Extending a granite island countertop

July 11, 2012 Off By Torin Dixon
Questioner: Derrek
Category: Kitchen Design/Remodeling
Private: No
Subject: Kitchen island extension
Question: I am interested in extending my existing island.  It has a cooktop and hood with little to no counter space. It’s a blue pearl granite top. I’d essentially like to keep it all even with an addition of more blue pearl granite. Is it possible to add more granite to an already finished top that way, or will it have to be on 2 different levels? Any suggestions?
Answer: Hi Derrek,
Thank you for the question. There are several factors that may affect the decision.
First of all, do you have extra blue pearl that matches the original installation?
If so, it will match. If not, the new granite may not match as blue pearl like nearly all stone varies from shipment to shipment. But it will be close.

The next item is that in order to extend the island on the same plane, the existing edge detail would need to be removed to give you a tight joint or seam between the new and the old.

This is very difficult to do in a finished kitchen and it is very messy because everything done with granite (cutting and polishing) is performed using wet saws and wet polishers. The best way to get a tight seam is to remove the existing island, take it back to the shop and join the new piece together, rodded (reinforced on the back with steel rods) and polish the edges to match existing and then reinstall.

The other factor with this option is that you will need adequate support for the new extension/overhang. This will likely be an expensive proposition and require the removal of the cooktop.

By far the easiest and lest costly and messy option is to step up or step down the new piece and treat this as an additional item rather than an extension. This will also help to hide any subtle color or pattern differences in the new piece. The new piece can have the same edges as the existing and you will of course still need to provide adequate support for the new piece.

Corbels or L-brackets usually work the best. Remember that blue pearl 3cm thickness is about 19 pounds per square foot. If done creatively, it may actually enhance the design appeal and be a welcome addition to your kitchen and give you additional space. I did this once on an island on the long edge that faced and existing dining room. The extension rested just under the existing island slab and it became a nice eating and serving  bar with short stools for additional seating.

Hope this helps!

Best regards,

Torin Dixon