Removing Kitchen Countertops and Cabinets
How to Remove Kitchen Countertops and Cabinets
in a Controlled Way
By: Mark J. Donovan
When remodeling your kitchen one way
to save money is to remove the old kitchen countertops and cabinets yourself.
Removing kitchen countertops and cabinets can be a one man project up until the
point of having to lift the kitchen countertop off of the cabinets, so plan to
have a second pair of hands and a strong back nearby.
Removing Kitchen Countertops
The first step in removing kitchen
countertops is to turn off the water supply lines to the kitchen faucet.
Normally the shut-off valves can be
found under the sink.
After shutting off the water, use an
adjustable wrench to disconnect the supply lines from the kitchen faucet. Note
that there is no need to disconnect the supply lines up high under the kitchen
sink. Just disconnect the ends that attach into the supply line shut-off valves.
Next, remove all of the kitchen
drawers from the cabinets so that you have easy access to the underside of the
Also this is an excellent point in the project to empty all of the contents of
the kitchen cabinets, as you will need room to reach back into the base cabinet
units to access screws.
With the kitchen drawers and cabinets
emptied of their contents, you can now remove the kitchen sink. Before removing
the sink however, disconnect the sink drain pipe. Make sure you have a bucket
handy to catch the water that is in the J-trap.
Unscrew the clips that hold the sink
to the kitchen countertop and then simply lift the kitchen sink, along with the
faucet in many cases, out of the countertop.
With the kitchen sink out, next
remove the kitchen backsplash. Kitchen backsplashes are normally attached to the
back wall with an adhesive, and caulked along the edges. Use a utility knife to
score the caulk line. This will help minimize any tears to the drywall above the
height of the backsplash. Use a large flat screwdriver and a small block of wood
as leverage to help pry the backsplash off of the wall.
Once the backsplash has been removed,
crawl underneath the kitchen countertop and into the kitchen cabinet base units
and remove the screws that hold the kitchen countertop to the kitchen cabinets.
With the screws removed you are now
ready for a second pair of hands. Lifting and removing kitchen countertops can
be extremely heavy and awkward work so make sure you are up to the task prior to
literally removing them. Also make sure your work area is free of any obstacles
Photo by Mark Donovan
Removing Kitchen Cabinets
After removing the kitchen
countertops, you can then move on and remove the old kitchen cabinets. Remove
the base units first, followed by the upper cabinets. Note that kitchen cabinets
are fastened to the back walls as well as to adjacent cabinets. Make sure you
remove the screws that attach adjacent cabinets first.
After removing your old kitchen countertops and cabinets, consider recycling
them in your basement and/or garage. Though they may look old and ugly in your
kitchen they may look beautiful and function well in a workshop environment.
For help on your kitchen renovation project, see my
Kitchen Remodeling Bid Sheet. The Kitchen Remodeling Bid
Sheet provides a request for quote checklist section that you can provide to
prospective kitchen remodeling contractors. It also includes a comprehensive
kitchen remodeling cost breakdown table, in Microsoft Excel format, that allows
the contractor to include his projected remodeling costs for every phase of the
Related information on Kitchen Remodeling and Kitchen
Renovation Design Ideas
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