Quartz countertops like Cambria are popular options for kitchen and bathroom remodels thanks to their durability, low maintenance, and stylish appearance. However, proper installation is key to ensuring your quartz countertops last. Understanding whether quartz needs support brackets is an important consideration when planning your project.
What Are Support Brackets?
Support brackets, also called corbels, are metal or wooden structures installed underneath countertops to provide stability and prevent sagging. They transfer the weight of the countertop to the base cabinets, taking stress off the countertop itself.
Support brackets are typically recommended for:
- Countertops exceeding standard cabinet depth
- Extended countertop overhangs
- Seamless countertops spanning multiple base cabinets
- Areas lacking adequate wall support, like kitchen islands
When Are Support Brackets Necessary for Quartz?
In most standard installations, Cambria quartz countertops do not require support brackets. Here are some guidelines:
Standard Cabinet Depth
For countertops installed at standard cabinet depth (25″ depth or less), support brackets are usually not needed for quartz. The cabinets provide enough structural support.
Overhang Up to 6 Inches
An overhang of up to 6 inches is generally fine without brackets for quartz countertops. Overhangs allow room for comfortable bar seating.
For seamless countertops spanning multiple base cabinets, support brackets are recommended every 20-24 inches. This provides support between the base cabinets.
Lack of Wall Support
For areas without a back wall like kitchen islands, support brackets are advised for stability. Island overhangs beyond 6 inches also benefit from brackets.
Exceeding Standard Depth
For extra deep countertops beyond 25 inches, support brackets help reduce stress and prevent cracking or drooping over time.
Brackets are suggested when heavy appliances like cooktops are placed on quartz countertop overhangs to reinforce the extended section.
Cambria Quartz Support Bracket Recommendations
Cambria, a leading quartz brand, provides the following recommendations per their official installation guide:
- Support brackets every 20-24 inches for seamless spans over cabinets
- Brackets for overhangs exceeding 6 inches
- Brackets for overweight or heavy appliances on overhangs
- No brackets needed if above guidelines are followed
Cambria notes that adequate adhesive coverage to secure the quartz is more important than brackets themselves. Well-bonded countertops have reduced movement or weight stress.
Types of Quartz Countertop Support Brackets
There are several types of support brackets to consider:
- Metal corbel brackets – These sturdy L-shaped brackets are commonly used. Stainless steel and aluminum are popular choices.
- Wood corbels – Matching wood corbels can create a built-in look. Oak, maple, and cherry are common woods.
- Granite brackets – Brackets that match the countertop provide an invisible look. The granite blends in.
- Decorative brackets – Ornate scrollwork and custom designs can make brackets a visual feature.
Be sure brackets match the look you want and are sized appropriately for the countertop thickness. Thicker quartz needs larger support brackets.
Installing Support Brackets for Quartz
Proper installation of support brackets is crucial:
- Position according to manufacturer’s guidelines, usually every 20-24 inches.
- Attach securely into the cabinet base, not just to the faceframe.
- Make sure brackets flushly align to the underside of the countertop.
- Use shims for minor adjustments to keep the quartz perfectly level.
- Allow recommended adhesive cure times before applying weight or stress.
Hiring a professional installer is highly recommended to ensure brackets are properly integrated. Poor installation can undermine functionality.
Do You Really Need Brackets?
Quartz countertops are impressively strong and durable. For many standard installations, additional reinforcement through brackets is unnecessary. Follow manufacturer guidelines, allow proper curing time, use adequate adhesive, and refrain from excessive overhangs.
With good support from base cabinets and walls, quality quartz like Cambria stands on its own in most homes. But for additional peace of mind, preventative brackets can be a wise investment for expensive countertops. Consult with your quartz supplier and installer to decide if brackets are essential for your specific project. Proper planning ensures your beautiful quartz countertops withstand the test of time.
FAQ About Quartz Countertop Brackets
Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about support brackets for quartz:
How much weight can a quartz countertop hold without brackets?
Most quality quartz can support around 100 pounds per square foot without brackets when properly installed. Some can even withstand over 200+ pounds per square foot.
Do I need a bracket for a 10 inch quartz overhang?
A 10 inch overhang is quite large and likely needs the additional support of a properly installed bracket. Most manufacturers suggest brackets for overhangs exceeding 6 inches.
Can quartz countertops be installed without brackets?
In many standard installations, quartz countertops do not require additional support brackets, provided they adhere to manufacturer guidelines. Non-standard spans may need brackets.
How far apart should brackets be under quartz?
For full seamless spans of quartz countertops, installers typically recommend a support bracket every 20-24 inches. Brackets spaced too far apart fail to offer adequate reinforcement.
Should I get an extra bracket for my quartz island?
Additional brackets are advisable for kitchen islands for added stability since islands lack wall support. One bracket alone may not offer enough reinforcement.
What thickness of quartz needs support?
Thicker 3cm quartz is heavier and may be more prone to bending or cracking without support. Brackets provide extra assurance for thicker quartz but are still often optional with proper installation.
While quartz countertops like Cambria are impressively sturdy by design, support brackets can provide extra insurance against cracking or drooping over time. Carefully follow manufacturer guidelines, allowing adequate overhang size, proper adhesive curing, and bracket placement every 20-24 inches for full spans. With good design and installation, many standard quartz countertops stand sturdily on their own without needing additional brackets. Seek professional guidance to determine if support brackets are recommended for your specific project.