Easy Tips for Removing Granite Countertops Without Cabinet Damage

To remove granite countertops without damaging cabinets, use a putty knife to loosen the adhesive and pry the granite away from the cabinets. This method can only be used if the countertops were installed using silicone adhesive.

Removing granite countertops can be a challenging task, especially when you want to save the cabinets underneath. Granite countertops add elegance and luxury to the kitchen, but when it is time to replace them, homeowners should know how to remove them without damaging the cabinets.

There are different methods to do this, but the most common technique is to use a putty knife to loosen the adhesive and pry away the granite. However, this method only applies if the countertops were installed using silicone adhesive. In this article, we will discuss how to remove granite countertops without damaging cabinets and the tools you will need for the process.

Why Remove A Granite Countertop?

Granite countertops are an excellent choice for upgrading your kitchen, but several reasons might lead to removing them. Whether you plan to replace them with a different material or carry out a complete kitchen overhaul, it is crucial to remove them without damaging your cabinets.

Here are the top reasons why you might consider removing granite countertops:

Damage To The Current Countertop

Granite countertops can withstand wear and tear due to their durability and resistance to heat and scratches. However, over time, they might become damaged or stained, requiring extensive repairs. Here are a few signs that your granite countertops might need removal:

  • Deep cracks or scratches on the surface
  • Discoloration from heat or exposure to liquids
  • Chipping or damage to the edges
  • Stains that don’t wipe off easily

Removing the existing granite countertop is essential in such instances, but you have to do it carefully to avoid damaging your cabinets.

Changing The Overall Design Of The Kitchen

If you are planning a complete renovation of your kitchen, you might want to consider changing the countertops to match the new design. Granite countertops have a specific look that might not blend well with some kitchen themes. In such cases, you can opt to remove the granite countertops and replace them with a material that suits your kitchen’s new design and theme.

Upgrading From Granite To A Different Countertop Material

Granite countertops have been a popular choice for many homeowners due to their durability, high-end look, and resistance to heat and scratches. However, other countertop materials like quartz, marble, and engineered stone have emerged as popular alternatives. If you are considering upgrading to a different material, you will have to remove the granite countertops first.

Removing a granite countertop can be a daunting task, but with proper caution, it can be achieved without causing any damage to cabinets. It’s crucial to hire a professional who understands the process and has the tools to complete the task effectively and efficiently.

Preparations Before Removing The Countertop

Before removing the granite countertops, it is important to make some necessary preparations to avoid any damage. Here are some key points you should consider before removing the countertop:

  • Measuring the length and width of the countertop: Measure the exact length and width of the countertop, as it will help you in determining how many people are required to lift and remove the countertop.
  • Clearing any breakable or fragile items from the countertop: It is important to remove any breakable or fragile items such as utensils, decorative items, or cookware from the countertop to avoid any damage.
  • Shutting off the water supply: The sink is usually attached to the countertop, and therefore, it is important to shut off the water supply before detaching the sink from the countertop.
  • Removing any sink, faucet, or appliances attached to the countertop: Before removing the countertop, detach the sink, faucet, or any other appliances attached to the countertop. Use a screwdriver or pliers to remove the screws or bolts.
  • Disabling the electrical and gas connections to the countertop: If your granite countertop has any electrical or gas connections with appliances such as stovetops or ovens, it is important to disable the connections safely before removing the countertop.
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Once you have made all the necessary preparations, you can move onto the next stage of removing the granite countertop.

Step 1: Cutting The Sealant And Adhesive

Using A Utility Knife To Cut The Caulk-Sealant

The first step in removing granite countertops without damaging cabinets is cutting the caulk-sealant. Use a utility knife to achieve this. Here are the key points to follow:

  • Before using the utility knife, inspect the seam to identify the sealant joint.
  • Insert the utility knife blade into the joint at a 45-degree angle.
  • Carefully cut through the sealant using slow and steady strokes.
  • Inspect the seam after cutting to ensure that the sealant is cut entirely.

Using A Putty Knife To Pry The Countertop From The Adhesive

After cutting the caulk-sealant, the next step is removing the countertop from the adhesive. Here are the key points to follow:

  • Use a putty knife to pry the countertop from the adhesive.
  • Start at one corner and insert the putty knife underneath the countertop.
  • Slowly work the putty knife down the length of the countertop.
  • Apply gentle force and wiggle the knife to loosen the adhesive.
  • If the countertop doesn’t lift, check if there are screws holding it in place.

Applying Heat From A Hair-Dryer Or Heat-Gun

If prying the countertop from the adhesive doesn’t work, the next step is applying heat. Here are the key points to follow:

  • Use a hair-dryer or heat-gun to apply heat to the granite countertop.
  • Apply heat to one end of the countertop for approximately 2-3 minutes.
  • Insert a putty knife under the heated end to loosen the adhesive.
  • Repeat this process for the entire length of the countertop.

Using A Pry-Bar To Remove Any Remaining Adhesive Residue

After prying or heating, there may be remaining adhesive residue that needs to be removed. Here are the key points to follow:

  • Use a pry-bar to remove any remaining adhesive residue.
  • Position the pry-bar between the countertop and the cabinet.
  • Insert the pry-bar and carefully apply pressure to remove the remaining adhesive.
  • Ensure that the pry-bar does not damage the cabinet.
  • Clean and sand the surface to remove any remaining residue.
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Step 2: Removing The Countertop

Lifting The Countertop Slowly And With Care

Removing a granite countertop can be a tricky feat, but with the right procedures, it can be done without damaging the cabinets. Here are some of the essential steps to follow to ensure the smooth removal of the countertop:

  • Start by loosening the adhesive material holding the countertop in place. You can use a putty knife to scrape off any caulk or silicone sealant around the perimeter of the countertop.
  • Make sure to wear sturdy work gloves before handling the countertop as it can be quite heavy.
  • Move to one side of the countertop and insert a pry bar between the countertop and the cabinet base. Wedge the bar into the gap and apply gentle pressure. Lift the countertop by a few inches and then move to the other side.

Having An Assistant To Help Lift And Move The Countertop

  • When removing a granite countertop, it’s advisable to work with a second person. Having an assistant can provide an extra pair of hands to lift and move the countertop without dropping it.
  • With one person on each side of the counter, lift the granite slowly and carefully. It’s helpful to establish a rhythm and communicate throughout the process.
  • If the countertop is too large for one person to lift, consider using suction cups to help lift and move the countertop. Make sure the suction cups have a tight grip and are evenly spaced.

Making Sure That The Countertop Is Well-Supported And Balanced Throughout The Removal Process

  • As you lift the countertop, make sure to keep it well-supported and balanced throughout the process. Use your hands or a pry bar to support the underside of the countertop to prevent it from breaking apart or dropping.
  • Balance is crucial in moving the countertop as you move to the new position or surface. You don’t want one side of the countertop to be higher than the other as you may end up damaging the cabinets or the countertop itself.

Placing The Removed Countertop On A Sturdy Surface

  • Once you have successfully removed the countertop, the next step is to place it in a safe spot. The best place to put the countertop is a sturdy surface with enough space to accommodate the countertop’s size and weight.
  • Lay down a soft material such as a blanket to prevent any damage to the countertop’s surface. Make sure that the blanket is clean and dry to avoid any spills or stains on the granite.
  • Remember to be cautious when moving the countertop and do not slide it across the ground or place it in a spot where it’s prone to tip over.

By following these steps carefully, you can remove your granite countertop without damaging your cabinets. Remember to take your time during this process to ensure that everything is lifted and placed securely.

Step 3: Finishing Touches

Removing Any Remaining Adhesive Residue From The Cabinets:

Once you’ve successfully removed the granite countertop, it’s common to find adhesive residue on the cabinets. Here are some helpful tips to help leaves your cabinets free from any adhesive residue:

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  • Use a scraper or putty knife to gently scrape any remaining adhesive residue.
  • Apply a small amount of acetone on a clean towel and rub gently over the adhesive residue until it comes off.
  • Denatured alcohol, soap, and water are also effective solutions to help eliminate any remaining adhesive residue.

Checking The Cabinets And Ensuring That They Are Undamaged:

Removing a granite countertop can be a delicate process and can cause damage to cabinets if not done correctly. Here are some helpful tips to ensure the cabinets are undamaged:

  • Inspect the cabinet surface for any physical damage.
  • Check the cabinets for loose screws, hinges, or any other hardware that may have come out during the removal process.
  • Verify that all the corners and edges of the cabinets and the countertop are free from chips, cracks, or scratches.

Repairing Any Damages To The Surface Material:

If you find any damage to the surface material after removing the countertop, don’t worry, they can be fixed. Here’s how to repair a damaged material:

  • For wood surfaces, sand down the damaged area with sandpaper, fill any cracks or chips with wood filler, and stain it to match the remaining area.
  • For laminate surfaces, use a laminate filler or adhesive that matches the color of your countertop to fill any chips, cracks or burns. Sand it down and finish it with a primer and paint or a clear coat.
  • For drywall repairs, clean the area with sandpaper or a putty knife, apply a drywall compound, dry it overnight and sand it down. Paint to match the area if necessary.

Installing The New Countertop And Reattaching Any Appliances Or Sinks:

The final step in the process is re-installing the new countertop. Here are some helpful tips to ensure a successful installation:

  • Start by measuring and cutting the new countertop to fit the cabinets perfectly.
  • Place the countertop onto the cabinets and make sure it’s level and flush with the walls.
  • Reattach any appliances or sinks to the countertop by following the manufacturer’s instructions and using the appropriate hardware.
  • Finally, ensure any seams or edges are properly sealed to prevent water or food from getting through.

By following these simple steps, you can successfully remove granite countertops without causing any damage to the cabinets and giving your kitchen a whole new look.


Removing granite countertops is a daunting task, but doing so without damaging cabinets should be your ultimate goal. By making use of the right tools, following the right techniques, and taking the necessary precautions, you can achieve this feat. Remember, working slowly and carefully is key to prevent any damage or injuries.

Additionally, it’s important to have a helping hand by your side. Following the guidelines mentioned in this post will give you the confidence and knowledge to undertake this task with ease. So, go ahead and get started on this exciting journey of removing granite countertops without damaging your cabinets! With determination and patience, you can successfully complete this project and make your home more beautiful and functional.

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