Should Your Kitchen Countertop Have Overhangs?

It’s funny how certain little features make a great impact on the space as a whole. For instance, not many people are aware of what the few extra inches of countertop overhang projecting from their counter means for their kitchen as a whole. This is the hidden effect of interior design — seemingly simple things making life more comfortable in unexpected ways.

So, what are countertop overhangs? What purpose do they serve and how important are they? The answers to these questions and more are found below:


More Countertop Space

The first and most obvious function they serve is to allow the homeowner a little more counter space. A difference of a few inches might not seem too much but it’s a lot when you consider how much work will actually be done on top of them in kitchens and sinks.



They Protect the Cabinets Below

More than just serving as a multi-function surface where people can work, it also serves to protect the cabinets below. The extra lip provided by overhangs allows liquid and spills to drip away from the wood and cabinet doors below. This keeps them dry, clean, and moisture-free which saves you a lot of money in the long run.

They also keep the contents stored within the cabinets below free from moisture and spills that might otherwise seep into the edges of cabinet doors.


How far Should the Overhang Go?

The standard for a countertop overhang is 1 and a half inches projecting from the wood underneath. That being said, the length of an overhang can depend on the purpose they seek to serve.

Some countertops have excessively long overhangs which go on to serve as a bar space or a place for eating. In such cases, at least a projection of 12 inches would suffice.

waterfall kitchen island


They Serve Other Functions Too

As stated above, overhangs can also turn into counter space for an island or bar where people can sit around. A long overhang provides lots of comfortable legroom underneath. It also extends the workable counter space even more — allowing those working on top of them to do as much as they like without running out of room.

Overhangs can also serve a stylistic function as well. They come in all shapes and sizes which add to the overall aesthetic of the space they’re in. A good overhang shape can complement the material of a countertop and give the room an elevated, sophisticated look.



Bottom line

Overhangs are necessary. That is just a fact for any countertop setup. Though you can definitely have a countertop without it, you’ll find that this presents a host of problems with keeping the kitchen or bathroom clean and dry.

Along with that, they can be quite versatile and expand the visuals of a space — coming in different shapes, sizes, and lengths. Keep in mind all these things as you try and improve your kitchen setup.