When renovating a kitchen, there are always some fundamental problems. For example, you want to replace the kitchen base cabinets while keeping the countertop in place but don’t know how to do so. Thinking, is it really possible? What does an expert plumber have to say?

The process is pretty straightforward. Empty the cabinets, remove the screws holding the countertop, and support the countertop by placing studs below it. Then uninstall the old cabinet and install the newer one. 

However, there are some tricks that you need to follow. Continue reading to learn how to replace kitchen base cabinets without removing the countertop.

Is it Possible to Replace the Kitchen Base Cabinets without Removing the Countertop?

Yes, you can do it without damaging the surface. Also, the process is more straightforward than you think. More importantly, you can do it yourself without calling an expert, saving a few bucks.

While accomplishing the project, keeping a few things in mind is crucial.

  • Provide enough support for your hardwood or stone countertop. Since countertops are heavy, they require support to stay in place during the replacement process.
  • Use studs to prevent accidental falls on the countertop. This way, the complete cabinet structure will be saved from damage.

I believe you are now pretty clear about the process. The kitchen base cabinet replacement process is super easy.

How to Replace Kitchen Base Cabinets without Removing Countertop – Step by Step

What are you going to do with the old kitchen cabinet? Have you decided yet? Making a decision is vital. Wondering why? If you intend to donate or reuse it, make sure to remove the wood carefully so that you can use them for other purposes. 

You will require some tools that are listed below.

  • Jig saw
  • Crowbar or pry bar
  • Measuring tape
  • Hammer
  • Clamps
  • Gloves
  • Goggles
  • Dust mask
  • Putty or utility knife
  • Cordless drill

Don’t think of starting your project without these tools. Buy it from your nearest wholesale store or borrow it from your friend.

Step 01: Begin with Preparing the Kitchen

Get your kitchen ready before proceeding. Follow the below points.

  • Turn the kitchen utilities off, including electricity and water
  • Empty the cabinets by taking off all the pans, pots, dishes
  • Take out everything from the cabinet
  • Store them in a safe place so that they don’t get damaged when working
  • Use tape to wrap the countertop. This will prevent scratches.

Step 02: Unfasten the Cabinet Installation Screws

Once everything is removed from the cabinet, locate the screws used to hold the cabinet against the walls. Remove the screws one by one. It will let you remove the cabinet from the wall. Store the screws in a jar.

This purpose requires 2 preconditions.

  • Was the cabinet fastened before the flooring? If yes, you might not be able to remove the cabinet fully as it is fastened to the kitchen floor.
  • Toe-base construction also needs to be kept in mind. Generally, it is built directly with the cabinet. So, removing the cabinet is not possible if you don’t damage it. 

Step 03: Cut the Sides of the Plumbing Areas

The cabinet’s backside is usually attached to the plumbing area. As a result, you may face challenges in removing the cabinetry from beneath the countertop. While removing, you must be cautious not to damage the plumbing area.

A saber saw will be helpful for this purpose. However, choose one that gives you comfort while working and provides better results. Start cutting the sides of the plumbing areas.

Keep the cuts large enough so that the new cabinet accommodates them easily. Moreover, avoid rushing while cutting. Otherwise, the plumbing setup may be damaged.

Step 04: Support the Countertops Using Studs

As mentioned, countertops are heavy, especially stone or granite countertops. So, if you don’t use support, it might fall, and the entire cabinet installation area will be ruined.

You can use 2” X 4” studs in this case. Make sure to choose sturdy enough studs and support the countertop properly. Place studs on each side of the countertop. 

Step 05: Uninstall the Old Cabinet

Once all screws are removed, and supports are placed, remove the old cabinet from its place. The cabinet removal process varies depending on the design. Some models need to be removed as a whole, while others require a piece-by-piece removal.

How to Replace Kitchen Base Cabinets
  • Ensure a firm grip when pulling the cabinet toward you.
  • Use the crowbar and pry bar to pry the cabinet outwards from the wall and countertop.
  • Usually, the cabinet’s top part is glued to the countertop. Grab a utility knife to remove the adhesive and steadily pull the cabinet away.

Step 06: Inspect the Walls of the Cabinet

Since the cabinet’s walls are placed near the plumbing system, the walls get dampened quite often. This way, mold, and mildew grow in that area. Mold and mildew can damage the newly installed cabinet and its surface. At the same time, mold is bad for human health.

So, inspect the cabinet walls and the surrounding of the plumbing system for mold. If you observe mold buildup, use a commercial mold killer helping you eliminate mold and mildew effectively. Simultaneously, the wall of the new cabinets will remain free of mold.

In case you find too much mold, consider calling a professional. They will check the whole area efficiently and suggest effective solutions. 

Step 07: Mount the New Kitchen Base Cabinets

Once you know the wall has no mold and mildew, start mounting the new kitchen base cabinets. Accommodate it safely in the existing plumbing area. On the top of the new cabinets, apply glue or adhesive. Then the slide is carefully under the countertop.

  • Make sure the new cabinet is perfectly leveled from all sides
  • Properly fasten it with screws

Finally, remove the supporting studs and reassemble the plumbing pipes and sink.

Why Do I Need to Replace Kitchen Base Cabinets without Removing Countertop?

When I already have kitchen base cabinets, why is it essential to add a new one without removing the countertop? 

In fact, it offers a few benefits.

  • Adds Value to Your Home

A newly installed kitchen base cabinets enhance the look and appearance of your kitchen. It ensures that your property is well-maintained. This way, your home resale value improves.

  • Makes Your Kitchen More Productive

Replacing old kitchen cabinets makes your kitchen more productive than before. For instance, it allows you to install shelves on the refrigerator and stove top. At the same time, you will have valuable cabinet space.

Additionally, the new cabinets can store items like baking supplies, spices, and other things you use infrequently. 

  • Cabinets are Effortless to Clean

Kitchen cabinets require daily cleaning. Otherwise, moisture builds up in them and causes mold and mildew development. 

Older cabinets become porous, making it difficult to clean them. While you will face less difficulty in cleaning the newly installed cabinets. 

However, it would be best to choose cabinets made of plastic and glass. Such construction will let you clean them easily.

  • Minimizes Maintenance Cost

Newer cabinets don’t require periodic maintenance. In comparison, older cabinets need regular maintenance to get the best results. They may require expensive repairs sometimes.

But newer cabinets offer long-time service and need fewer repairs. Thus, it helps minimize maintenance costs. 

How to Replace Kitchen Base Cabinets – FAQs

Can you reuse the removed kitchen cabinets?

Yes, removed kitchen cabinets can be reused for other purposes. All you need to do is be creative regarding what type of furniture you require them to change. 

Usually, you can make shoe racks, wall cabinets, console tablets, etc., using them. Also, use them to make a storage unit for your bedroom. Besides, these cabinets can be suitable for making shelves and putting them in your bathroom. 

Moreover, you can give them to your neighbors so that they can use the removed cabinets to make other items. 

You can also sell them to make a few bucks. In fact, older kitchen base cabinets can be used for multiple purposes.

Can lower cabinets be replaced without removing countertops?

It relies on the countertop’s installation process. But usually, you will have to remove countertops to install new lower cabinets. 

Wrap Up

Isn’t the process how to replace kitchen base cabinets without removing the countertop so simple? Ideally, you can handle the project yourself with the help of some common hand tools and other items.

The key is to be patient and complete the process step-by-step. However, the project is a bit tricky. Make sure the countertops are correctly supported when you replace the old cabinets. It can cause damage and personal injury if you don’t do so. Also, remember to wear protective gear.


Oliver aka Arannyk Monon is a versatile content writer, editor, and content strategist. He has been writing for the last 10 years to help people get the actual information that they are searching for on Search Engines. He has proven expertise in Kitchen, automotive, camera, hosting, and other technical topics.

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