Can You Replace Granite Countertops Without Damaging Cabinets

Can You Replace Granite Countertops Without Damaging Cabinets
  • Author: Amanda Arnold
  • Posted On: February 10, 2022
  • Updated On: August 21, 2023

Consider changing your counters instead of your cabinets if you’re remodeling your kitchen but don’t have much money to spend. While most individuals replace their worktops and cabinets simultaneously, some homeowners prefer to do one or the other.

If you want to remove an old granite countertop and replace it with new ones, or if you only want to replace the tops, it is helpful to know how to remove the countertops. Here are some suggestions for removing granite countertops without causing damage to the cabinets.

Understand The Installation Pattern Of Granite Countertops

Removing a granite countertop might be a daunting task if you’re not sure what you’re dealing with. It’s important to understand how the granite countertops are connected to the existing cabinets since we want to separate them.

A sheet of plywood is typically the only thing separating your granite countertop from your cabinets. So, what’s securing your granite counter? A thin silicone line attaches the granite countertop to the plywood, while caulk seals any gaps or cracks.

Granite countertops are not only attractive and long-lasting, but they are also quite hard, so most homeowners won’t have to worry about them cracking. However, because of their hardness, they can scratch and dent. Although granite is a strong material, it still requires maintenance. One prevalent concern is the risk of causing damage to cabinetry.

Steps To Remove The Granite Countertops

Granite countertops are a lovely addition to any kitchen, but they aren’t as easy to remove as laminate worktops. If you take out the countertops, you might as well take out the cabinets, which might be expensive.

Collect Needed Tools

With granite countertops becoming increasingly popular, many homeowners are confronted with the issue of removing their old worktops without destroying their cabinets.

The needed tools and supplies to remove a granite countertop are:

  • Rubber mallet
  • Scrapper
  • Chisel
  • Hammer
  • Tape measure
  • Wrench
  • Utility knife
  • Caulk softeners
  • Flashlight
  • Dust mask
  • Plyers

1) Start From A Corner

You’ll need to start at a corner to remove your granite countertop without damaging your cabinets. Locate the junction where the cabinet’s top meets the countertop’s bottom. From the inside of the cabinet, it may be easier to locate the joint.

Tap the joint lightly with your hammer while holding the prybar end at the joint. Move your chisel up and down to build leverage and release the adhesive once you’ve established a good grip.

2) Cut Through The Caulk Line

Use a putty knife to cut through the caulk line once you’ve established some space between the countertop and the cabinet using the pry bar. During installation, caulk was used to fill the gaps between the countertop and cabinet. Make sure to cut through the caulk line in a horizontal pattern, away from you.

3) Use A Wood Shim To Pry Apart The Material

Near the corner joint, place a wooden shim. A shim is an ideal tool for prying two materials apart because it is a wedge with one narrow end that tapers into a thicker end. Tap lightly with your hammer on the broken caulk line with the thin end.

Continue tapping the wooden shim into the open joint, wedged between the countertop and the cabinet. The shim should properly support the granite countertop.

4) Use Prybar To Create More Gap

You can use your prybar to create more space between the countertop and the cabinets once you’ve installed your first shim. Continue prying until the entire front edge of the countertop has been lifted, as this is the aim.

As needed, add extra shims to the gap between the countertop and the cabinet by tapping them in. Granite is delicate and easily broken, so take your time and don’t force anything.

5) Sever The Granite Countertop From Cabinet

Adjust your position to face the front of the cabinets now that the front ledge of the countertop has been raised. You want to be able to see out of your cabinet. Leverage your pry bar to sever the granite countertop from the top of the cabinet supports, beginning at the front of your cabinet, where the countertop is elevated.

Work your way along the length of the cabinet, gradually working towards the back. Wiggle your prybar around in there! As you get closer to the wall, keep adding shims. Continue until your granite countertop has been successfully lifted from your cabinets.

Granite is not only delicate but also exceedingly hefty. Hundreds of pounds can be found in a single block of the granite countertop.


The granite countertops are lovely, but if you decide to alter things up and remove them, you’ll also need to consider the cabinets. Kitchen cabinets are expensive, and they must be replaced if damaged. Follow the procedure discussed in this article to remove granite countertops described in this post to get the best results and save the cabinets.

To safely extract a granite countertop from a cabinet, pry and shim your way down the countertop’s length. Slowly moving ensures that the cabinets and marble counter do not sustain major damage.

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Author: Amanda Arnold

Amanda has been working with ConstructionHow since 2021. Her experience spans over 5 years in the creative niche such as home decor and trends, landscaping, renovations, and custom architectural values. As a home designer expert, she has a keen eye for the latest home improvement trends with accurate facts that readers find impossible to ignore. Being invested in home-building trends is how she has gained her lucrative expertise exploring more to bring a positive ambiance for all homeowners (and even tenants!). Currently, she lives in a beautiful beach home, a source of fascination for her.