Can You Install Granite Countertop Without Plywood? [Answered]

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Before installing a granite countertop, everyone thinks about installing support as well. They do it by putting down a layer of plywood. But you’re not sure if you have the budget for plywood. 

Can you install granite countertop without plywood? 

Yes, you can. But to do this you’ll need a 3 cm or thicker granite. If you have 2 cm granite, it’s essential that you use plywood. But if you have 3 cm granite, you’ll only need to provide support in a few places. You can also use alternative support options like corbels or brackets. 

You know now how and where you need to use plywood. But do you want detailed information about this?

Don’t worry. We have everything sorted out for you. Have a read!

Can Granite Countertop be Installed Without Plywood?

It is a fairly common misconception that you’ll always need plywood for granite countertops. People think that granite is a very heavy material. As a result, it’ll always need support. 

But these assumptions are untrue if you have a 3 cm granite. If your granite is 3 cm, you can install your countertop without plywood. 

Using plywood in this case will waste both your time and money. Because your cabinets will provide plenty of support for your 3 cm granite slab. 

You don’t need support for your dishwasher. Just close the gap between your dishwasher and countertop and it’ll be alright. 

But if you have smaller slabs, you’ll need to support your countertop. 

Alternative Support Options for Granite Installation

Using plywood can be a bit expensive. We understand why you wouldn’t want to use it. 

That’s why we are here to show you the alternatives to plywood. Let’s see what they are- 

Alternative 1: Corbels 

Corbel is basically an L-shaped bracket support system. The back of the corbel attaches to the wall. In turn, the back acts as a support for other objects. 

You might now think that they look like brackets. But they don’t. Unlike brackets, they are extremely appealing to look at. It can be a perfect alternative for plywood, in looks and in work.

Alternative 2: Brackets

Brackets are similar to corbels. The main difference is, brackets are not meant to be seen. This is because brackets are not as appealing as corbels.  

A good example can be L-shaped brackets. You can place them vertically to the cabinets. This will support the counter. 

Another type of bracket can be a knee bracket. These are straight and you should place them horizontally. That way the bracket will support all the weight of the countertop overhang. 

To help you, we have recommended some good quality brackets- 

Product 1
Product 2

Feel free to use them if you like. Let’s talk about other alternatives now. 

Alternative 3: Poles 

This is another option you can use to support your countertop from below. A pole works very simply. They rise directly from the floor. This provides support for the countertop’s underside.

You can get some suggestions from the supplier you got your cabinet from. Because of their shape, poles are perfect for a large overhang.

How to Give Support to 3 cm Granite without Plywood?

Now you know that 3 cm granite doesn’t require plywood support. But you might be asking another question. Does it need any kind of support at all? 

The answer is yes. If your base cabinets are not level, you might need additional support. 

Besides that, your countertop will need support in 4 areas. Let’s see what they are- 

Place 1: Bar Top Overhang

Usually, a bar top overhang creates an unbalanced and problematic loading condition. That’s why when you put pressure on it’ll rotate. This in turn will cause problems. 

Solution

Putting mesh, in this case, won’t help very much. The unbalanced loading conditions will still be a problem. 

That’s why in this case you should use posts, corbels, and steel brackets. Make sure you place them smartly. 

Place 2: Overhangs 

You should support your overhang no matter how thick your granite is. Because if overhangs don’t have any support, they can be quite fragile. Something as simple as a bump of a bottle can snap off your overhang. 

Solution

Use any kind of support you want. But it’s better if you use mesh. Because this will preserve the beauty of your overhangs.

Place 3: Over Your Dishwasher

The opening of your dishwasher doesn’t have any cabinets underneath it. That’s why it will be left completely unprotected.

On this note, you should also know how much your dishwasher should stick out.  A normal dishwasher is around 24 inches wide. It is also considered pretty heavy. 

Solution

Use mesh under your countertop where the dishwasher is. This will be more than enough support. 

Place 3: Desks

Using support behind your desks will cost you nothing. But it’ll just leave everything but the front part of your countertop supported. The best thing is this won’t even affect your look.

Solution 

Simply add a ledge to the back of your desk area. This will provide your desk with extra support. You won’t need any other support.

You can use these solutions instead of plywood for your 3 cm or thicker granite. Let the expert take care of the installation process. Because it’s a bit hard for inexperienced people. 

But make sure after the installation, you’re sealing the granite countertop. This way the countertop will be protected for a longer time.

FAQs

Question: Do you need to glue to hold down granite countertops?

Answer: Yes, you need glue to hold down granite countertops. In kitchens and baths, granite is widely utilized as a countertop material. Because granite cannot be screwed down. It is trimmed to fit the curve of the cabinets it is installed on. It requires an adhesive to assist hold it in place.

Question: What amount of overhang can you have with granite?  

Answer:  The amount of overhang that you can use depends on how thick your granite is. If it’s 3 cm thick, you can use an 8-10 cm thick overhang. But if your granite is 2 cm thick, you can use only a 6 cm wide overhang.

Question: How thick plywood do I need to use for countertops? 

Answer: Plywood sheets used for backers on countertops are typically 3/4-inch thick. This gives a wide range of finish materials enough support. If it has a laminate finish, you may paint or finish it to your liking. You can utilize it as a stand-alone product as well as finish-type plywood.

Final Words

Now, can you install a granite countertop without plywood? We have told you how and when you should use plywood for granite countertops.

Make sure the installation is done by a professional. Because these works are quite tricky. 

We are looking forward to seeing how your countertop turned out. Good luck!

Melissa Hawkins