Supporting a floating counter top?

I’m remodeling a small 1/2 bath (like from the studs out, due to mold and previous owner stupidity). The layout of the room, including location of the drain and the water pipes for the sink, leading me to the idea of a floating counter top, with a vessel sink on it. No lower cabinet. Something like this.

I’m thinking about a piece of butcher block as the counter top, which would be 53" long, and span the entire width of the room.

So how do I float that shelf, with enough stability to handle a sink full of water on top of it? Everything I see is for a book shelf, which wouldn’t be as deep as a countertop.

Has anyone tried something like this? Any suggestions for support brackets? As I said, I’ve gutted the room down to the studs, so anchoring to the studs should be easy.

If you want totally hidden supports, you could have metal braces fabricated, and lag them to the studs, cover with drywall, then rest the counter on them.
If you didn’t mind seeing the supports, just use standard angled braces, from the bottom of the counter to the studs.

You could even drill holes into the edge of the counter and totally hide the support brackets inside. You would need four to give adequate support and five would be better. Probably a bracket on every stud.

Perhaps not truly floating but I would lag screw 2x4’s along back & side walls and then screw or glue countertop to them. A slab of butcher block should not sag.

Sometimes, when standing at the bathroom sink, I’ll lean on it. So you need to allow for more than just the weight of a full sink.

Another option is to add a 3-4 inch piece of butcher block vertically at the front, and then have supports (metal or just 2x4’s) hidden behind that.

But I wouldn’t do this.
That picture you attached seems to me to be incredibly ugly and non-functional. The kind of crap you see in designer showrooms but doesn’t really work in actual homes where people live. (And it wouldn’t even meet legal code here – that 'bowl has no overflow opening.)
That area under the shelf would be mostly ‘wasted space’. And, especially in small bathrooms, storage space is at a premium, usually, and a under the sink cabinet adds some (and conceals the plumbing, but allows access for a plumber). Where else would you keep spare towels, extra toilet paper, etc.? I’d really suggest reconsidering this.

And consider someone may sit on it, I’ve seen it, I’ve done it, it happens.

This company has lots of different options:

Never mind.

A simple option I’d suggest is just screwing / bolting a perimeter 2x4 around into the wall studs at the bottom of your countertop height. Set the counter top on that and glue, screw the counter top into the 2x4’s from below for stability.

Cut the 2x4 a couple inches short of the front edge at a 45 and paint it the same colour as the wall. In a small power room , the line of site to below the counter should be pretty steep (as opposed to a kitchen where you’re looking from 10 or 15 feet away and can see well below the counter). Unless someone got down below the counter to look, I don’t think they’d see it.

The only problem I’d see is if the wood itself wasn’t strong enough to support the weight and a person leaning on it. That said, we have a “live edge” wood table similar to your photo that is about 3" thick and 84" long. It’s only supported by the legs at each end. I’m +200lbs and can stand on it in the centre to change a light bulb with no deflection of the top at all.

I’ve considered putting 3 functional but decorative legs along the front. But along the lines of your last paragraph, 53" is smaller than lots of tables, which are often supported just in the corners. Maybe I could go with your 2x4 cleats along with a couple of metal brackets along the long wall.

Build a false wall out of 2x4s. Plumbing behind. Drywall and paint it dark. You killed 2 birds with one stone. Built in supports and hidden plumbing.

The good news is that if you do try either my suggestion or with angle brackets along the back, you can always add legs later of you see deflection along the middle.

Also, I think this site will help you greatly. I’ve used it before when making book shelves.

This is basically what I would do, cleats on three sides. I’d probably add in some heavy duty L brackets on the back wall. Depending on the length of the counter, either evenly spaced or on on each side of the sink.
Assuming you don’t want to tear into your drywall, you can find L brackets that have the angled support (the hypotenuse of the triangle) curved inward instead of straight. I’ve seen this in offices so people’s knees aren’t hitting them as well as making it look cleaner. Along the line of something like this.

Also, the sink isn’t going to hold that much water. Even all the way filled up, it’ll add 30 pounds or so, maybe. Granted, that needs to be taken into consideration, as should someone leaning on it, but it’s not that you’re setting 30 gallon fish tank on it.

If you are down to the studs, you really can install something that will be virtually invisible. Remember that sitting on the toilet usually means you can see everything under the sink, so you’ll want either decorative or invisible support. Also you’ll want to upgrade your supply lines and p-trap to ones meant to be on display.

I love the idea of a floating vanity, and I think it expands your storage options. There’s tons of examples on houzz.

Please see the hidden supports I linked to earlier. They are what I’ve seen contractors use for just this application.

If you use a wall-mounted faucet, you won’t have visible supply lines. I’m wondering how you can minimize the drain line, so it’s as sleek as possible. A good plumbing supply shop might have advice or a suggestion.

I have to disagree with a large number of responders here. Most bathroom vanities are open in the back and made of particle board. And they hold up just fine to leaning, full sinks and even my son sitting on the counter washing off his muddy feet. Honestly, when was the last time you saw a structurally failing bathroom sink?
With regard to minimizing the plumbing, go with a bottle trap (link) and chrome supply lines. I have done it myself in two houses during remodels and the inspectors both said it was the cleanest coolest look they had ever seen. Both were for wall mounted sinks.

We have a 22" quartz kitchen cantilever which has a 2x4 ledge/shelf along the wall side and two metal supports like **Lightlystarched **linked, so they work too.

I personally would just line the wall all the way around with a 2x4 “shelf” to hold the butcher block and call it good. Bevel it in on the exposed ends and stain/paint it to match the wall/counter.

How thick is the butcher block?

check out, the calculator is meant for bookshelves, but with judicious selections can be made meaningful for many other applications.

A sink full of water, is what? 30 pounds? almost nothing that a 1.5" x 20’ x 53" block of half decent hardwood would even notice.

Missed the edit window…
How thick is the butcher block?

check out, the calculator is meant for bookshelves, but with judicious selections can be made meaningful for many other applications.

A sink full of water, is what? 30 pounds? almost nothing that a 1.5" x 20’ x 53" block of half decent hardwood would even notice.

Hang a decent butcher block on two angle irons at each end and if you are a belt and suspenders type of person, along the backside too and that sucker will go nowhere.

Anecdotal evidence: I am sitting at a computer desk I built out of cherry, it’s 1" thick, 6’ long, standing on legs 66" apart, holding 2 27" monitors, speakers, peripherals, a secondary laptop and it totes fine.

whatever you do, don’t do the 2x4 thing, that’s overkill beyond overkill.

Are you sure about that link? I’m getting a calculator that looks like it’s for tracking hours worked.