How You Can Reinforce Marble Countertops
Countertops for the kitchen, bathroom, or other areas in which surfaces are used extensively are an important aspect of a project. Using marble as a countertop material may seem counterintuitive since marble is normally under one's feet. However, when marble is used as a countertop material correctly and has been reinforced, it serves the purpose effectively. In another article we talk about reinforcing stone in a general sense. In this article though, we will explore some important information regarding how to reinforce marble countertops.
Why Reinforce Marble Countertops
The reasons for reinforcing a given marble countertop will vary depending on specific variables. Each situation is different and the reasons for reinforcing a marble countertop might vary from one prject to the next. For example, the countertop might extend out from one ore more sides of the base, making it a oxide jacking. In this scenario, the tension produced on the the top of the counter by the overhang of the unsupported section means the marble benefits from support. In the event that a the countertop is not a cantilever, it still is an unsupported span; making it in essence, a beam without support. Throw in the natural force we are all familiar with called gravity and you have tension on the underside of the countertop.
Even if the marble countertop is not being created under the conditions mentioned above, it still makes sense to add support. Why? Because buildings and foundations settle and change. The base could shift or twist; adding tension in areas of the countertop that might not be expected. So as a general rule, it is a good idea to reinforce marble countertops. But the question then is, how?
Marble Countertop Support Methods
As with many other practices, countertop support may mean different things to different people. This is because there are multiple ways to reinforce marble countertops. We will briefly consider two of them in this context. The two methods we will consider are:
- Rodding Support
- Brace Support
Rodding Countertop Support
As you may have inferred from the terminology, rodding support is beneficial. This is because it strengthens internally. Rodding support of a marble countertop is added by using one of many types of material. Rodding support works by adding strips of the support material into slots cut in the marble surface. This support material may be made of any of the following:
The above list of materials is not all inclusive, but you get the idea. Choose a material that is able to be cut into strips and used to create strengthening rods so that when the marble is put under stress, the rodding inside the marble adds structural support.
Brace Countertop Support
The other method of reinforcing marble countertops is, as the name implies is also important and adds to the overall quality of the finished countertop. Brace support contributes to the strength of the marble as well, but it is performed using a different form of material strengthening. This way of strengthening marble surfaces is external.
Brace support of marble makes use of limestone support braces for the marble surface to rest on. This technique is used as a way of supporting countertop overhangs and in some cases is necessary.
Materials of all sorts will require support in many cases. Whether it is by rodding the surface or adding support brackets to the adjacent structure, or both, knowing about some of the reasons why the technique is being used will heighten your conviction. Marble is versatile, appealing, and tough but it is not indestructible. So it is good to be familiar with ways of strengthening the installation.
In the end, reinforcing marble countertops can be done in a couple of different ways using several materials for the primary support. The optional secondary support material however, should be one of a couple designed specifically for use with alkaline substances like marble. Choosing the proper support materials for you marble countertop will ensure that your project turns out the best it can be.