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Can You Remove Granite Countertops Without Damaging Cabinets?

In an ideal world, all home renovation projects would be completed without causing any damage to existing surfaces, but the truth is that mistakes happen, and sometimes we need to make emergency repairs. 

Granite countertops are beautiful and durable, but they are also very hard, which is why most homeowners don’t have to worry about them cracking. But that hardness also means that they can leave scratches and dents. 

Can you remove or replace a granite countertop without damaging the cabinets? Of course you can!

Granite countertops are a favorite for many homeowners because of their beauty and durability. 

Granite is a tough material, but it still needs to be cared for. 

One common concern involves the possibility of damaging cabinets. 

If you are planning to remove your old countertops and install new ones, or are considering replacing just the tops, it helps to know how to best remove the countertops. 

Here are some tips on how to remove granite countertops without damaging cabinets.

How to Remove Granite Countertops Without Damaging Cabinets

Granite countertops may be a beautiful addition to your kitchen, but if you’re looking to remove them, you’ll find that they’re not quite as easy to get rid of as laminate. 

Granite countertops are usually installed over drop-in or under-mount sinks, which means the granite is attached to the cabinets underneath. 

If you remove the countertops, you may also end up removing the cabinets, which can be quite costly. 

There are a ways to avoid damaging the cabinets.

1. Tools Needed 

With the popularity of granite countertops soaring, many homeowners find themselves faced with the challenge of removing their existing countertops without damaging their cabinets. 

While the granite slabs tend to come with detailed instructions on what tools you’ll need to complete the job, some homeowners are not sure whether those tools are good enough to make the removal job easy and worry about damaging their cabinets.

To remove granite countertops with the least amount of damage, you’ll need to be prepared with the right tools, and follow a procedure that works in your kitchen.

  • Wrench
  • Rubber mallet
  • Scraper
  • Pry bar
  • Chisel
  • Hammer
  • Utility Knife
  • Screwdriver 
  • Flashlight
  • Disposable dust mask
  • Safety Glasses
  • Plyers
  • Caulk softener 
  • Sturdy shoes

2. Steps to remove granite countertops

Removing granite countertops is a DIY project that requires patience. 

If you don’t have the time or don’t feel comfortable handling the job, it’s best to hire a professional. 

When removing granite countertops, you can expect to spend anywhere from $1,000 to $2,500 for labor and supplies. 

This cost will depend on the size of the counter and the amount of demolition it needs.

1. Prepare granite for removal 

Removing the granite countertop from your kitchen or bathroom is a big job. 

  1. Cover furniture, flooring, and appliances to protect them from chips and dirt.
  1. Then, you need to remove any faucets, sinks (and other fittings). This is because they will be in the way, and removing them now will make the rest of the job so much easier.
  1. It is critical to make sure that the water is turned off and that the pipes are drained prior to removing the granite.
  1. Another challenge in removing granite countertops is that the sink is often held in place using caulk between the sink and the countertop.
  1. Simply break the caulk from the rim of the sink using a knife.
  1. Once the sink is completely detached, you can use a rubber mallet to lift the sink away.
  1. Notice that granite is attached to your cabinets, and there are screw holes on the underside of the granite that are easy to miss.
  1. So before you attempt to pull out the countertops, remove the screws.

2. Remove the countertop

  • Make a clean work area. Countertop accessories and appliances like toasters and blenders require very specific positioning so that they can have optimal functionality while fitting in with the rest of the design.
  • You want to make sure you remove anything that’s installed above the countertop.
  • Not only will this ensure that you don’t accidentally hit something with a hammer or drill while working on your countertop, but it will also protect the expensive electronics and other items in your kitchen from damage.
  • Remove the plywood underneath of the granite. The plywood is usually attached to the concrete structure and screwed strongly with a special kind of adhesive. Find the screws on top of the plywood and remove them using the right wrench. 
  • Once inside the kitchen cabinets, the underlayment should now be visible.
  • Raise the granite up off the cabinet supports’ top, beginning from the front and over to the back. 
  • Use the pry bar to wedge into the gap between the granite and the supports. Work to loosen the granite from the top over towards the front of the counter. 
  • Be careful not to damage the particle board or cabinet support.
  • When it comes to removing granite you need to make sure you do it safely.
  • Whenever possible you should remove the granite countertop from the kitchen in an upside down position. 
  • The granite countertop should be turned from the back side first.
  • You need to make sure you don’t damage the countertop while turning it upside down, so you need to use some type of padding or a blanket to pad the countertop.
  • Avoid placing the granite on the floor and sliding it across an open surface. 
  • It is recommended to use a wooden palette or cardboard box to transport your granite.

Final words 

The granite countertops are beautiful but if you have discovered that you want a change and would like to remove it, you have to think about the cabinets. 

The kitchen cabinets are very expensive and if you damage them, you have to replace them. 

To get the best results and to save the cabinets, you have to follow the steps to remove granite countertops suggested in this post for better result.