated a

The standard overhang for a kitchen island with seating is typically around 12 inches. This amount of overhang provides enough space for people to sit comfortably with their legs under the counter. It also ensures that stools or chairs can be pulled up close enough to the island for ease of eating, working, or socializing.

A 12-inch overhang is considered ideal because it strikes a good balance between comfort and practicality. It’s deep enough to allow legroom without requiring too much support underneath the countertop.

Is a 10-Inch Island Overhang Enough for Seating?

A 10-inch overhang can be enough for seating, but it may be a bit tight for some people. With a 10-inch overhang, there is slightly less legroom compared to a 12-inch overhang. This means people might have to sit a little closer to the island, which could be less comfortable for longer periods.

However, if space in your kitchen is limited, a 10-inch overhang can still work. It’s better than no overhang at all and can provide a functional seating area. Just keep in mind that it might not be as comfortable as a larger overhang.

Is an 18-Inch Island Overhang Too Much?

An 18-inch overhang might seem excessive, but it can actually be very comfortable for seating. This larger overhang provides plenty of legroom, making it easier for people to sit for longer periods. It’s especially useful if you plan to use the island for dining or as a casual seating area.

However, an 18-inch overhang requires additional support to ensure it is safe and sturdy. Without proper support, such a large overhang could be at risk of sagging or breaking. Let’s explore how to support large overhangs in the next section.

How is a Large Island Overhang Supported?

Supporting a large overhang is crucial to maintain the safety and durability of your kitchen island. Here are some common methods for supporting a large overhang:


Heavy-duty brackets are often used to support large overhangs. These brackets are typically made of metal and are designed to hold a significant amount of weight. They are installed underneath the countertop and spaced evenly along the overhang to distribute the weight evenly.


Corbels are decorative supports that can also be used to hold up a large overhang. They can be made of wood, metal, or other materials and add a decorative element to your kitchen. Corbels need to be strong enough to support the weight of the countertop and anything placed on it.

Support Posts

For very large overhangs, support posts may be necessary. These posts extend from the floor to the underside of the countertop, providing maximum support. While this method is very sturdy, it can also take up more space and affect the look of your island.

Steel Plates

Steel plates can be embedded into the countertop to provide support. This method is less visible than brackets or corbels and can offer a sleek look. However, it requires precise installation to ensure the plates are properly aligned and secured.

Is a 12-Inch Overhang Enough for Seating?

A 12-inch overhang is generally considered the ideal amount of space for comfortable seating. It provides enough room for most people to sit without their knees hitting the cabinets underneath. This size overhang is also easier to support with brackets or corbels, making it a practical choice for many kitchens.

With a 12-inch overhang, you can comfortably use stools or chairs without compromising on legroom. It’s a balanced choice that combines comfort, aesthetics, and practicality.

Is an 8-Inch Overhang Enough for Seating?

An 8-inch overhang is usually not enough for comfortable seating. While it might work in a pinch, most people will find it too shallow. With an 8-inch overhang, there is not enough legroom, and people’s knees are likely to hit the cabinets underneath, making it uncomfortable to sit for any length of time.

If space is very limited in your kitchen, an 8-inch overhang might be the best you can do. However, if possible, aim for at least a 10-inch overhang to provide a more comfortable seating area.


In conclusion, the amount of overhang you choose for your kitchen island with seating depends on your space and how you plan to use the island. The standard 12-inch overhang is ideal for most people, providing a comfortable and practical seating area. A 10-inch overhang can work if space is limited, but it might not be as comfortable. An 18-inch overhang offers plenty of legroom but requires additional support.

When designing your kitchen island, consider how much space you have and what will be most comfortable for those using it. Remember to properly support any large overhangs with brackets, corbels, support posts, or steel plates to ensure safety and durability. With the right overhang, your kitchen island can become a functional and inviting space for eating, working, and socializing.

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