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How do I remove my Kitchen Cabinets?

Removing kitchen cabinets can seem like a daunting task, but what you are doing is reversing the steps followed when your cabinets were installed. By paying attention to the way the cabinets are constructed and fastened, and working carefully, you often can disassemble them and save them for reuse in your shop or garage.

Removing the cabinets themselves is simply a matter of undoing the installer's work in a logical order-base cabinet first, then the upper cabinets. Whichever direction you go in, this step-by-step guide will show you how to remove your kitchen cabinets.

Remove Ktichen Cabinets

How to Remove Kitchen Cabinets

Step 1: Gather Supplies

To start you need the right set of tools for a successful cabinet disassembly. The tools and materials you’ll need to safely remove your upper kitchen cabinets include:

  • Flat-head, Phillips and square-bit screwdrivers to take off the doors and undo the screws holding countertops and cabinet units together.
  • Flat pry bar to lift up countertops, pry apart base cabinet units and get upper cabinets away from the walls.
  • Hammer to knock stubborn units apart and pull nails holding cabinet trim in place.
  • Wrenches and slip-joint pliers for disassembling the sink plumbing.
  • Utility knife for cutting caulking on cabinet edges.
  • Putty knife for prying up backsplashes.
  • Drill
  • Gloves
  • Goggles
  • Blankets or furniture pads
  • Scrap wood to support cabinets (if you don’t have someone helping you)

Also, if you’re disposing of your cabinets or planning a larger kitchen renovation, you should consider renting a 10-yard dumpster to get rid of your debris without having to wait for your city’s bulk waste collection day.

Step 2: Prep Your Kitchen

Before you begin removing cabinets, follow these steps to prepare your kitchen:

  1. Shut off the electricity in the kitchen at the breaker box.
  2. After ensuring the power is off, remove the range hood and any inset lighting in your cabinetry.
  3. Shut off the plumbing to kitchen it can be a main valve or under each sink, if there is a dishwasher line and don’t forget about the water line behind the refrigerator.
  4. Remove all of the appliances, especially if you plan on reusing them.

Step 3: Prepare Your Kitchen Cabinets for Removal

Before you remove your kitchen cabinets:

  1. Empty your cabinets completely.
  2. Check your cabinets for any hidden electrical connections and make sure they are disconnected.
  3. Remove cabinet doors, using the drill to unscrew the hinges from the cabinet.
  4. Remove drawers if possible.
  5. Remove shelves if possible.

Once your cabinets are emptied and prepped you are ready for removal.

Step 4: Remove Exterior Elements

Exterior elements include:

  • Caulk – Use a utility knife to cut away any caulk connecting the cabinets to the wall or exterior elements like trim. This will help you reduce damage when dismantling. You should also do this if you have any old paint connecting the cabinet and wall.
  • Molding/Trim – If you aren’t trying to save the molding, you can use a hammer to wedge a pry bar beneath the trim and then pull it away from the cabinetry.

Step 5: Separate Cabinets From Each Other

If you have older cabinets that were built as one unit, you can skip this step.

If removing prefabricated cabinets, they are probably connected to each other through screws in the sides. Using a drill, remove all the screws to disconnect the group of cabinets from each other. This should loosen them, but they will still be attached to the wall and will usually not need to be supported.

Step 6: Remove Cabinets From Wall

To Remove Kitchen Cabinets That Are Attached With Screws:

  1. Make sure the cabinets are supported by having someone assist you or by placing pieces of wood beneath the cabinet to support the weight as you remove the screws.
  2. Start by removing the screws closest to the bottom, and then work your way up, removing all screws. Be prepared to lift the cabinet away from the wall as you remove the final screws at the top.
  3. Repeat until all units are removed.

If your cabinets are unitized or were installed with nails and glue instead of screws, you’ll need to use the hammer and pry bar to separate the cabinets from the wall.

To Remove Glued Kitchen Cabinets:

  1. Put on gloves and goggles to protect yourself.
  2. Make sure the cabinet is supported by a helper or support system, otherwise it will as you remove it.
  3. Start on the sides of the cabinet, using the hammer to wedge the pry bar or crowbar between cabinet and wall. Pry directly over a stud where possible to limit the damage to the drywall. You can also use a wooden block between the lever of the crowbar and the wall to prevent damage.
  4. Next, move to the top, bottom, then back through the front of the cabinet if still attached and

Step 7: Congratulate Yourself!

Now that you have removed your kitchen cabinets, you can move on to the rest of your project, new flooring, moving walls and the rest of the prep work before installing your new kitchen cabinets.

Removing kitchen cabinets can seem like a daunting task, but what you are doing is reversing the steps followed when your cabinets were installed. By paying attention to the way the cabinets are constructed and fastened, and working carefully, you often can disassemble them and save them for reuse in your shop or garage.

Removing the cabinets themselves is simply a matter of undoing the installer's work in a logical order-base cabinet first, then the upper cabinets. Whichever direction you go in, this step-by-step guide will show you how to remove your kitchen cabinets.

Step 8: Call us for a Free Kitchen Design

This step can be done before you start the renovation project as well, decide on a color and door style, take the kitchen measurements and send it over to us and watch as one of our kitchen designers transforms your old kitchen to the kitchen of your dreams. Call us at 800-755-7575

 


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