The Skeleton Counter

The Skeleton Counter

The Shelf Life of a 12-Foot Home Depot Skeleton Counter



I’ve been going through the attic and basement of our small Vermont cabin, and every few years I open up and pull out the old 12-foot home-improvement store “skeleton counter.”

I’ve looked at the same counter, one side open and the other closed at a set height. Both are made of pine, both have heavy black metal brackets up front and back, both have a counter edge that is 1½ inches thick, and both are made to last for decades. I’ve felt the same as when I first saw this counter installed in 1971.

This is a counter that will stand up to just about anything. I don’t need to be reminded of its robustness. But you may, because what you notice most is the difference between its closed condition and how it feels when opened and set on its edge.

This counter will stand for many years, perhaps well into your own life. But I know when my counter is about to show its age—when the counter edge begins to crack and the brackets show rust—and I’ve begun to notice a few things about it.

First, the counter is no match for the wood it replaces. Second, you can’t use the counter to store anything large, and third, when the counter is set on its edge and the top brackets are off and the counter rests on the edge, the whole counter is much too thin to be useful.


I don’t buy into an argument that counter tops are not meant for cabinets. I don’t need to buy a counter top for my kitchen, or any sort of storage. I never have. I’ve just never done that with a counter top.

Cabinets are for storage and for decoration. Counter tops are for counter space.

The most likely reason I never bought a counter for my kitchen is that I already had a good, solid wood one.

For years, I lived the

Leave a Comment