Tips for Removing Old Countertops
- For safety—disconnect all utility services
- Shut off water under sink or at water meter valve
- Shut off electricity at meter panel, if removing garbage disposal or cook top unit
- Disconnect sink drain at trap
- Disconnect plumbing supply at unions
STEP 1: Measure the cabinets that will be covered with your new countertop. Always measure the back wall of the countertop for correct readings.
STEP 2: When the countertop does not butt up to a wall or an appliance, allow an extra 3/4” to the total length of the countertop for the overhang. Measure section by section. For section requiring overhang, add 3/4” for each overhang.
STEP 3: Recheck your measurements before cutting. Measure and draw a heavy pencil line where the cut is to be made on the top (decorative laminate) side of the countertop. Apply tape to prevent chipping while sawing. Turn the countertop over, measure and draw a heavy pencil line again where the cut is to be made. Recheck measurements and proceed to saw from the bottom side.
NOTE: If using a hand saw, measure and draw a heavy pencil line where the cut is to be made on the top (decorative laminate) side of the countertop. Recheck your measurements and apply tape to avoid chipping while sawing. Use a 10 to 12 teeth per inch saw for cutting on the down stroke.
STEP 4: Follow the instructions provided with the sink to mark the position for the cut-out. Mark around sink with a pencil on outside of the vertical member. If you are installing a self-rimmed stainless steel sink, mark around the outer edge of the sink and cut out the hole 3/8” to 1/2” smaller than the line. Trace the outline and cover with transparent tape.
STEP 5: With a sharp punch or nail, tap a starter point for drilling pilot holes at each round corner.
STEP 6: Drill pilot holes.
NOTE: If using a sabre saw, turn the countertop over and using previously drilled holes, mark a new cut line on the bottom surface.
STEP 7: Use a fine-tooth keyhole saw to make the cut-out. File or sand the edges of all inside corners.
STEP 8: A build-up kit is required on some cabinetry to ensure that the drawers have enough clearance to slide open.
STEP 9: Assembling the miter. Miter sections should be joined together before installing on the cabinet. A miter bolt kit is required to assemble the miter.
STEP 10: To finish the ends of the countertop, use an endcap kit or endsplash kit.
STEP 11: The countertop can be scribed to match the wall surface. The backsplash overhang is used for this purpose. Place the countertop on the cabinet, use a pencil to mark the top edge of the countertop and file or sand to the line.
STEP 12: Put countertop in place, check the level and stability. Secure to cabinets with wood screws or panel adhesive. If using screws, check length to assure that they won’t protrude through the countertop. Use caulking compound to seal top to wall. Wipe off excess.