How To Replace Kitchen Base Cabinets Without Removing The Countertop

Refinishing your kitchen is a noble activity worth your time as it helps to increase your overall home value. The additions you add to your kitchen make it more welcoming and enjoyable to use. And one of the focal points of kitchen décor is the kitchen cabinet.

So, for a more cost-effective approach, most homeowners remove old kitchen cabinets without having to remove their existing countertops to add a touch of beauty to the kitchen.

How To Replace Kitchen Base Cabinets Without Removing The Countertop? To remove a cabinet without removing the countertop, you should start by unscrewing the cabinet. After which, you cut the back of the cabinet around the plumbing. Next to the prop, fix some wooden beams underneath the countertop and slide the cabinet out the back. And you are good to go.

Although replacing kitchen base cabinets without touching the countertops can be tricky, it is possible.

So I will be showing you how to completely replace kitchen base cabinets without removing the countertop using a DIY approach.

What Is The Importance Of Not Removing Countertops When Replacing the Kitchen Base Cabinets?

The task of replacing the kitchen cabinets without removing the countertops can be difficult, but it is worth it. There are legitimate reasons why most homeowners prefer going towards this approach, and they include:

To Manage Time and Resources

Kitchen remodeling is a major project that takes both your time and your money. And it is something that can be cost-effective.

Instead of investing so much time and resources to achieve a full-scale kitchen remodeling, you can tend to concentrate on the cabinets first, and working on the kitchen cabinets without removing the countertops is one way to save yourself money or time that will be spent removing the countertops and purchasing new sets of countertops.

The Countertops are Important Investments

Countertops are assets, and some have a substantial value attached to them. For example, materials used for building kitchen countertops include marble, quartz, and granite. These materials are known to be expensive, and they cost a fortune. Altering them is you wasting your investments or washing away money.

However replacing the base cabinets without removing the countertops can be risky as well, as mistakes can easily happen that can lead to damage on the kitchen countertops.

The Base Kitchen Cabinets Are the Only Items Destroyed and Need Replacement

It is well known that the base Kitchen cabinets are more susceptible to wear and tear than other parts of your kitchen furniture. So when the cabinets sustain significant damages caused by either wear, tear, leak, or when accidentally splashed with water, this means only the base cabinets should be replaced.

However, this is not to say that you can’t perform more extensive kitchen renovation if you want to. But focusing only on the damaged furniture, which is the base cabinet, helps save you time and money.

DIY Approach To Replace Kitchen Base Cabinets without Removing the Countertops

Ensure to follow the steps below carefully to avoid unnecessary damage while carrying out this great task.

Step 1: Arrange the Tools You Will Need To Work With

To begin, you need the following tools, and they are:

  • Screwdriver
  • Saber saw
  • Wooden beams (specifically 2 x 4 )
  • Safety goggles, and
  • Safety gloves

After you have all the fore mentioned tools, you can begin working.

Step 2: Loosen the Kitchen Base Cabinets

In this step, you start unscrewing the cabinet. Look out for the spots where they are connected to the walls. When you have gotten them, you can use your screwdriver to unscrew the cabinets and set them loose from their perch.

The design of your kitchen cabinets will determine how the cabinet will be removed. You can easily remove some cabinets as a complete unit once you unscrewed. While in others, you have to remove it piece by piece.

Step 3: Create an Opening for the Cabinets

After unscrewing the cabinets successfully, you will have to create an opening in them. To do that, simply go to the back of the cabinet and look for the plumbing fixtures there. After you have discovered them, you can easily create an opening in them in which the cabinet will pass through without touching the plumbing.

To create an opening, use the saber saw. Ensure you do it slowly to avoid any form of damage to the plumbing. To make things easier, you can try uninstalling the plumbing temporarily. Ensure you don’t move the cabinets right immediately after creating the opening.

Step 4: Get the Wooden Beams

Get the 2 x 4 beams and keep them close by for easy accessibility. This step should be done quickly, and as such, the wooden beams should be kept as close as possible.

Step 5: Take Out The Base Cabinets and Slide In the Beams To Position

This is the final practical stage. You can start taking the kitchen base cabinets out of the position. As you do that gradually, place the beams underneath the countertop? Then coordinate carefully or else the countertop may drop to the ground. In this step, you may want a helping hand.

Cabinet Refacing vs. Replacing Kitchen Cabinets

These terms are sometimes used interchangeably, but they both mean different things.

The cabinet refacing entails changing the look of the kitchen cabinets without going through the troubles of a full kitchen remodeling. It is essential the replacement of the kitchen sink, which includes removing the doors and the drawer fronts.

While kitchen cabinet replacing entails changing a whole aspect of the cabinet for a new look. as a homeowner, which option is best for you? This is because refacing takes shorter time, resources, and energy than replacing.

However, the extremity of the damage to the cabinet will help determine the best and most cost-effective approach, whether it should be refaced or replaced.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)

Can Cabinets Be Installed Without Removing Countertops?

Yes, cabinets can be installed without removing the countertops if the countertops are still strong and good. However, you can add some touches of refacing to your cabinets.

Can You Install New Countertops Over Old Kitchen Cabinets?

Yes, you can install new countertops over old kitchen cabinets if the old kitchen cabinets aren’t damaged badly. Technically, even if this is a possibility, it is not regarded as a smart move. This is because the warranty of your new countertops may diminish if you place them over your old cabinetry. Going further, the combination of new countertops and old cabinets may not go well. It may make the kitchen appear untidy or disorganized.

However, if you have plans to install new countertops, you should also plan to replace or at least reface the cabinets.

Can You Replace Cabinets Without Ruining Countertops?

Can you replace kitchen countertops without damaging cabinets? Yes, you can. This is however dependent on the degree of your carefulness while replacing the cabinets.

Can You Replace Cabinets And Keep Granite?

You can replace cabinets and keep the granite; however, to reuse the granite, the new cabinets must be in the same position and footprint as the old cabinets. No changes should be made, or else the granite will not fit.

Can You Replace Countertop And Leave Cabinets?

Technically it is possible to replace countertops and leave cabinets. It is no different from modifying your kitchen cabinet handles on old cabinetry. Getting a new countertop on your existing cabinets is a great way to achieve a significant aesthetic difference, and it is one of the cheapest forms of kitchen remodeling.

Can You Reuse Your Old Kitchen Cabinets?

Yes, you can reuse your old kitchen cabinet if it is still in a useable state. So reusing the kitchen cabinets is an option that you will make depending on the nature of the cabinet and how properly you were able to remove the countertops.

It would help if you didn’t use them again in the kitchen. You can use them as storage units in your bedroom or add some shelves and use them for your bathroom décor or storage furniture.

Is It Hard To Replace Kitchen Countertops?

Replacement of a kitchen countertop isn’t a strenuous activity. You can easily replace kitchen countertops regardless of your skill level and the size of the project, all you have to do is know some basic stuff about the replacement that can be of help.


If you apply the above information accurately, it is possible to remove kitchen base cabinets without removing the countertops. Do note that carefulness and precision play an important role in the success of this activity.

If you can’t do it yourself, you should employ a professional hand so that you won’t damage the countertops yourself.

I hope you loved and found this article interesting. For more related kitchen-inspired posts, do check out the posts below.


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