When it comes to countertops, it’s hard to find a material that checks all the right boxes – until you consider granite. Granite is durable, stain, moisture, and scratch-resistant, completely natural, can be easily cleaned, and of course, looks stunning. You are also spoiled for choice when it comes to colors and variation.
What’s not to love about it? With all these benefits, you need to consider one aspect – the color scheme of your home may need to change over the years to keep a fresh and updated look. Oftentimes, this means choosing a fresh countertop color that will compliment your new color scheme.
Taking them out and replacing them could be the best and most cost-effective solution in your home improvement project, but removing the countertop, too, involves careful handling and expertise. Consider the following tips on how to remove granite countertops.
Tips on How to Remove Granite Countertops, Proper Removal, and Disposal
Disclaimer: We highly advise against attempting to remove granite countertops yourself and that you call a professional granite countertop company. Failure to properly perform this act may result in serious injury or death. The guidelines below are simply tips for the most common situations we come across – these tips are not going to apply to every situation. GranitePro is not liable for any injuries, damages, or deaths that may occur as a result of the tips provided below.
First, start by emptying all drawers and cabinets to avoid dust contamination or breakage, especially in your kitchen. You need to have the right tools, which should include a dust mask, gloves, wrench, safety goggles, putty knife, caulk softener, bucket, screwdriver, pry bar, box cutter, chisel, and a saw that is capable of being used on a material as heavy and large as a granite countertop.
Next, turn off all electricity to prevent any accidents. Do the same with your water connection by shutting off the hot and cold lines and the emergency cut-off valve and disengage all water lines. To detach the faucets, you must first trace the disconnected water lines to the bottom of the sink.
Use pliers to turn the nuts on the bottom of the hold-down brackets counterclockwise, making detaching them more manageable, and remove the faucets by simply pushing them from the rim in an upward direction. To remove the sink, do the same – unscrew the nuts on the hold down brackets that you will find at the base of the tub, and break the caulk that seals the sink to the countertop with a flat chisel or a knife. Place a rubber mallet on the bottom of the sink to help lift it away.
This is the best way to remove an under-mount sink. However, breaking through the adhesive layer that fixes the sink to the countertop with a putty knife or a chisel is the best way to approach removing a drop-in fixture sink.
Your next step is to tackle removing the granite from the plywood that may be glued to your countertop depending on the thickness of the granite which was installed, which you can remove by loosening the screws that connect the plywood sheet to the cabinet by using a screw tip and a drill. These are screws found inside the cabinet, but you could also see them running into the plywood from the top.
If you don’t find this, you can remove the plywood easily by simply breaking the adhesive. Now, take a hammer and pry bar and start working from the topmost edge of the backsplash that is connected to the granite countertop by striking it slowly in small, consistent steps until you can easily remove the backsplash.
Good till now? That’s your foundation done. What’s left is the main task – removing the actual granite. Start by finding the joint that connects the cabinet to the countertop and breaking the glue by inserting a pry bar into this space and gently hitting it with a hammer. Hold the countertop in the right spot by tapping a wooden shim between it and the front edge of the cabinet.
From there, screw and shim down for the front side until the frame comes off. Keep at this process by going further inside the cabinet using the pry bar to raise the granite away from the cabinet supports until you can raise the granite slab. Do it carefully to avoid breaking the countertop, and make sure you put wooden shims at all points to hold the gap between the two.
The tough part is lifting the countertop, which will require help from several people. A rough estimate of how many people you need is to take one person stationed every 3-4 feet of the granite slab. Then, work in tandem by tilting the countertops from the back edge, carefully and slowly, to lift the granite slabs and remove them in one piece. ALWAYS CARRY GRANITE VERTICALLY. Never carry granite countertops flat as it may result in breaking or injury.
Once your granite is removed, what you do with it depends on the condition it’s in. For instance, removing an old countertop to put in a new patio, bathroom, or kitchen is perfectly doable.
But if it’s worn out and you’re looking to get rid of it, you can consider selling it as scrap or even donate it to a place that might have use for it. If you’re storing it, place it with the top facing downwards.
Whatever you do, remember, this process is not a one-person job, and it requires the right tools, equipment, knowledge, and power to pull it off successfully.
Contact Us Today
As you can see, both removing and disposing of old granite countertops is an imposing job that involves far more than just ripping them out. The key to a successful remodeling project is to take in all the details and reduce the risk factor to both the individual working and the area being worked on. With this task, risk is both high and avoidable when you hire the right experts.
At GranitePro, we leave nothing to chance, and we approach removing granite countertops more like a kitchen surgery than a remodeling project. This means, we have the right expertise to handle the job from start to finish.
Contact us today to see how we can remove and haul away your old granite countertops in the most seamless manner. We make sure we do this without damaging your kitchen or bathroom cabinets in the process to leave you with the perfect space to install new stunning stone options.