How to Remove Quartz Countertop Without Breaking

Removing a quartz countertop without damaging it can seem daunting, but with the right techniques and tools, it is possible. Quartz is an engineered stone made from ground quartz crystals held together with resin. It is durable, but still must be handled with care during removal to avoid cracks and chips. Follow this step-by-step guide to learn how to remove a quartz countertop safely.

Steps to Remove a Quartz Countertop Without Breaking It

Prepare the Workspace

First, clear the countertop of everything and clean the surface. Have a clear workspace to remove the countertop without obstructions. Cover the floor with drop cloths in case any debris falls.

Gather all the tools and materials you will need:

  • Pry bar
  • Hammer
  • Gloves and eye protection
  • Putty knife
  • Rags
  • Mineral spirits
  • Replacement adhesive or thinset mortar

Cut Through the Caulk

Use a sharp utility knife to cut through the caulk sealing the countertop to the cabinetry. Cut along the seam between the countertop and backsplash if present. Removing the caulk allows the countertop to be detached from the base cabinets.

Loosen the Countertop

Insert a pry bar under the front edge of the countertop. Gently pry upwards to loosen the adhesive bonding it to the cabinet. Take care not to pry too forcefully or quickly to avoid cracking the quartz.

Work the pry bar along the front and sides, releasing the adhesive’s grip little by little. Patience and control are key in this step.

Lift the Countertop Off

Once adequately loosened, begin lifting the freed edge of the countertop. Lift upwards and towards you simultaneously. Remove any final adhesive strips connecting it with a putty knife.

Have someone assist to hold the weight of the slab when removing. Lift it straight up off the cabinets steadily and slowly. Keep it level to avoid bending or cracks.

Set it gently on a flat, stable surface. Inspect for any cracks or damage before re-installation.

Clean the Surface

Use a putty knife, rag, and mineral spirits to remove any leftover caulk, adhesive, or debris from the countertop and cabinets.

The surface must be clean for the countertop to be re-adhered properly. Remove every trace of the old adhesive.

Re-install the Countertop

Apply a thin layer of fresh adhesive or thinset mortar to the base cabinets following the manufacturer’s instructions.

Carefully lift the countertop back into place, aligning the edges with the cabinetry. Press down firmly to secure the adhesive bond.

Re-caulk along the seams and let dry completely before use. Check for stability and levelness.

Tips for Safe Removal

  • Always wear gloves and eye protection when handling countertops.
  • Work slowly and cautiously when prying or lifting to prevent slips.
  • Have someone help lift larger countertops for safety and control.
  • Set down on a completely cleared, uncluttered surface.
  • Inspect for damage like chips or cracks before re-installing.
  • Ensure the cabinets and countertop are perfectly clean for ideal adhesion.

Common Questions About Removing Quartz Countertops

Can I remove a quartz countertop myself?

Yes, quartz countertops can be removed DIY-style with the proper tools, patience, and care. Homeowners experienced in minor demolition projects should be able to handle it. Get an assistant for large countertops.

How do I detach a quartz countertop from the cabinets?

Use a sharp utility knife to cut through the caulk seal. Then insert a pry bar underneath and gently loosen the adhesive bond little by little. Cut any remaining adhesive strips connecting it.

What tools do I need to remove a quartz countertop?

A pry bar, hammer, putty knife, utility knife, mineral spirits, gloves, eye protection, rags, replacement adhesive, and a helper for lifting are needed. Avoid power tools to prevent damage.

Should I hire a professional to remove a quartz countertop?

If you are uncomfortable attempting it yourself, hire a professional fabricator or countertop installer. They have specialized tools and experience removing and re-installing countertops safely.

What’s the easiest way to remove quartz countertop adhesive?

Scraping with a putty knife works well. Adhesive remover or mineral spirits can also help dissolve any remaining adhesive residue after scraping.

Can I reuse a quartz countertop after removing it?

Yes, quartz can be reused if removed intact without cracks, chips, or other damage. Re-adhere using manufacturer’s recommended adhesive and proper installation techniques.


Removing a quartz countertop without harm takes patience, proper technique, and the right tools. Always work slowly and cautiously when prying up the countertop. Re-adhere the quartz to the cabinets after thoroughly cleaning both surfaces. Now you can update your kitchen or bath design knowing how to safely remove and re-install a quartz countertop.