How to Remove Kitchen Cabinets (Step-by-Step Guide)

Are you planning to remodel your kitchen by removing all the cabinets? Well, the good news is that it’s easy to detach the cabinets from the wall without causing any damage to them.

This way, you can reuse them in other applications.

To remove kitchen cabinets, empty them all and turn off the water and power supply to your kitchen.

Remove the trims and molding, take apart the cabinets, and detach them from the walls one at a time.

Let’s explore how to remove kitchen cabinets in detail!

A Step-by-Step Guide on How to Remove Kitchen Cabinets

If you want to remove your kitchen cabinets without causing any damage to them, you will have to follow these detailed steps.

Prepare for the Removal

Before you remove the cabinets, you need to prepare them for removal. Here’s how to do that:

Empty All the Cabinets

You need to remove all the items stored in your cabinet. These include silverware, plates, pans, pots, etc.

If you don’t remove them and store them somewhere safe, they might break during the cabinet removal process.

Plus, these items will add unnecessary weight to your cabinets, making them harder to remove.

The best course of action is to remove these items and place them in a different room. This way, they won’t get in your way while you remove the cabinets.

Don’t forget to cover them with a sheet to prevent dust and debris from finding their way onto your belongings.

Turn Off the Water Supply to the Sink

If your base cabinets are underneath your countertop with the sink, don’t forget to turn off the sink’s water supply.

It will prevent your kitchen from flooding when you remove the counter and sink. Search under the sink for the main shut-off valve.

Once you find the metal knob on the side of the pipe that leads to your sink, turn it clockwise until it stops moving to shut-off the water supply.

Double-check to ensure that you turned off the water supply properly.

Cut Off the Electricity Supply to Your Kitchen

If you have electrical outlets around your counter and you might have to deal with wires while removing the cabinets, it’s best if you turn the power off.

Find your breaker room and locate the circuit breaker that controls the electricity to your kitchen. Turn off that fuse.

Protect Your Countertops

If you plan on using your old countertops in the remodeled kitchen, try your best to protect them from any damage.

Place a thick sheet over the top to prevent dust and debris from layering on it. Put a flat piece of wood on top of the sheet.

It will protect your countertop from any dents caused by any accident during the removal, such as dropping a tool.

Remove the Molding or Trim from Your Cabinet

If you have decorated your cabinets with molding and trims, unfasten them.

Typically, such accessories are loosely-fastened with small nails or staples, and you can remove them quickly. Use the claw of a hammer or a crowbar to remove the trims and molding.

Double-check the base and wall cabinets for trims that wrap around the corners. Since you can’t reuse molding and trim, you don’t have to worry about damaging them during removal.

They might even crack a little while you’re prying them off.

However, if you plan to use the cabinets elsewhere in your house, be careful when removing the trims.

You can accidentally scratch or dent your cabinets. Moreover, don’t forget to wear gloves when prying trims off your cabinets. It will help you avoid staples and splinters.

Remove the Wall Cabinets

The next step is to remove the wall cabinets. Here’s how you can do that:

Put Support Blocks Under the Cabinet

You need to prevent the wall cabinets from crashing to the floor during removal. The best way to do that is to put support blocks under them.

Measure the distance between the bottom of the wall cabinet and your kitchen countertop.

Cut four pieces of lumber matching that length and put one under each corner of the cabinet. Use thick pieces to support the weight of the cabinets in case of an accident.

You can move the lumber from cabinet to cabinet as you remove them all.

Detach the Cabinet Doors

The next step is to remove the cabinet doors. Open the doors to find the hinges that connect them to the body of the cabinet.

Use a drill or screwdriver to unfasten all the screws holding the doors in place. At this point, the doors should come off quickly.

Be sure to hold on to the door when removing the last screw to prevent it from falling.

If you plan to reuse the cabinets in other parts of your home, be careful with the screws so that you don’t lose them. You can put them in a plastic container to keep all the pieces together.

Pro Tip: Always wear gloves and goggles when using a power drill to prevent injuries.

Remove the Shelves

If you have multiple shelves in your cabinets, take them all out. This way, they won’t get in the way when you remove the cabinet’s main body.

Typically, cabinet shelves rest on top of plugs fastened to the walls. If that’s the case, lift off the shelves and put them away.

However, if you had screwed the shelves into place when installing the cabinets, locate the supporting screws and use your drill to screwdriver to remove them all.

Don’t forget to hold onto the shelf while removing the final screw so that it doesn’t fall out and cause any damage or injury.

Put the screws or plugs in a plastic container or bag to reuse later.

Unscrew the Cabinet from your Kitchen Wall

The next step is to remove the screws that are holding your cabinets together. Look inside the cabinet to find screws in the sides.

You might find them around the door hinge. If you see any, remove them before unscrewing the cabinet from the wall.

Double-check and feel around the cabinets with your hand to locate any remaining screws.

Then, look inside the cabinet and locate a row of drywall screws running across the top of the cabinet.

These screws ensure that the cabinet is securely attached to the wall. Use your power drill or your screwdriver to take out these screws.

Check the bottom of the cabinet for additional screws and take them out as well. It’s best to ask someone to hold the cabinet while you unscrew it to prevent any accidents.

Once you have removed all the screws, hold on to the cabinet and pull it toward you. Once you have removed it successfully, move it out of the way.

Carefully repeat the entire process for each wall cabinet. Put all the unscrewed cabinets in a safe place so that you don’t accidentally trip on them.

Remove the Base Cabinets

Once you have removed all the wall cabinets, move on to the base cabinets. Here’s how you can remove them:

Detach the Cabinet Drawers

Typically, base cabinets feature drawers instead of shelves. You need to empty all the drawers and then remove them from the cabinets.

Free-rolling drawers will effortlessly come out. Pull them all the way and then lift them to remove them from their sockets.

As for drawers fastened to the cabinets with brackets, remove them by unscrewing the brackets.

If you plan to use the drawers elsewhere, keep the support pieces in a plastic container. Put the drawers out of the way to avoid spreading clutter in your kitchen.

Remove the Kitchen Sink

If you want to remove your base cabinets safely, you will have to remove the kitchen sink first.

Unhook the pipes leading to the sink. Cut through the caulking and remove the sink from the countertop.

Lift it out and move it somewhere safe and away from the cabinets. Don’t forget to turn off the water supply as any mistake can lead to a flood in your kitchen.

Pro Tip: If the sink has jagged edges, make sure to wear gloves to protect yourself from getting a nasty cut.

Detach the Countertop

After removing the sink, you need to remove the countertop. Inspect the inside of your base cabinet to see if there are any screws drilled through the top. If you spot any, you will have to take them all out to remove the countertop.

Use a screwdriver or a power drill to remove all the screws. Lift the countertop slowly and gently to prevent it from getting scratched. Move it away and put it somewhere safe and away from your kitchen.

If your counter has a caulk layer that connects it to the wall, you will have to cut through it.

Use a razor blade to cut through the caulk as carefully as possible to avoid damaging the countertop. It’s best if you wear gloves to prevent any unnecessary cuts.

Remove the Base Cabinets

The last step is to unfasten any screws that are holding your cabinets together. Inspect the inside of your cabinets to find any screws connecting the sides.

Remove them all and double-check to ensure you haven’t missed any screws. It will prevent the cabinets from getting damaged during removal.

Work your way to the screws connecting the cabinets to the wall. You will find a row of them in the back of the base cabinets.

Use a screwdriver or power drill to remove them all. Use a flashlight to ensure that you have removed all the back screws to remove the cabinets effectively.

Gently work the base cabinet out of its position. If there is caulking holding the cabinet in place, pull hard on the cabinet to free it from the wall. You might have to lift the cabinet out of its position.

It’s because some cabinets have a mechanism that requires you to fix them in a compartment on the floor. You can’t just pull these cabinets out. You have to lift them first and then pull them out.

Work your way through the remaining base cabinets. Put them all in a safe location where you or your family members will not trip on them.

Make sure to hold the cabinets tightly so that you don’t drop them on the floor or your foot.

The Bottom Line

If you want to remove your kitchen cabinets to remodel your kitchen, you can do so easily. If you’re careful and thorough, you can remove them without causing any damage.

Remove all the items from every cabinet. Cut off the power and water supply to your kitchen. Protect your countertops and remove all trims and molding.

Then, remove the door, shelves, drawers, and screws. Slowly detach the cabinets from the wall and put them away.

For base cabinets, remove the kitchen sink and countertop before removing them. Before you know it, your kitchen is ready for remodeling!

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