DIY Network

How to Remodel a Kitchen Countertop

See how DIY experts remove an old countertop and modify the existing cabinets so they can fit in new appliances.

More in Kitchen

remove old countertop and modify existing cabinets
  • Time

    Several Weekends

  • Price Range

    $500 - $1,000

  • Difficulty



Step 1: Clear the Kitchen and Prep for Renovation

Remove the cabinet doors and label them to avoid confusion when they go back on. Put hinge screws back into holes so they don't get lost.

To remove the bank of cabinets, use a brace made of 2 x 4s to hold the upper cabinet while you unscrew them.

2X4s will brace upper cabinets during removal

Step 2: Remove the Countertop

To remove the old countertop, pull out the sink first, then use a pry bar to pull off the backsplash. Then, you can carefully lift off the countertop.

Note: You can do the plumbing yourself, but to save time it may be easier to hire a plumber.

Some of the existing cabinets may need to be cut in order to fit new appliances.

Note: If your countertops are more complex than just a basic square or rectangle, it's recommended that you consult a professional.

remove old countertop

Step 3: Dry Fit the Countertops

First dry fit the countertops. Before installing, add strips of particleboard buildup (Image 1) on top of the cabinets to help support the counter and make sure everything is the same height.

If the fit of the countertop is too tight you can either scribe the countertop or cut away a bit of the drywall to let it slide in easier. Cutting away the drywall with a chisel (Image 2) is an easier choice if you can get away with it. Use a Dremel tool to cut off the metal corner bead.

Step 4: Join the Pieces Together

Join the two pieces of countertop together with the precut biscuit slots. Use wood glue on the biscuits then slide the pieces together.

To hold the two pieces together, use stretchable packing tape as a temporary clamp. To hold the counter down, drive screws into the counter from underneath. To flush up the tops hold the two pieces together with a clamp overnight.

Note: Before moving on to installing the appliances, the homeowner had to do a little homework that consisted of some touch-up painting, spackle the holes and mainly prepare the walls for the new backsplash.

wooden biscuits hold pices of counter together




  • Instant Plyorobic runway flooring (Perform Better/model: 4857/color: Black) from M-F Athletic Co. / Perform Better