my Old Workshop

How to replace your kitchen countertop (Part 2 of 3)

Last time we measured and ordered.

Next, you need to remove the existing countertop. Start by shutting off the plumbing to the sink, and disconnecting the supply pipes to the faucet from underneath, by loosening the fittings. Disconnect the drainpipe from the drain(s) by loosening these nuts. You’ll also need to use a wrench to loosen or remove the clamping bolts which hold the sink in place from underneath. With a utility knife, score any caulking that may have been applied where the sink meets the counter. Then lift out the sink.

Now you’ll have more room to get at the screws which hold the countertop to the cabinet framing. Unscrew these. You may need to remove some drawers to get at all of them. Score the existing caulking where the backsplash meets the wall. With the caulking scored and all the screws removed, you should be able to lift the countertop off the cabinets.

To cut the counter, draw your line, cover it with transparent adhesive tape, and cut along the line using a jigsaw with a fine-toothed blade.

Unless the counter is fitting between two walls, cut 1/16″ longer than the finished cabinet dimensions. If it is between two walls, measure the distance at various points and cut 1/4″ shorter than the longest dimension, then sand with a belt sander to fit.

If you’ve removed an old countertop, you shouldn’t need to add brackets to attach the new top. Place the countertop in place, but don’t attach it. Shim it to level, and make sure it’s not restricting the movements of the cabinet doors and drawers. If so, you need to raise it a bit, using blocks underneath.

We’ll finish next time.