How To Remove Granite Countertops
Many people ask us: can you remove granite worktops and reuse them? The answer is yes! All you have to do is simply pry off sections of the countertop. While many contractors prefer to remove granite countertops, they are relatively easy to salvage if you have some patience and the right tools.
We all know how good granite is. It is one of the most desirable materials and comes in a variety of colors. It is unique, durable, lasts forever, is easy to maintain and looks beautiful. However, removing a granite countertop is much more of a hassle than removing a laminate countertop. Not only does it weigh hundreds of pounds, but it is held in place with industrial-strength adhesives.
How to Remove Granite Countertops Without Damaging My Cabinets
If you want to do it yourself and you think you can handle this type of project, this method is the best way to remove a granite countertop. It will save you money and the process is simple, but it is easier said than done.
Before you start any project, make sure you take all the necessary safety precautions, roll up your sleeves and be prepared to do some good old-fashioned hard work.
What You Will Need.
- A box cutter
- Putty knife
- Heavy-duty rubber hammer
- Wooden shims
- Hot air gun
- Reciprocating saws
- Furniture pulleys or pieces of wood
First Things First: How to Remove The Granite Backsplash Without Damaging It?
Of course, you have to remove the backsplash first. If you try to go in and pop off the backsplash without preheating the glue first, then it will probably crack. To remove the granite backsplash without damaging it, follow these steps
- Take a box cutter or putty knife to cut through all the silicone caulk seals. Make sure you cut through as many sides as possible. You may have to cut several times with the cassette cutter.
- Use a heat gun to heat the backer board to wall glue for about 5 minutes.
- Carefully tap in the wooden spacers where needed. It should be easy to pry off afterward.
How To Remove Granite Countertops
Take all the doors and drawers off the cabinets to avoid damaging them. If you don’t want to take them off, cover them with a thick piece of cardboard.
Next, find a gap between the granite and the cupboard. Using a box cutter or putty knife, cut as much silicon as possible throughout steps 5-7.
Take a couple of pry bars and place them inside the gap. Tap the underside of the granite with a mallet to wedge it into place. Tap it just as you would with a hammer, but from below. When you see the edge lift up, slowly drive the pry bar deeper into the gap.
Continue to do this until the front edge separates.
The sections of the tabletop are held together by a thin layer of epoxy. If you find the surface, use a heat gun (or blowtorch) and a paper cutter to cut the epoxy. You can use a reciprocating saw to make it easier.
OK, now you’re ready to lift. Granite is heavy; if you know any footballers, ask them to invite their team over to help. Work the tabletop slowly until the glue no longer holds it in place. This part may take a bit of work.
Use a furniture tug to move the granite. If you don’t have one, you can also slide it along the wooden edge, as long as it’s not flat. Flat pieces will leave dents on your floor.
The Faster Way: How To Break Granite Countertops
Many people ask us. What is used to remove granite countertops? Most of the time, they are simply held in place with dots of silicone, but a strong adhesive is also used. Unfortunately, some installers will apply the glue directly to the cabinets without even putting a piece of plywood in the middle. If this is the case, you may not be able to save these cabinets.
If you don’t mind damaging the granite and don’t care what happens to it, you can have it removed. If you have a good back, this is a great way to work on your frustration. A lot of people like to go this route if it’s not being reused because, especially, the smaller pieces are easier to deal with.
What You’ll Need.
- Hammer drill (optional)
- Dust mask
- Safety goggles
- Painter’s plastic
- Painters tape
- Duct tape
- The sledgehammer of 5 lbs or more
First, pull up the wall with painter’s tape and plastic sheeting. This will create a dust barrier, otherwise, you’ll bury your stuff in a cloud of dust.
Next, put on goggles and a mask to prevent breathing in the dust. Use a hammer drill and a series of holes. You can skip this step if you want to keep the dust to a minimum, but things will be much easier if you do.
Now you are ready to break the granite with a sledgehammer. Be careful, because a lot can go wrong and it will end up costing you more in the long run. The granite will break into pieces and fly everywhere, and if you push too hard you could damage the cabinets. If this is a problem, you can put a grid of tape over the granite to reduce scattering.
The Easiest Way To Remove Granite Countertops
This project is easy enough for most people to handle, but before you attempt this project yourself, consider exactly how much money you can save.
Most people would agree that the really best way to remove a heavy countertop is to get a professional granite removal company. Lifting a large chunk of granite is not a one-man operation and has a lot of potential for damage. You can remove it wholly, but this is more of a hassle.
The money saved may not be worth the hassle; unless you are very dexterous (and you have a good back), this may be in your best interest.
Professionals may only charge a few hundred dollars for a simple job, and they are experienced in lifting granite countertops. Some jobs that may take all day will only take the crew a few hours.