How to Remove Quartz Countertop from Cabinet

Removing a quartz countertop from your kitchen or bathroom cabinets can seem like a daunting task, but with the right tools and techniques, it can be done safely and efficiently. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to remove a quartz countertop without damaging the countertop or cabinetry.

Assess the Countertop Installation

The first step is to assess how the existing quartz countertop was installed.

  • Check if it was adhered directly to the cabinet with adhesive or laid on top with a bead of silicone caulking. This will determine how difficult it will be to detach the countertop.
  • Inspect the seams and joints to see if there is any caulking or adhesive binding the countertop pieces together. Removing caulking and adhesive will be required during the process.
  • Look for any screws, bolts, or fasteners that may be connecting the countertop, especially around the edges. These will need to be located and removed.
  • Determine if the countertop has an integrated sink or cooktop. These may require special techniques for removal and disconnection of plumbing and electrical.
  • Examine the type of edging used on the countertop. Edging like bullnose or ogee can be adhered and difficult to detach.

Gather the Right Tools

Removing a quartz countertop requires some specialized tools to avoid damage. Here are some essential items to have on hand:

  • Putty knives and scrapers for prying between countertop and cabinet.
  • Multi-tool or oscillating saw with fine-toothed blade to cut caulking and adhesive beads.
  • Hammer and wood block to tap the countertop up from the cabinet.
  • Pry bar for extra leverage and lifting power. Look for one with a flattened end to prevent cabinet damage.
  • Gloves and eye protection for safety when scraping, prying and lifting.
  • Clean rags and acetone/adhesive remover for cleanup.

Detach the Countertop

With the right preparation and tools, you can move onto carefully detaching the countertop:

1. Disconnect Any Plumbing or Electrical

  • Turn off water supply valves for sinks or other appliances integrated into the countertop.
  • Unplug and disconnect any electrical for cooktops or other powered appliances before attempting removal.

2. Cut Any Caulking or Adhesive

  • Use the multi-tool to slice along any caulking lines securing the countertop to the cabinet or walls.
  • Slowly cut through any adhesive beads in the same manner. Take care not to damage the cabinets or walls in the process.

3. Release Mounting Hardware

  • Locate any screws, bolts or fasteners around the countertop edges or joints and remove them with the appropriate screwdriver or drill bit.
  • This includes any brackets or supports as well if present. Removing fasteners will help loosen the countertop.

4. Work Around the Edges to Loosen

  • Wedge putty knives, scrapers or pry bars into gaps between the countertop and cabinetry. Apply gentle pressure to loosen the adhesive grip.
  • Tap edges with a hammer and wood block to help elevate the countertop up slightly from the cabinet box.
  • Work slowly around the entire perimeter of the countertop to gradually break the adhesive seal. Be patient and do not rush prying or scraping to avoid cracking and chips.

5. Lift the Countertop Away

  • Once adequately loosened, coordinate help to carefully lift and maneuver the countertop up and away from the cabinets fully. Take care not to crack the countertop or knock into surrounding walls or backsplashes.
  • Some adhesive residue or caulking may still be present. Use a scraper, putty knife or adhesive remover to clean bonding areas on the cabinet and countertop.

Avoiding Damage

Removing a glued down quartz countertop takes precision and care to avoid costly damages:

  • Go slowly when prying, scraping and lifting to prevent cracking or breaking the countertop.
  • Use clean, smooth pry bars and scrapers to minimize risk of scratches and chips.
  • Pad corners and sharp cabinet edges to prevent impact damage when lifting.
  • Keep the countertop supported while lifting and transporting. Dropping can lead to cracks and breakage.
  • Follow any manufacturer instructions for disassembly of integrated sinks, cooktops or other appliances.

Storing and Transporting the Countertop

Once removed in one piece, proper handling is still required:

  • Keep the countertop supported on a flat, smooth surface. Do not let overhang without support.
  • Transport it vertically on-edge rather than flat if possible.
  • Pad corners and edges to prevent impact damage.
  • Store it indoors and away from dirt, moisture and extreme temperatures which can damage quartz.

With patience and the proper techniques, you can successfully remove a quartz countertop without damaging it for reuse or replacement. Just take precautions and always consult a professional if unsure how to proceed.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you cut caulking on a countertop?

Use a multi-tool or oscillating saw with a fine-toothed blade to slowly and carefully slice through the caulking bead. Take care not to scratch or gouge the countertop or cabinet surfaces.

Can you pry off a quartz countertop?

You can pry a quartz countertop loose from the cabinets using putty knives, scrapers and pry bars. But use gentle pressure and work around the edges gradually to prevent cracking and breaking the countertop.

How do you remove silicone from quartz?

Use a plastic putty knife to scrape off excess silicone caulking. Then clean residue with adhesive remover or acetone and rag. Avoid metal scrapers or harsh chemicals that can scratch or etch the quartz surface.

Can you reuse a removed quartz countertop?

In many cases, yes. If removed fully intact without any cracks or breaks, a quartz countertop can be reused. Proper transport and storage are key along with cleaning all old caulking and adhesive before reinstallation.

What tools do you need to remove countertops?

Essential tools include putty knives, oscillating saw, pry bars, hammers, wood blocks, gloves, and eye protection. For sinks or cooktops, you may also need wrenches, screwdrivers, and plumbing/electrical disconnect tools.


Removing a quartz countertop without damaging it takes precision, patience, and the proper tools. Always inspect how it was installed, disconnect any integrated appliances, cut adhesive beads, remove fasteners, and work around the edges carefully. Lifting, transporting and storing the countertop also requires care to avoid cracks and breakage. Follow safety precautions, work slowly, and consider hiring a professional if uncertain during any part of the quartz countertop removal process. With caution, it can be successfully detached from cabinets intact and ready for a fresh installation.