How To Replace Kitchen Base Cabinets Without Removing Countertop

When it comes to refreshing the look of your kitchen, the thought of a complete cabinet reconstruction can be daunting, especially when you’re eager to replace kitchen cabinets without removing the countertop.

Kitchen Cabinets at home

The good news is, DIY kitchen cabinet replacement is entirely feasible and can significantly transform your kitchen space! This process involves careful removal of your old cabinets, selection of your new cabinets, and understanding how to work with cabinet installation screws.

It’s a project that demands precision but rewards you with an entirely new aesthetic. By the end of this article, you’ll not only have mastered the complete cabinet structure, but also have a clear step-by-step guide to replace your cabinet doors.

Intrigued? Read on to discover how you can revitalize your kitchen, saving both time and money, while keeping that beautiful countertop untouched.

Materials and Tools You Need to Get Started

Materials and Tools to replace cabinets

Before anything else, it’s essential to gather all the necessary materials to ensure a smooth and efficient process when replacing your kitchen base cabinets.

Let’s start with a comprehensive list of materials and tools you’ll need to accomplish this task.

  1. Replacement cabinets
  2. Cabinet installation screws
  3. Drill
  4. Level
  5. Screwdriver
  6. Shims
  7. Tape measure
  8. Utility knife
  9. Pry bar
  10. Stud finder
  11. Saw (optional, for custom cabinets)

Step-by-Step Guide on How to Replace Kitchen Base Cabinets Without Removing Countertop

replacing kitchen base cabinets
  1. Examine your existing cabinets: Before you begin the cabinet removal process, inspect your current cabinet structure. Ensure your stone or hardwood countertop is adequately supported so that it doesn’t get damaged during the cabinet replacement.
  2. Turn off plumbing fixtures: To avoid any potential water damage, make sure to shut off all water supply lines connected to the sink and dishwasher. Disconnect any plumbing fixtures as needed.
  3. Remove cabinet doors and drawers: Start by removing the cabinet doors and drawers from the existing cabinets. This will make the kitchen cabinet removal process easier and lighter. Keep the screws and hardware in a safe place if you plan to reuse them.
  4. Detach the cabinet frame: Locate and remove the screws holding the previous cabinet beneath the countertop. Be cautious when working around the granite countertop or other delicate materials to avoid damaging them.
  5. Remove cabinets cautiously: Carefully pry the old cabinets away from the cabinet walls and base, making sure not to damage any plumbing or other fixtures. Granite countertops often need extra support, so ensure that they remain supported throughout this process.
  6. Prepare for new cabinet installation: Clean and inspect the area where the old cabinets were removed. Make any necessary repairs or adjustments to the walls or floors before installing the new cabinets.
  7. Assemble replacement cabinets: Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to assemble your new cabinets. If you have opted for custom cabinets, ensure they are built to the correct dimensions to fit snugly beneath the countertop.
  8. Secure the cabinet frame: Position the new cabinet frame in place beneath the countertop. Use a level to ensure the frame is perfectly leveled, and shim the base as needed to achieve the desired height.
  9. Attach the cabinets: Using the cabinet installation screws, attach the replacement cabinets to the cabinet walls and the base. For granite countertops, make sure to provide adequate support to prevent damage to the countertop. Double-check that the cabinets are level and secure.
  10. Install cabinet doors and drawers: Once the cabinet frame is securely in place, reinstall the cabinet doors and drawers. If you’re using new hardware, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper installation.
  11. Reconnect plumbing fixtures: Reattach the plumbing fixtures, including the sink and dishwasher, and turn the water supply back on. Check for any leaks and ensure everything is functioning correctly.

By following these steps, you can successfully replace your outdated cabinets without removing your beautiful countertop. With some patience and attention to detail, your kitchen will have a brand-new look, and you’ll have saved both time and money by not having to replace your countertop. Remember to remove cabinets cautiously, take your time, and plan for any necessary adjustments to ensure your new cabinets fit seamlessly with your existing kitchen design.

Need a Professional Help?

DIY kitchen cabinet replacement

While DIY kitchen cabinet replacement can be a fulfilling project, it may not be for everyone. Cabinet refacing and installation require a certain level of skill and patience, especially when you need to work around existing countertops. The task gets even more challenging when dealing with lower cabinets beneath solid wood or stone kitchen countertops.

Older cabinets tend to have different structures and may be attached more firmly to the base cupboards than newer models. If you’re inexperienced in handling such delicate projects, we strongly recommend contractor.

Contact us at Shepherd Contracting and let our experience pros handle the rest.


Can I replace just the cabinet doors instead of the whole cabinet?

Yes, you can opt to replace just the cabinet doors, a process known as cabinet refacing. This can be a cost-effective and less disruptive way to update your kitchen’s look without removing the entire cabinet structure. It’s especially practical if your existing cabinets are still in good condition and you’re happy with their layout.

How long does it take to replace kitchen base cabinets?

The time it takes to replace kitchen base cabinets can vary widely depending on the size of your kitchen, the type of cabinets you’re installing, and your experience level. On average, it can take anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks. Remember that rushing the process can lead to mistakes, so it’s important to take your time.

What should I consider when choosing new kitchen cabinets?

When choosing new cabinets, consider the style and material that will best match your existing kitchen design. Solid wood cabinets are durable and offer a timeless look, while laminate or veneer cabinets can be a more affordable option. You should also consider the storage needs and the overall layout of your kitchen.

Can I replace my upper cabinets at the same time?

Yes, if you’re planning to replace your lower cabinets, it could be a good time to consider replacing the upper ones as well, especially if they’re outdated or damaged. However, keep in mind that replacing all cabinets at once can be a larger and more time-consuming project, and you may need to consider additional support for your countertops during this process.



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