Can a Quartz Countertop Be Removed?

Quartz countertops, sometimes referred to as engineered stone, have become extremely popular in recent years due to their durability, easy maintenance, and wide variety of colors and patterns available. If you’re considering removing or replacing your quartz countertop, you may be wondering – is it possible to remove a quartz countertop without damaging it? The short answer is yes, quartz countertops can be removed, but it requires some care and the right techniques.

How Quartz Countertops Are Installed

To understand how to remove a quartz countertop, it helps to first understand how they are installed. Quartz slabs are secured to the cabinet base using a high-quality silicone or polyurethane adhesive. The seams between slabs are also glued and then smoothed over to create a seamless look. The countertop is also sometimes attached to the base cabinets with brackets for additional support.

Knowing this will help when trying to remove an existing quartz countertop. The adhesives are very strong, so you’ll need to take steps to break the seal between the countertop and cabinet base.

Can You Remove a Quartz Countertop Yourself?

It is possible for a homeowner to attempt removing a quartz countertop themselves, but it can be extremely difficult. The adhesive is very strong, so trying to pry the countertop up could result in cracking or breaking the quartz slab. Home improvement stores rent tools to aid in countertop removal, but these require experience to operate properly.

For most homeowners, it is advisable to hire professional countertop installers to remove an existing quartz countertop. They have the proper experience, tools, and techniques to remove quartz slabs without damage. This is the safest option to preserve the value of your existing countertop.

Step-by-Step Process for Removing a Quartz Countertop

Here is a general overview of the quartz countertop removal process when done properly by professionals:

1. Disconnect Appliances and Fixtures

The first step is to disconnect any appliances, sinks, or other fixtures attached to the quartz countertop. This includes unhooking dishwasher hoses, disconnecting sinks and faucets, and removing any built-in appliances from the countertop.

2. Remove Backsplash Tile (If Present)

If the quartz countertop has a tile backsplash, the tile will need to be carefully removed first with a mallet and chisel or pry bar. This step is important because the backsplash is often installed on top of the countertop slab.

3. Break Adhesive Seal

With the countertop clear, the installer will then work to break the adhesive seal attaching the quartz to the cabinet base. This usually involves carefully cutting through the caulk bead with a utility knife and then working a pry bar around the edges.

4. Lift Slab Away

Once the adhesive seal is compromised, suction cups are attached to the quartz slab. The suction force is usually enough to gradually pry the countertop free from the base as the installer works around the perimeter. Any remaining adhesive is scraped away.

5. Remove Adhesive from Cabinets

With the slab removed, there will still be some stubborn adhesive remnants left behind on the cabinet base. This needs to be scraped and chiseled off to prepare the base for a new countertop. Chemical solvents may also help soften the adhesive seal.

6. Transport and Reinstall

Once fully removed, the quartz slab can be transported to your new location and reinstalled by professionals. Handling the heavy slab requires experience to prevent cracks or breakage.

Key Tips for Removing Quartz Countertops

Here are some important tips to keep in mind if you plan to remove an existing quartz countertop:

  • Hire professional countertop installers experienced in safely removing quartz slabs. Do not attempt this yourself without proper tools and knowledge.
  • Be prepared for some potential damage around sinks, seams, and edges. This can happen even with professionals doing the work.
  • Photograph the existing installation and label slabs to assist with reinstallation in the proper order later.
  • Expect to also need new adhesive and supplies for attaching the countertop in the new location.
  • Carefully remove any appliances or fixtures attached to the countertop first.
  • Proper transportation and support of the slab is vital to avoid cracks and breakage.
  • Patience and care is required to pry the countertop loose without cracking or chipping the quartz.

While it takes some time and effort, removing a quartz countertop successfully is definitely achievable. With the help of experienced professionals, your countertop can be safely removed and reused or repurposed for another project.

Frequently Asked Questions About Removing Quartz Countertops

Can I remove a quartz countertop myself?

It is not recommended for homeowners to try removing a quartz countertop themselves. The adhesive is very strong and trying to pry up the countertop without proper tools risks cracking or breaking it. Hire professionals to safely remove and transport the slab.

How long does it take to remove a quartz countertop?

With professionals doing the work, it typically takes 2-3 hours to fully remove a quartz countertop. The exact time will depend on the size of the countertop and difficulty detaching it from the base cabinets.

Do you have to replace the entire quartz countertop when removing?

In most cases, the entire countertop slab will need to be removed. However, an experienced installer may be able to detach just one section if needed, such as removing only a small part of the countertop.

Can any damage be avoided when removing quartz?

Some minor damage is hard to avoid completely, such as small chips around the edges or seams. Professionals take care to keep damage minimal, but some repairs may be needed before reinstalling the countertop.

Does removing a quartz countertop damage the cabinets?

If done properly, the cabinets should not sustain any damage during countertop removal. The installer will take care to pry the slab up without putting too much pressure on the underlying cabinets.


While it’s a difficult job, quartz countertops can be removed successfully with some patience and the proper techniques. Hiring professional countertop installers experienced in quartz removal is highly recommended to get the job done properly. With care and effort, your existing quartz countertop can be detached and prepped for reinstallation in a new location. Just be prepared for the process to take some time and the potential need for minor repairs. Proper planning and research will ensure removing your quartz countertop yields the best results.