Removable countertop extensions - add seating or work space Running out of room for guests?

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Removable Countertop Extensions – Add Seating or Work Space

This project covers the system that allows the extensions to be attached to the existing countertop, the mechanics of the attachment hardware, and modifying the cabinets.

Because the extensions themselves are so unique to the custom counter I built, (and everyone’s particular needs will be different), I did not film the process of designing, making and laminating the extensions. 

 

The problem:

Our social life was suffering. We love to have people over, but didn’t have enough seating for everyone to sit together. Who wants to sit at different tables for dinner? Well, come to think of it…for certain family members, this arrangement might be a good thing!

Miniature countertop and stools being placed by a comparatively large hand.

Our dining space was never big enough and seemed to be shrinking…

Have you ever wanted to;

  • Add space to your countertop or island seating/work area, but only when it’s needed?
  • Have people over but didn’t have the room to seat them?
  • Have a bigger work surface for baking or preparing a big meal?

If so, then what you need are countertop extensions! They are quick to add and remove, and the best part is that there are no legs getting in the way. With full extension drawers, you can still get into the drawers and cabinets.

The solution:

The video shows how to build receptacle pockets that mount invisibly inside the cabinets. Using steel square tubing rods as the base for the extensions themselves, the expanded surface is strong and there are no legs or ugly hardware to get in the way. The cabinets look completely normal when the temporary table extensions are removed, and it is quick to set up and put away.

For my kitchen, I went with two hollow metal rods to support each countertop extension. But, depending on how wide and how heavy your extensions are, you may need to increase the number. I used plastic end caps on the ends of the tubes to make them look complete. For the holes in the cabinet, I used larger plugs with the upper lip cut off to sit flush with the underside of the countertop.

A helpful hint: waxing the receptacle pockets with paste wax will make sliding the rods into place even easier!

Summary of Steps:

  1. Build simple receptacle pockets for support rods
  2. Cut holes for support rods in cabinet face under the counter 
  3. Mount the receptacles
  4. Add table locks to cabinet and counter extension panel
  5. Slide support rods into place, put extension on and lock it to the cabinet
  6. HAVE A PARTY! Invite guests, enjoy the new, extra space!
  7. Remove extension, put caps into the support rod openings. Now the cabinet modifications are invisible.

If you are feeling cramped by a lack of counter space, I highly recommend giving this project a try. If you do, please leave comments or questions below.

 

See the Uncharted DIY video on how to install full-extension drawer slides into cheap center-mount cabinets so you can reach the drawers while the countertop extensions are mounted.

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links. At no extra cost to you, I may earn a small commission on items bought using them. These are the same recommendations I would make regardless of any compensation. For products that I have older versions of, I recommend the items that I would replace them with if I were buying them new. 

Resources for Removable Countertop Extensions

These are the tools and supplies I used to build my countertop extensions. You do not need all of them, so feel free to substitute with tools you have available.

Align-N-Lock Table Locks

From Rockler on Amazon
Regular table locks don’t align the pieces, so these are a major problem solver. Highly recommended!

Flat 2 Inch Mending Plates

From Amazon
Some don’t have the raised bumps as seen in this photo. It doesn’t matter.

3/8 Inch Oscillating Multi-Tool Blade

From Amazon
Not very easy to find, at least for me. Local stores didn’t have them.

3/4 Inch Square White Plastic Plug, Tubing End Cap

From Amazon
Couldn’t find these in the hardware store either! Adds a nice finishing touch.

1 Inch Square White Plastic Plug, Tubing End Cap

From Amazon
Couldn’t find these in the hardware store either! Adds a nice finishing touch.

 

There are more DIY projects in the works, so stay tuned to Uncharted DIY. Feel free to comment, post photos of your Countertop Extensions or ask questions about this project.

Uncharted DIY was created for people with the DIY spirit tackling uncommon projects, utilizing common tools and often on a limited budget

Uncharted DIY was created for people with the DIY spirit tackling uncommon projects, utilizing common tools and often on a limited budget