How to Replace Kitchen Base Cabinets Without Removing Countertop | 5 DIY Steps

To replace your kitchen base cabinets without removing the countertop, start by emptying the cabinet and unscrewing its fixtures. Then cut through the plumbing area with a jigsaw to free up the cabinet, support the countertop with clamps and studs, and carefully remove the old cabinet. Finally, slide your new cabinet beneath the countertop and secure it with adhesives and screws.

Most homeowners will tell you that replacing their kitchen base cabinets is a big job. They say that it takes weeks to get everything done. And most of the time, they’re right because they have to remove their countertop first. 

However, there’s a way I replace my kitchen base cabinets without removing the countertop. In fact, it’s easier than you’d think. This method works for me every single time, and it only takes a few hours to complete.

All you need are the right toolkits (most of which you already have in your home toolbox), and you can replace your kitchen cabinet on a convenient weekend.

how to replace kitchen base cabinets without removing countertop

Step-By-Step Guide To Replace Your Kitchen Base Cabinet

Removing your kitchen base cabinet is a simple DIY task. However, before you start dismantling your old kitchen cabinet, decide what you intend to do with the old cabinet. If you intend to reuse or donate it, be careful not to damage the woods when removing it. 

To begin, here are some of the tools you will need:

  • Hammer
  • Jig Saw
  • Pry Bar or Crowbar
  • Utility Knife and Putty Knife
  • Measuring Tape
  • Electric or Cordless Drill/Driver
  • Clamps
  • Safety Gear (Goggles, Gloves, and a Dust mask)

If you do not have these basic toolkits, you can borrow them from a friend and have them assist you with your kitchen cabinet removal.

So let’s get started; 

Step 1: Prepare The Kitchen

To get your kitchen ready, do the following:

  • Turn off all kitchen utilities, including water and electricity.
  • Take all of your dishes, pots, and pans out of the cabinets.
  • Remove everything from the countertop.
  • Place all items in a different room, so they don’t get in the way.
  • Wrap the countertops in tape to protect them from scratches

Step 2: Remove Cabinet Screws and Hinges

Cabinets are mostly fastened together with screws, and they include hinges for doors that swing. To remove them;

  • Simply locate the screw holes and hinges around your cabinet
  • Use an electric drill or a screwdriver to remove the cabinet installation screws one at a time.
  • Use a magnet to find any buried screws and remove them.
  • Ensure you keep the screws safe 

Successful removal of the cabinet screws will make it easier to get rid of doors, sliders, and other cabinet fixtures. You will also be able to remove cabinets that are connected to each other 

Step 3: Create an Opening Around Plumbing Fixtures

Before removing your cabinet, you must first make an opening large enough for the cabinet to slide past the plumbing areas. 

  • Use your jigsaw to cut through the plumbing areas at the back, to make the cabinet free enough to slide out
  • Make sure the cut is also large enough to accommodate your new cabinet
  • push the sink up from the bottom a bit to make check if it is loose enough for the cabinet to slide out
  • Uninstall the plumbing temporarily if necessary

Step 4: Install Your Supporting Studs

Studs are required to properly support the heavy countertop before removing the base cabinet, to prevent it from falling.

  • Using a measuring tape, measure the length of the countertop vertically to the ground on four sides or more.
  • Get some 2 x 4 wooden beams and cut them into the lengths measured with the tape.
  • Mount the beams to support the countertop after removing each side of the cabinet

Step 5: Remove Cabinet

Now that all of the screws have been removed and the countertop has been supported, you can remove the cabinet from its position. However, the design of your kitchen cabinet will determine how you remove it. Some cabinets can be removed as a whole once the screws are undone, whereas others must be removed piece by piece.

  • Take a firm grip on the cabinet and begin pulling it towards you.
  • Using the pry bar and crowbar, pry the cabinet away from the countertop and the wall.
  • The top part of the cabinet is usually glued to the countertop; remove the adhesive with a utility knife and slowly pull the cabinets away.

Step 6: Install New Kitchen Cabinet

installing new kitchen cabinets
  • Remove any glues, silicone, or nails left from the cabinet area.
  • Drill holes through the back of your cabinets to accommodate the existing plumbing.
  • Apply silicone or adhesive glue to the tops of the new cabinet 
  • Gently slide the new cabinet back beneath the countertop.
  • Ensure that the new cabinet is level from all sides
  • Screws the cabinet in properly
  • Remove the supporting studs 
  • Install the sink and plumbing pipes (if you removed them initially) 


  • Get a friend to assist you; it makes the job easier.
  • Be careful not to injure yourself when removing the cabinet and sink. Wear necessary safety equipment like goggles and gloves to avoid injury.

Installing kitchen base cabinets is an integral part of any kitchen. They provide storage space and add a unique style to the room. However, If you’ve never replaced your kitchen cabinets before, then you might not realize how important it is to get new ones. Below are five reasons that will make you wonder why you didn’t do it sooner.

5 Reasons Why Should You Replace Your Kitchen Base Cabinets

They add value to your house.

A new kitchen cabinet gives your home a whole new look and feel. It helps improve your property because a well-maintained kitchen has a higher resale value than one that needs repairs.

New Cabinets Can Make Your Kitchen More Efficient.

Replacing your cabinets will allow you to create more efficient kitchen layouts. For example, you can install shelves above your stove top and refrigerator. This will free up valuable cabinet space. In addition, you can use your new cabinets to store items such as spices and baking supplies that you don’t want to see every day.

Your kitchen has no storage space.

It becomes difficult to store all the necessary items if your kitchen does not have sufficient storage space. You should consider replacing your kitchen cabinets to find the amount of space you need

New kitchen cabinets are easy to clean.

Old cabinets are likely to crack and become porous. This means that they absorb moisture which could lead to mold formation. As a result, you will find yourself cleaning them every week. However, when installing new cabinets, some are glass and plastic, making them easier to clean.

Lower Maintenance Costs.

Because you’re using new cabinets, you won’t have to worry about maintaining them. Instead, they’ll last longer and require fewer repairs.

FAQs on Replace Kitchen Base Cabinets Without Removing Countertop

Can I Install New Countertops Over My Old Kitchen Cabinets?

Yes, it is a good idea If your cabinets are in good shape. However, you need to be cautious when removing and installing the countertops. If you’re going to replace the countertops, you might as well reface the cabinets.

What Is Cabinet Refacing?

Cabinet refacing is a method of making the existing cabinets look as good as new. It involves applying a new veneer or laminate material to the cabinet doors and drawers to give them a completely new look.

Can I Reuse My Old Kitchen Cabinets?

Yes, old kitchen cabinets can be repurposed for other things. You just have to get creative about what type of furniture you want them transformed into. Generally, they will work fine for wall cabinets, shoe racks, and console tables. They could also be ideal for someone else’s home, so you could sell your furniture to make some money.

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