My wife and I are considering cutting a pass-through in a non-load-bearing kitchen wall. I am confident that I can do all of the necessary cutting and framing. We would like to place a countertop, possibly solid wood or butcherblock, in the opening on the kitchen side. The countertop would serve as a casual eating area, as well as a place to place buffet type foods for access from the dining room. We are thinking about an opening of approximately 7'-8' long, and a countertop of the same length by 24" - 30" deep, with all of the overhang on the kitchen side. I would rather not have any kind of support legs at the outer edge of the countertop going to the floor. I would like to hear any suggestions for attaching the countertop to the wall opening that prevents the countertop from collapsing when someone leans on it or a weeks worth of groceries are placed on it. I had given some thought to simply installing a horizontal 2x4 or larger across the top of the short studs of the bottom part of the wall, and through-bolting the countertop and the 2x4. I would countersink the bolt heads in the countertop, then either plug the holes with wood plugs, or hide them by installing a strip of wood across the countertop, which could also be used to prevent plates and the like from sliding into the dining room. Would this be sufficient to support the counterop?. I suppose I could also attach lumber to the bottom part of the wall, just under the countertop, to provide additional mounting surface.
Has anyone done this kind of thing? Any pros/cons regarding the material (buthcherblock vs. more of a standard wood table-type surface)? Would I have to worry about warping or sagging? Would some sort of shelf-brackets be necessary or recommended at the ends and middle of the countertop? The thought is to install the surface on the high side, and use either bar stools or high director's chairs to sit at the surface on the kitchen side. We want to be able to slide the seats under the surface, as well as not smash our knees into any kind of legs!