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Corbels by FinishBuild
Carpentry, lighting, finishes, paint colors, etc., often change the style of a home giving it character. Unfortunately, the small decoration details that complete the appearance of your rooms are almost always at the end of the shopping list, leaving a limited budget for these fun additions. However, a detail that, although small, causes a great impact is a corbel. Corbels are architectural elements that can play a functional role while adding beauty to your spaces. Originally a corbel was typically made of wood or carved stone, they are currently made of materials such as polyurethane, a lighter and stronger option.
Before buying a Corbel
Choosing corbels depends on factors such as these:
1) Material: Depending on whether you want to use the corbels, as a support or strictly as decoration, there is a wide variety of materials from which you can choose. Hand-carved wooden corbels are generally available in various types of wood, such as maple, oak, cherry, birch and alder. This level of flexibility is excellent if you are trying to match the wood in other parts of your kitchen. Meanwhile, polyurethane corbels are very resistant to damage and generally last a long time. However, keep in mind that polyurethane corbels are designed for decorative purposes only. Marble is also a common option.
2) Style: Corbels come in a wide range of styles, so it’s easy to find one that suits yours. Everything is at your disposal, from simple and understated design like straight lines for a basic elegance to beautifully intricate with carvings of flowers, grapes or leaves.
3) Application: When choosing corbels, you must also consider their specific application. If you need to provide support for a countertop, then do not purchase polyurethane corbels. When looking at wood corbels, the key feature to focus upon is corbel depth. Specifically, the corbel should measure between one-half and three-quarters the depth of the overhang it will support. And corbels should be spaced about three feet apart for adequate support and balance.
Before beginning the installation of your corbels, be sure to follow the instructions in the manufacturers’ user manuals. It is also important to have the right and safety tools at hand to get the job done. Consider the type of corbel you bought to know if it was designed to withstand loads or not. Remember to keep your workspace tidy to avoid accidents.
Basic steps for the installation of a corbel
- Lay the corbel face down on a soft surface that will not scratch/ dent the corbel detail.
- Apply adhesive to back edge of the corbel.
- Mark and press the corbel up against the surface hold in place with painter’s tape or finishing nails while adhesive cures.
- Wipe off any excess adhesive with a sponge or damp rag.
- Apply silicone caulk as needed to fill in any gaps between corbel and wall.
- Wipe off any excess adhesive and/or caulk with a sponge or damp rag.
- You can use nails to give more support to the piece, but to have a good finish fill the holes with caulk and smooth the surface with a finger. You should let the excess caulk dry and then lightly sand the place with extra fine sandpaper. In this way, the hole is imperceptible.
- Touch-up corbel with touch-up paint as needed.
- It is highly recommended that you paint/finish the corbels before installing.
- Recommended use of 100% acrylic latex paint for urethane products.
- Clean installation surface and back of the corbel of all dirt and dust with a clean cloth or sponge.
- Make sure that the surface and the back of the corbel are completely dry before attempting installation.
- Urethane products are primarily used for decorative purposes.