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How To Remove Granite Countertops Step by Step

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Today I am sharing how to remove granite countertops without breaking and an update on our kitchen renovation.

If you’re a homeowner looking to give your kitchen an update, there’s no better way than by replacing old countertops with brand new quartz. Removing the existing countertop can be intimidating—but it doesn’t have to be! Today I will show you how to remove granite countertops and “in tact” so it could be resold or donated.

The kitchen picture below shows the cabinets stained a cherry color with a dark brown granite countertop. Be sure to click through to this post, our kitchen renovation, if you missed it how to renovate without removing cabinets!

dark stained kitchen cabinets with brown granite countertop

Our kitchen in the below picture shows the cabinets after they were painted gray and the brown granite we are removing. Click through our post, how to paint kitchen cabinets, if you are interested in the color we used and step by step process of painting cabinets.

Sherwin-Williams-Mindful-Gray-Painted-Kitchen-Cabinets

While this kitchen is beautiful if you love and older traditional style with an Italian theme, it was too dark and felt dated for our taste.

Check out our quick video below of the entire countertop removal process.

We Hired Discover Surfaces

We hired a Discover Surfaces to remove our existing counters and install the new quartz counter. They are the leader in New England and Southwest Florida for premium natural, quartz and solid surface countertops so be sure to check them out here! They have installed several counters in our new home builds and flip houses and are the best 😃. If you visit them, be sure to tell them I sent you!

Discover Surfaces is replacing our granite countertops with quartz next week so stay tuned for the installation post.

Why did you renovate your kitchen?

We decided to renovate the kitchen earlier this year in order to modernize it for resale value and most importantly, enjoy a brighter lighter look while we still live here! We do not have any plans of selling our home soon but there is something to be said for enjoying the home you live in before you sell it. So many times, homes are updated and modernized in preparation for resale and while that is practical in many situations, it’s also important to enjoy a modernized look (if that appeals to you) before you sell.

Materials Needed

  • Wood or composite wedge shims
  • Painters tool (painters multi tool with blade)
  • Hammer
  • Utility knife with sharp (new) blade
  • Pry bar
  • Suction cups with handles for removal (for counters)
  • Slab dolly to transport heavy stone slabs

How to Remove a Granite Countertops

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1: Use a utility knife to cut through any caulking or adhesive that is holding the countertop in place (where the countertop touches the cabinets). You will need to break the caulk or adhesive all the way around the countertops.

gray kitchen cabinets with brown gold granite countertops

Step 2: Remove the sink and shut off any water valves or electrical units.

The removal process of our smaller cocktail sink in the island was not fun! ha. After wedging the painter’s tool (looks like a putty knife but has a blade) in between the counter and sink, it finally came loose.

how to remove a cocktail sink from a kitchen island with granite countertop

How to Remove a Granite Countertop Without Damaging

Step 3: Tap the end of the painters tool with a hammer and work your way around the counter breaking the glue seal.

using a hammer tap the pry bar or wedge in between the countertop and cabinet to remove the granite countertop

Step 4: Tapping a wooden shim in between the granite and countertops every few feet to essentially “break the adhesive” seal.

You could actually hear the seal breaking once several wedges were tapped into place.

using a hammer tap the pry bar or wedge in between the countertop and cabinet to remove the granite countertop

Step 5: To remove the countertop from the back edge of wall, use pry bar and gently tap the end with a hammer to slowly break the seal against the wall.

Use suction cup handles to slowly slide and remove the granite countertop.

suction cup handles to remove granite countertop in a kitchen renovation

The suction cup handles worked perfectly to slide the existing granite countertop from under the kitchen cabinet and remove them in one piece.

2 men removing a granite countertop in a large kitchen with gray cabinets

To transport the larger countertop slabs to a safe location, they used a slab dolly.

slab dolly to remove large stone countertops

Having a dolly is a must to not only safely move the larger slabs but more importantly, save your back!

slab dolly to remove large stone countertops

Removing granite countertops and installing a modern white quartz one is an excellent way to update any kitchen while enhancing its overall allure.

Cutting granite countertops is a messy and very long process. With a little bit of patience and the correct tools, you can remove granite countertops by not cutting them.

How To Remove Granite Countertops

How to safely remove granite countertops in a kitchen using a multi tool, hammer, wedges, suction cups and a pry bar.
Print Instructions
2 men removing a granite countertop in a large kitchen with gray cabinets

Equipment

  • 1 Slab dolly
  • 2 suction cup handles

Supply List

Instructions : Step by Step

  • Using the utility knife, cut the adhesive or caulking under the countertop where it meets the kitchen cabinets
  • Using a hammer, tap the end of multi tool in between the counter and cabinet
  • Tap wedges in between counter and cabinets and work your way all the way around
  • Once all the wedges are tapped into place, gently slide the countertop to the side. If the countertop does not move, add more wedges and ensure the seal is completely broken with the utility knife.
  • For the countertops against the wall or backsplash, use your utility knife to break the caulking seal and use a pry bar in between wall and counter to gently break the seal
  • Use suction cup handles to remove
  • If you have any seams (where multiple countertops were sealed together, be sure to use the utility knife to cut the seam and remove each counterpiece separately.

Tips

We hired a professional counter company as we do not have the proper tools to remove the countertops safely and in tact. 
Author: Jessica Bruno
Cost: varies depending on scope of work

Where to buy supplies

Dewalt utility knife

Utility knife

painters tool to remove countertop

Painters Tool

Similar to a putty knife

hammer to remove countertop

Hammer

pry bar set

Pry bars

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Here are some of the supplies that they used when removing the countertops

Answers to your questions about how to remove countertops

Can granite countertops be easily removed?

Yes, granite countertops can be easily removed with the right preparation and tools. For this project, I highly recommend hiring a professional that removes stone countertops on a regular basis and has the proper tools and knowledge to remove safely, prevent damage to existing countertops and keep the stone countertop in tact.

Is it possible to remove granite countertops without damaging cabinets?

If you have the proper tools to break through the adhesive layer and knowledge (plus man power!) granite countertops can usually be removed without damaging the cabinets.

Update: See our newly painted kitchen cabinets in Mindful Gray with the new white quartz countertops.

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Have you recently updated your countertops?

We would love to see what you have created so mention us @fourgenerationsoneroof or tag us using #4G1R so we can see your creations!

Meet Jessica

What started as a hobby, Jessica’s blog now has millions of people visit yearly and while many of the projects and posts look and sound perfect, life hasn’t always been easy. Read Jessica’s story and how overcoming death, divorce and dementia was one of her biggest life lessons to date.

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