Well, I finally got around to tiling and grouting the backsplash in our kitchen. This leaves one last project to do- installing the breakfast bar on the island. The island is a bank of three base cabinets (2 30" and one 24"), that are attached to a 42" half-wall. From the countertop to the top of the half wall is tiled, and there are 3 electrical outlets installed. The top of the half-wall is an exposed 2x4, and the side opposite the countertops, and edges of the half-wall are finished with drywall.

For the breakfast bar, I have purchased a solid 1 5/8" thick wood butcher-block countertop, that I'll rip down to overhang 1 1/2" on the countertop side, 1 1/2" over the half-wall edges, and 14" over the back side of the half wall. My primary question is- how do I attach it to the half wall? Is 14" too far for a 1 5/8" butcher block to overhang without support? (i.e.- do I need corbels to support the bar?) How do I physically attach the countertop to the top of the half wall? I am guessing my finishing of the half wall is going to nail me here :(. I have thought about using keyhole plates routed into the bottom of the butcher block, and heavy screws with large heads out of the top of the half-wall. Is this reasonable? Any insight would be greatly appreciated!

1 Answer 1


I have a similar bar/half wall situation, but with a granite top instead of butcher block. In my case, I screwed a piece of MDF to the top of the half wall, and the countertop installers then glued the granite to that with a strong adhesive. This works because the granite is doubled at the edges, so the MDF is mostly hidden. If it would be feasible for you to rout the bottom of the butcher block 1/2" deep everywhere except the edges (I'd suggest leaving an inch around the edges full thickness), then you could do pretty much the same thing as me, with a layer of MDF screwed to the wall to provide support for the butcher block.

Make sure that the MDF is installed level - otherwise, when you level the butcher block, you'll have MDF peeking out from under it at one end. Don't ask me how I know...

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