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Tile Countertop Removal Instructions

“Why won’t this tile countertop budge?” was the question I asked after I had removed all of the screws that were securing it to the kitchen cabinets. After thirty years of manufacturing kitchen and bathroom cabinets and counters, I stood there baffled while scratching my head.


Video on How To Remove Tile Countertops


Normally, all you have to do is remove the screws that are securing the top to the kitchen or bathroom cabinet and then lift it off. Depending upon what type of screw head you are dealing with, you will either need a Phillips head bit or a number two (#2) square drive bit to loosen the screws with.
Chiseling Tiles Off Countertops

I PULLED and PRIED, but the top still wouldn’t come off. Finally, I figured it out-the “amateur” that had originally built the tile top had screwed it into the cabinets from the top surface and then tiled over the screw heads. The next question was where on earth did he/she fasten it to the kitchen cabinets?

Passthrough Tile Countertop RemovalAs much as I didn’t want to begin removing tiles, I had no other option. To do this, I put on safety goggles, thick gloves, got out the hammer and stiff putty knife. I first busted one of the tiles in the area where I thought a couple of the fasteners might be located. My next step was to chisel off a few of the tiles.

The adhesive was so thick between the medium density fiber board (MDF) and the tiles that I could barely see where the screw heads were. I soon had all of the screws removed after having to destroy about thirty of the ceramic tiles.

If you have the same type situation, please be very careful. I cut myself with a razor sharp tile during the removal process.

Removal Instructions:

  • Turn off the main water supply and remove the sink.
  • Take all of the screws out that are inside of the cabinet.
  • If the countertop is too large to handle, break a few tiles out and cut the top off with a reciprocating saw.
  • If the tile countertop is secured from the top, break out the necessary tiles, find and remove the screws.
  • Wear safety glasses and thick protective gloves when necessary.

Tile Kithen Countertop Removal Safety PrecautionsRefer to this article if you need to know how to remove countertop backsplashes.

It’s a good idea to have an extra set of hands because tile countertops are extremely heavy. Removing a tile countertop in most cases is rather simple. Like I said, I’ve been taking them out for thirty years and have only had one instance where a rookie fastened it down wrong. A standard size tile counter top removal project should only take about an hour to accomplish. If you encounter to same problem I had where the countertop wouldn’t come off, you can plan on spending a couple of hours trying to remove the tops.

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