How to Remove Quartz Countertop from Island

Prepare the Workspace

First, make sure to clear the island area and surrounding workspace. Remove any items on top of the countertop and clean the area thoroughly. Cover the floor around the island with drop cloths or tarps to protect it from damage during the removal process. Have a trash can nearby to discard any debris.

Make sure you have ample lighting and ventilation. Quartz countertops are heavy, so you may need assistance. Ask a friend to lend a hand or consider hiring professional help if you anticipate difficulties with the weight.

Disconnect Appliances and Fixtures

If there are any appliances, fixtures, or hardware attached to the countertop, such as a sink, faucet, or cooktop, disconnect them first. Turn off the water supply lines and unhook any drain pipes or supply lines. Refer to the manufacturer’s instructions if you need guidance on properly removing attached items.

Detach any screws, caulk, or adhesive securing the countertop to the island base. It’s easier to remove the countertop if you eliminate as many attachments as possible ahead of time.

Cut Through Any Caulk or Adhesive

Inspect the seam where the countertop meets the island and cut through any caulk, adhesive, or silicone. A sharp utility knife works well for this. Cut along the entire perimeter of the countertop.

Also, cut through any sealant or putty adhering the countertop to the backsplash if present. The goal is to detach the countertop completely from all adjoining surfaces.

Insert Shims Under the Countertop Edge

Slide thin shims made of wood or plastic under the countertop edge around the entire perimeter. Tap them gently with a hammer if needed to get them inserted.

The shims will help gradually lift up the countertop and break the seal of any remaining adhesive or caulk. Work your way around the whole island inserting shims every few inches.

Lift the Countertop Up and Off

With a friend’s assistance, carefully lift up the countertop edge and pivot it up vertically from the island base. Move slowly and keep proper lifting techniques to avoid injury. Tilt the countertop upright and detach it completely from the island base.

If it feels stuck, gently rock or twist the countertop while lifting to break the seal and dislodge it. Be patient as quartz is heavy. Set it down gently once fully removed.

Clean Up the Island Base

With the countertop detached, inspect the island base and thoroughly clean up any debris, old caulk, adhesive, screws, etc. Smooth and prep the base surface so it is ready for the new quartz countertop to be installed.

Properly dispose of the old countertop if you do not intend to reuse it. Now the island is prepped and ready for a fresh new quartz countertop! Carefully follow the manufacturer’s instructions when installing the replacement.

FAQs About Removing Quartz Countertops from an Island

How can I cut through stubborn caulk or adhesive?

If the caulk or adhesive won’t detach by slicing with a utility knife, try using a heat gun or handheld razor scraper. Gently heat or scrape along the seam to soften the adhesive seal. Be cautious not to crack the quartz.

What if the countertop won’t lift off the base?

If attempting to pivot and tilt the countertop upright isn’t working, try carefully sliding it horizontally across the island base instead. Move slowly to gently break the adhesive seal. Use shims and gentle prying motions to inch it off.

Should I hire a professional?

If you don’t feel comfortable handling the weight or process yourself, don’t hesitate to hire a professional. They have the right tools and experience to remove and dispose of the countertop safely.

Can I reuse the old quartz countertop somewhere else?

You may be able to reuse your old quartz countertop in another location if it fully detaches intact and is still in good condition. Evaluate it carefully and make sure it will work dimensionally for the new space before attempting to reinstall it.

How do I prep the island base for a new quartz top?

Clean it thoroughly, fill any holes or gaps with filler, sand smooth, and apply adhesive primer or sealant. Follow the installation guidelines so the new top bonds properly.


While removing an existing quartz countertop from an island requires time and some handy skills, it can absolutely be DIYed with the proper tools and techniques. Just work slowly and methodically to detach it from all edges and lift it off the island base intact. Be sure to prep the empty island properly to ensure your new quartz countertop fits perfectly in place for a seamless look.