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How to Build a Floating Countertop

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Picking up where we left off just last week with how to build a countertop!  I knew the addition of a diy wood countertop would be beneficial after seeing how bright and fun the painted pegboard was. This would give me space to fold laundry and set my detergent on.

I wanted to take advantage of as much of the under counter storage as I could since my laundry corner is so small.  I pictured space for laundry hampers (or just tossed piles of laundry if I’m being real-life honest!).  Therefore, I didn’t want to add legs to the countertop.  Instead, I wanted it to be floating!

wood filler

So, I started to search for a few ideas.  I had seen tons of different floating shelves ideas before! However, I had a hard time finding much on how to build a countertop that would work for my space.  What I found recommended special hardware or brackets.  Neither of which would work for me.  I needed to attach the countertop to the two 2x4s that were holding the pegboard.  So, there wasn’t anything to attach a bracket or hardware to.  Additionally, neither of these options would give the countertop much support.  Considering my need for immediate satisfaction, there was no time to allow for any shipping!

So, I grabbed my notebook and a measuring tape, headed into the basement, and drew up a plan!

design drawing

This is a simple design, but for me I prefer to draw it out and write down all my measurements.  My Dad always told me – “measure twice, cut once”! So having all my measurement and plans laid out leave less space for error!

"Measure Twice, Cut Once!"

Once I was happy with my plan, I grabbed few 2x4s we had in our shed and got to work!

I started by cutting down my 2x4s to size for the countertop frame.  The long back brace board was 56 1/2 inches.  For the arm braces, I took the total planned countertop depth and reduced that measurement for the back brace board and my front finishing board.  Then, I cut the arm braces at 16 1/4 inches. 

plywood
how to build a countertop

To put the countertop frame together I grabbed my Kreg Pocket Hole Jig.  I drilled pocket holes into the arm brace boards to attach the boards together.  Next, I attached the middle board and the right-hand end board.  I did not attach the left-hand board.  This was important for a successful installation!

How to Brace a Floating Countertop

Next, I recruited some help from my husband, Dane to install the frame!  I marked on the pegboard at 34 inches.  Then, I held the frame at this height and Dane screwed the frame to the pegboard.

I did not attached the left arm brace yet because the back brace bar needed to be attached to the left support 2×4.  So, we would not have been able to screw directly into the support 2×4 if the arm brace was attached.  

With the back brace secured, we used the pocket hole screws to attach the left arm brace.  After the arm was attached, we used additional 2” screws to attach the left side of the frame into the 2x4s in the small, finished wall.  As a result, this will provide additional support to the countertop.

how to build a countertop
wood counter

Now that I had the frame built and securely in place, I headed outside to cut the countertop and stain it.  For the countertop, I used two butcher block cut offs that we had saved from projects we did in our kitchen and living room.  First, I used my circular saw to cut the butcher block to size.  Next, using my palm sander, I sanded the cut edge.  Afterwards, I wiped it down with denatured alcohol.  I used my absolute favorite stain General Finishes Gel Stain in brown mahogany.  Finally, I was able to finish it with one coat of General Finish Gel Topcoat.  I let this dry overnight. 

How to Install a Floating Countertop

The next day I was ready to get the countertop installed on top of the frame.  This took a little bit of work.  The two pieces of butcherblock were a total 18 1/2 inches wide, so I needed to notch out a little bit of the door trim.  This was an easier option than trying to strip the butcherblock down by only 1/4 inch.  I used a Dremel tool, hammer, and small pry bar.  These tools got the job done but a wish list tool would be the Ryobi Rotatory tool!  Afterwards, the kotched out the top went into place perfectly and I love the final product!

 

counter top
how to build a countertop

With the top on, I finished it off by using my Ryobi battery powered nail gun to attach a 3/4″ x 3 1/2″ white board. 

For this project I used materials that I have saved over a few different projects.  I have linked all the materials that I used below.  However, if I was to go out a purchase material for this project, I would likely buy something more cost efficient for diy wood countertops.  I am a big fan the poplar wood options.  The poplar wood is reasonably priced and takes stain so well!

counter top

If you enjoyed reading all about how to build a countertop, follow along my laundry room DIYs

How to Build a Countertop Links

Poplar wood would be a more cost effective substitute for the butcher block! 

*Disclosure: We only recommend products that we regularly use ourselves and all opinions expressed here are our own. This post contains affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, we may earn a small commission.  

Countertop

How to Build a Countertop

Prep Time 2 hrs
Build Time 6 hrs
Dry Time 1 d

Equipment

  • Circular Saw
  • Kreg Pocket Hole Jig
  • Drill
  • Nail Gun

materials
  

  • 2” Pocket Hole Screws
  • 2” Finishing Screws
  • Denatured Alcohol
  • 2 6’ 2x4s
  • 56 1/2 inch x 18 1/2 inch top board
  • 3/4 inch x 3 1/2 inch finishing board
  • Stain
  • Top Coat

Instructions
 

  • First, cut frame boards 2x4s to size. 
  • Second, drill pocket holes in the arm braces.
  • Next, attach the arm braces to the back board.
  • Then, attach your frame to the wall.  Ensure you are attaching the frame into the wall studs. 
  • Cut your countertop to size. 
  • Next, sand the cut edges.
  • Wipe down the countertop with denatured alcohol.
  • Then, apply stain and topcoat per the direction on your stain.
  • Allow to dry.
  • Afterwards, install your countertop board on your floating frame.
  • Attach the finishing board with a nail gun to the face of the frame to cover the framing boards.
  • Optional: for a complete finished looked use hole filler to fill the nail holes and paint the face board.
  • Finally, stand back and enjoy!
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