Kitchen Remodeling - Uninstalling Kitchen Cabinets
1. Once the sink and its fittings have been removed, the next step will be to disassemble the counter tops and remove the cabinets. For this you will need a hammer, pry-bar, putty knife, screwdriver, crowbar, ladder and saw. Many counter tops are made of plywood, nailed to the base cabinets, with the finish material laid on top. With the exception of a plastic laminated counter top, the only part worth saving is the finish material - the tile, marble or wood. Tile can be difficult to save as they are mostly glass and could crack and fly off in pieces. Synthetic marble slabs can usually be pried off with a putty knife and the appropriate solvent. Plastic laminate counter tops and wood slabs are generally nailed or screwed to the base cabinet. These fasteners are located by looking up under the counter top inside the cabinet.
2. At this point, you will be ready to remove the cabinets from their permanent positions. We recommend that you remove the base units first so that you can get underneath the wall cabinets for easier disassembly.
3. It will make the job much easier if you remove all doors and drawers before attempting to remove the cabinets. Then you can easily look inside the cabinet to see where and by what means it is attached.
4. If the units are attached to each other, you can either detach them and lower them separately or lower them as one. If you plan to reuse the hardware, clean and store all the pulls, knobs and their screws in plastic bags. Cabinets can be attached in a variety of ways. Older types are usually nailed to the wall, to the soffit and/or to each other and may even be built into the wall itself. (In this latter case it will be necessary to demolish all or part of the wall.) Newer units will more likely be held into place with screws. Some models may even be hung on metal or wood cabinet hangers.
Metal cabinets are usually attached with hangers. These can simply be lifted out and away from the wall at the bottom then lifted up off of the hangers . Unscrew the hangers from the wall. If screws were use, remove them. If the cabinet is nailed into place, ease the flat end of a pry bar between the unit and the wall. Do this at both the top and the bottom. Pry the cabinet loose while another person supports it from below. Add a block of wood between the wall surface and the pry-bar to avoid marring the wall. If this method does not loosen the nails, pound the cabinet toward the wall in an effort to make the nail heads protrude enough to draw them out.
5. Lower cabinets are often attached to the wall at the top and can be unscrewed or pried loose. Remove the cover molding or carefully pry away the baseboard at the floor. Remove any nails and lift the cabinet away from the wall.