There are multiple usages for metal corbels and brackets. You can use them to offer an enhanced touch to the design of your room or you can use them for support or presumption support for a structure. The difference between corbels and brackets is that corbels are much wider but they both can support heavy structures.
There are a lot of style and designs available for corbels. The simple design of a corbel is consisted of lines and diagonals. The complex designs have flower carvings and grape leaves. This is why people use corbels more for the decorative purpose. It is important to know what you are using the corbels for when you are buying them. Corbels must measure from ½ to 2/4 in the depth of the overhang it will support. The corbels should be installed at 3 feet one from another to provide the proper support and balance.
The brackets have the more functional usage. When you have to support shelves that will carry heavy books, vases or decorations you usually use brackets to support that shelve. Even though there are also a lot of designs available for brackets they are slimmer than corbels. The material usually used for brackets is metal. Other materials like wood or polyurethane are usually used for corbels.