“How do I know what worktop thickness my cupboards will support?”
We were recently sent in a query by Ann in Bicester, who wanted to know whether she should take worktop thickness into consideration when ordering surfaces to install onto her existing kitchen units.
“I am just changing the worktops in my kitchen and keeping the existing cabinets. I would like to know how I can find out what worktop thickness my cabinets can support.”
Thanks for sending in your query – I’m sure we can provide some information to help you make an informed choice on which new worktop to purchase.
It is important to make sure that your kitchen cabinets provide a strong and stable base on which to mount your new kitchen worktops. Our solid wood worktops can be quite heavy, so you should be sure that your cabinets are substantial enough to support their weight. If you are considering any of our laminate worktops, they should be suitable for any type of cabinet construction.
Generally, our 40mm-thick wood worktops are the heaviest choice in our collection, especially in dense timbers such as wenge or black American walnut. Many of our wooden worktops are available in a 27mm-thick option, which is most definitely a lighter choice if you want to reduce the amount of weight your cabinets will have to support.
Kitchen cabinets are available in a range of materials, though we recommend that any of our worktops are supported by a sturdy choice such as the oak kitchen units available from our sister company: Solid Wood Kitchen Cabinets.
If your kitchen cabinets are older and are made from a laminated chipboard material, we would recommend that you thoroughly investigate the structural integrity of the units before fitting a new worktop. It is especially important to check areas around sinks and appliances, in case moisture has degraded the units.
We would not recommend using an adjacent wall to help support the weight of your worktops, as both the wall and the worktop might move slightly with changes in environmental temperature which could cause the worktop to bow or split.
Instead, we suggest that the worktops are attached directly to your kitchen cabinets using slotted angle brackets, which allow the worktop to expand and contract as required. A kitchen worktop upstand can also be used to hide the expansion gap we recommend between the worktop and the wall.
Whichever worktop type you choose, it is important to ensure that there are no unsupported overhangs larger than 300mm, to avoid any worktop distortion. We also recommend that any breakfast bars are supported by a leg for every metre of worktop.
For further information on worktop installation, I recommend you read our ‘Installing Our Wooden Work Surfaces’ Nutshell information guide.
If you have any other queries, don’t hesitate to contact us again.
All the best,
Ben @ Worktop Express
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