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How to Remove Laminate Countertop & Backsplash Without Damaging Cabinets

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We have been preparing for our new counter tops this week (follow me on Instagram stories for live updates!). We will be back with all of the details about our new counter tops next week, but today I wanted to talk about our old laminate counter tops.

Our installers offered us a $150 discount if we removed them ourselves, so you know that we decided to give it the old DIY try. We love to save money wherever we can!

We already painted our old cabinets so we wanted to be sure that we did not damage them!

How to Remove Old Laminate Countertops & Backsplash Without Damaging the Cabinets

Love our new kitchen design? Be sure to check out our whole DIY Coastal Kitchen Remodel Makeover

How to Remove Old Laminate Countertops & Backsplash Without Damaging the Cabinets - Charleston Crafted

We had a few steps in our laminate kitchen counter top removal process DIY project.

How to Remove Old Laminate Countertops & Backsplash Without Damaging the Cabinets - Charleston Crafted
How to Remove Old Laminate Countertops & Backsplash Without Damaging the Cabinets - Charleston Crafted

How to Remove Laminate Countertop

How to Remove Old Laminate Countertops & Backsplash Without Damaging the Cabinets - Charleston Crafted
How to Remove Old Laminate Countertops & Backsplash Without Damaging the Cabinets - Charleston Crafted
How to Remove Old Laminate Countertops & Backsplash Without Damaging the Cabinets - Charleston Crafted

First, remove the drawers and open your cabinets. You might not need to remove and open them all, but it makes removing the countertop easier to have clear access.

Removing the actual countertops was super simple. They are just screwed in place. If you look inside the cabinet up at the underside of the counter, we had small plastic diagonal pieces in each corner.

These plastic pieces were connecting the countertop material to the cabinets themselves. There are just a couple of screws holding the countertops on!

These had one screw in them. I used a drill to remove the screws and then the countertops lifted right off – warning – they are heavy! Lift the countertop with a friend to avoid injury.

This method works on laminate and solid surface kitchen countertops. I am not sure if granite or stone counters are held on the same way – I think they are just glued in place.

You will have to use a putty knife to remove the caulk and glue before carefully removing stone counters.

How to Remove a Laminate “Backsplash”

It took us a little while to figure out what the heck we were doing here so if you are reading this you will be ahead of us.

It helps if you understand this – it appears that our backspash was a 1×4 piece of wood screwed into the wall and then covered with plastic.

How to Remove Old Laminate Countertops & Backsplash Without Damaging the Cabinets - Charleston Crafted
How to Remove Old Laminate Countertops & Backsplash Without Damaging the Cabinets - Charleston Crafted

So, put your crowbar (or pry bar or removal tool of choice) in the front seam of the laminate NOT on the seam with the wall. Hopefully this photo makes sense.

How to Remove Old Laminate Countertops & Backsplash Without Damaging the Cabinets - Charleston Crafted

Remove just the plastic covering. Now you should see a board with screws. Un-screw them and pop them off the wall. You may need to use a knife to break the seal if it is stuck on with paint around the edges.

Removing the Sink & Faucet

The last step was to remove the sink. We purchased a new sink, faucet, and garbage disposal, so these all had to go. The sink itself had six brackets holding it in place that just needed one screw removed to come away. Then we had to disconnect all the stuff attached to it.

First, we disconnected the disposal, which is as simple as using a screwdriver to give one half twist at the top and it pops off.

Then we had to disconnect the drain pipe on the other side so that now the sink was free. Use an adjustable wrench to do this.

The last step is to disconnect the two water lines from the faucet. Make sure to turn off the water first.

We actually had to shut off the main water line as well because the connections in this old house don’t completely stop water from pouring out. Then we just pulled the whole thing out as one.

How to Remove Old Laminate Countertops & Backsplash Without Damaging the Cabinets - Charleston Crafted
How to Remove Old Laminate Countertops & Backsplash Without Damaging the Cabinets - Charleston Crafted

I am SO HAPPY to say bye bye to these laminate countertops. And I am so glad that we were able to replace the countertop without replacing cabinets. Just one way to save money on your home improvements!

Click here to read all about our new, recycled glass and oyster shell countertops!

How to Remove Old Laminate Countertops & Backsplash Without Damaging the Cabinets - Charleston Crafted
Yield: 1 countertop

How to remove laminate countertops without damaging cabinets

Active Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Difficulty: Easy
Estimated Cost: $0-10

If you are replacing your countertops, a great way to save money on the installation is by removing your old countertops yourself. Here is how to easily DIY remove laminate countertops.

Materials

  • None needed!

Tools

  • Drill or screwdriver
  • Hammer
  • Straight blade or crow bar

Instructions

  1. Use a drill to remove the screws and then the countertops should lift right off. How to Remove Old Laminate Countertops & Backsplash Without Damaging the Cabinets - Charleston Crafted
  2. Place crow bar or straight edge between the laminate backsplash and the wood. Use hammer to knock the back to remove laminate from the wood. How to Remove Old Laminate Countertops & Backsplash Without Damaging the Cabinets - Charleston Crafted
  3. Remove the laminate covering. How to Remove Old Laminate Countertops & Backsplash Without Damaging the Cabinets - Charleston Crafted
  4. Unscrew the board from the wall. How to Remove Old Laminate Countertops & Backsplash Without Damaging the Cabinets - Charleston Crafted

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