How to Extend a Countertop to Make a Bar

Adding a bar to a countertop is an excellent way to enhance the use of your counter space. A bar top can be used to serve breakfast and as a secondary buffet surface for parties. A well-designed bar top extension made of an attractive and durable surface that's easy to clean, should offer leg space and sufficient depth to hold a placemat and dishware. While solid stones like granite are attractive, they are also heavy and expensive and they may prove difficult for a do-it-yourself installation. A laminate countertop is an easier process to understand and install.

Elevated counter bar
Showing how countertops mount.

Measure the opening for the correct length of your new bar top. Order a laminate countertop that is approximately 18 inches deep. Ask for rounded corners. The countertop should have a three-quarter inch plywood base with edge buildups that are three quarters of an inch by one and one and a half inch facing. The plywood and build-ups should be laminated with the edging of your choice.

Step 2

Measure and cut your medium-density fiberboard. It should be approximately 18 inches deep, by two inches less than your finished countertop length. This allows room for adjustment.

Step 3

Using your two-inch screws, mount the medium-density fiberboard to the half wall, so that the fiberboard is even with the edge of your sheetrock.

Step 4

Double check the fit of your countertop to make sure it's correct. Apply Liquid Nails to the top of the fiberboard.

Step 5

Fit your countertop over your MDF and using your one-inch wood screws, drive your screws up through the MDF (from the underside) (pre-drill pilot holes if necessary). This should snug the MDF and the plywood of the counter together tightly.

Step 6

Mount your corbels (underneath your new counter top) as additional inside supports between your wall and your MDF. Use two corbels for short counter tops and more, evenly spaced as necessary. Try to drive your screws into wall studs for additional support.