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How to Remove Cabinets but Leave the Countertop in Place

October 19th, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

The best way to learn how to remove kitchen or bathroom vanity base cabinets without uninstalling the countertop is to just do it. You really can leave the counter in place and only take out the base cupboards, but you are going to need some two-by-four studs to use as supports.

  • Tip: As a word of caution, not all backsplashes are attached to the countertops. If for some reason you are eventually going to throw the top away, but for now you’re just removing the cabinetry. You can screw through the back splash into the studs to support the back of the counter. Just make sure that the splash is screwed to the countertop.

Steps for removing cabinets and leaving countertops in place

1) Unscrew all of the installation screws that are securing the cabinets to the walls. If the cabinets were installed before the flooring, then you may not be able to remove them as a complete unit. If the toe base was built into the cabinets construct rather than being a separate piece, then you are going to have to destroy the boxes.

2) Cutting around the plumbing-Take a saber saw or salzsaw and cut the back of the cabinet around the plumbing. This cut will have to be large enough for the cabinet to slide past the sink.

3) An alternative to cutting the back of the cupboard around the plumbing area is to just knock the back off of the cabinet sides and leave it on the wall until you get all of the cabinets removed.

4) As you are removing the cabinet parts from underneath the counter cut, assemble and install the 2”x 4” studs to prop the countertop in place. Do not skimp on this step.

Prior to installing the new kitchen or bathroom cupboards make sure that you spray bleach or mildew killer on the walls if you have had some form of mild flooding or mild water damage that has occurred. Water damaged areas can contribute to health problems fi left unattended. If the walls were exposed to a lot of water and there’s evidence of sufficient amounts of mold, consult with a professional mold removal and restoration company.

How to install the new cabinets once you remove the old ones is just a matter of thinking things through. You will obviously be gradually removing the props as you replace them with the new cupboards. You may have to cut a certain amount off of the new cupboards if you have purchased them from Lowe’s or Home Depot. This is usually OK because the toe base can be cut to height.

Removing cabinets without uninstalling the countertop is just a matter of being patient and thinking things though as you go. Every situation will present its own set of difficulties. Some situations will allow you to remove the cabinets in whole sections and others scenarios will require that you knock the boxes apart and remove them in pieces. The main concern is always getting the countertop sufficiently supported in the kitchen or bathroom vanity where you are doing the remodel work.

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