How To Remove Kitchen Countertops

The kitchen is one of the most remodeled rooms in the house. Homeowners usually want to have something new installed in the kitchen. Sometimes it is to follow the current trend, sometimes it is because the family has grown bigger. It could even be to increase the resale value of the house. Replacing the kitchen countertop alone can give the kitchen a more modern and updated look.

Removing the countertop is quite easy, although care should be taken so as not to damage the rest of the existing fixtures. Protect yourself by wearing protective gear and work clothes and protect the floor with plywood or thick plastic sheeting. Below are some tips to remove a kitchen countertop.

  1. Remove the cabinets under the countertop and any other items that are placed beneath the countertop. Empty the cabinets of their contents so you can have more room to move as you work.
  2. Check if there are water and gas lines running under the countertop and behind it. Shut off the valves to prevent leaks before disconnecting them.
  3. Disconnect the drain lines by loosening the P-trap and removing it from the tailpiece. The rest of the drainpipes and the other water fixtures can be removed after you have removed the sink.
  4. The sink and the cook top come off next. You may have to pry them loose a bit and detaching them from the mounting screws.
  5. Older sinks may be installed with tiles around it. Remove first the tiles surrounding the sinks and chip off the mortar so that you can easily lift up them up. Check underneath as the sinks may have been attached with adhesive. Use a flexible putty knife to cut the adhesive beads that hold the sinks in place. Once these adhesive has been removed the sinks can easily be lifted.
  6. Other sinks are anchored to the countertop with screws placed at the four corners of the sinks. Check inside the cabinets under the sinks for screws. Loosen the screws to lift the sinks.
  7. For tiled countertops, you should begin removing the tiles attached to the wall near the counter. Pry off the tiles one by one, using your crowbar to force the tiles loose. Move to the front of the countertop next and do the same thing. When the edges are done you will have an easier time removing the rest of the tiles as you have already made headway. To make it easier to handle the tiles, use a circular saw with masonry blade to cut sections of the tiles from the countertop.
  8. For a laminate countertop start at the corner to pry the layer loose. It can be a big sheet of laminate and difficult to handle as you lift it. For safer and easier handling it will be better to cut the laminate in smaller sections. Broken pieces of laminate can be sharp cutting it into smaller sections is very practical. Use a sawzall or a reciprocating saw to cut through the laminate. It has a strong metal blade that can also cut screws and nails.

You will need an assistant to help you lift and remove sections of the countertop. If it seems that you cannot remove sections of the countertop, check for nails and screws underneath the countertop and inside the cabinets. In all likelihood there are sections that are still attached.


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