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How You Can Reinforce Sandstone Countertops

Countertops for the kitchen, bathroom, or other areas in which surfaces are used extensively are an important aspect of a project. Using sandstone as a countertop material may seem counterintuitive since sandstone is normally under one's feet. However, when sandstone 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 sandstone countertops.

Why Reinforce Sandstone Countertops

The reasons for reinforcing a given sandstone countertop will vary depending on specific variables. Each situation is different and the reasons for reinforcing a sandstone 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 sandstone benefits from reinforcement. 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 sandstone countertop is not being created under the conditions mentioned above, it still makes sense to add reinforcement. 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 sandstone countertops. But the question then is, how?

Sandstone Countertop Reinforcement Methods

As with many other practices, countertop reinforcement may mean different things to different people. This is because there are multiple ways to reinforce sandstone countertops. We will briefly consider two of them in this context. The two methods we will consider are:

  1. Rodding Reinforcement
  2. Brace Reinforcement

Rodding Countertop Reinforcement

As you may have inferred from the terminology, rodding reinforcement is beneficial. This is because it strengthens internally. Rodding reinforcement of a sandstone countertop is added by using one of many types of material. Rodding reinforcement works by adding strips of the support material into slots cut in the sandstone surface. This reinforcement 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 sandstone is put under stress, the rodding inside the sandstone adds structural support.

Brace Countertop Reinforcement

The other method of reinforcing sandstone countertops is, as the name implies is also important and adds to the overall quality of the finished countertop. Brace reinforcement contributes to the strength of the sandstone as well, but it is performed using a different form of material strengthening. This way of strengthening sandstone surfaces is external.

Brace reinforcement of sandstone makes use of sandstone support braces for the sandstone 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 reinforcement 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. Sandstone 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 sandstone countertops can be done in a couple of different ways using several materials for the primary reinforcement. The optional secondary reinforcement material however, should be one of a couple designed specifically for use with alkaline substances like sandstone. Choosing the proper reinforcement materials for you sandstone countertop will ensure that your project turns out the best it can be.

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