How to Properly Remove Quartz Countertops

Removing quartz countertops requires careful planning and execution to avoid damaging the countertop or surrounding areas. With some basic tools and safety precautions, you can successfully remove a quartz countertop and prepare the space for a new installation.

Turn Off Water Supply and Electricity

Before beginning demolition, make sure to turn off the water supply to avoid leaks. Shut off the hot and cold water valves below the sink and at the main water supply line.

You’ll also want to turn off power to the kitchen area at the circuit breaker to avoid potential electrical hazards.

Clear Countertops and Remove Sink/Fixtures

Remove everything from the countertops including appliances, dishes, and decor. Detach the sink, faucet, soap dispenser, and any other fixtures attached to the countertop. Place sink in a safe location for later reuse if desired.

Outline Cut Lines

Mark the countertop edges clearly with tape or chalk to outline the section you plan to remove. Avoid overcutting the countertop. Only outline the seam lines along the areas being replaced.

Cut Through Caulk Bead

Use a sharp utility knife to cut through the caulk seam where the backsplash meets the wall. You want to sever the caulk adhesion before attempting to lift the countertop free.

Cut Through Fasteners

Depending on the installation method, the countertop may be secured with adhesives, screws, nails, brackets, or other types of fasteners. Locate all fasteners and carefully cut through each one using a rotary tool or oscillating tool with the proper cutting blade.

Check for Hidden Fasteners

Don’t assume you have found all the mounting hardware on the first pass. Thoroughly examine underneath cabinets and other adjoining areas to check for additional fasteners or support brackets. Removing all fasteners prevents damage when lifting the countertop.

Pry Up Countertop

With all the caulk, sealant, and fasteners removed, the countertop should pry up relatively easily. Insert a pry bar under the front edge and gently work the countertop loose. Take care not to crack the countertop or chip adjoining cabinets/walls.

Lift the freed section of countertop and continue prying underneath to dislodge any remaining areas still stuck down. Remove nails/screws left behind on the cabinet.

Remove Old Adhesive

Use a putty knife to scrape off any stubborn adhesive residue remaining on the cabinets. Adhesive removers or solvents can assist with removing more challenging adhesive deposits.

Thoroughly clean the cabinet surface to prepare for new countertop installation. Sand or plane down any uneven areas on the cabinet edges.

Transport and Dispose of Countertop

Carry the heavy quartz pieces carefully to avoid injury or dropping the countertop. Load the cut countertop sections into a truck or trailer for transport to the disposal site.

Check your local regulations for proper disposal methods in your area. Many landfills have restrictions on demolition waste. Recycling may be required if facilities are available in your region.

How to Prepare for New Countertop Installation

Once the old quartz countertop is removed, inspect the cabinets and walls to identify any additional repairs needed before installing the replacement. Here are some tips for preparing for a smooth installation:

  • Seal any openings in the wall around plumbing with spray foam or caulk
  • Check cabinets are level; shim or adjust as needed
  • Ensure cabinet corners and edges are straight for good countertop alignment
  • Fill any gaps between cabinets with shims
  • Sand and clean cabinets so new countertop can adhere properly
  • Measure space carefully and order new countertop slightly smaller than opening

With good preparation, your new quartz countertop can be installed seamlessly. Taking the time to remove the old top properly prevents unnecessary damage and extra work.

Frequently Asked Questions about Removing Quartz Countertops

How do you cut a quartz countertop?

Use a diamond-tipped saw blade designed for cutting stone materials. Cut slowly and evenly while another person supports the opposite end. Apply painter’s tape along cut lines to reduce chipping.

Can you pry off a quartz countertop?

Prying is an option once all adhesives and fasteners have been severed. Take care not to crack the countertop or damage cabinets. Insert wood blocks to prevent tool damage.

What tools do I need to remove a quartz countertop?

Common tools needed are pry bars, putty knives, hammers, rotary tool, utility knife, circular saw with diamond blade, dust masks, goggles, and work gloves.

How do you lift a heavy quartz countertop?

Get assistance and use proper lifting techniques – lift with legs bent while keeping back straight. Position helpers on each end. Rest sections on furniture dolly or moving blankets when transporting.

Can removed quartz countertops be reused?

Possibly, depending on sizing needs and inspection of any cracks/chips. Reuse is more feasible for temporary installations like catering events. Edges may need re-fabrication.


Removing an existing quartz countertop takes time and care to avoid damage, but can be accomplished successfully with proper planning. Always disconnect utilities before beginning demolition. Cut away caulk lines and use specialty blades to sever adhesives or fasteners securing the countertop. Check for any hidden mounting points before attempting to pry up. Dispose of the removed countertop properly and prepare the space for new countertop installation. With patience and the right tools, you can remove quartz countertops and open up new kitchen design possibilities.