Tear Out Tips for Your DIY Kitchen and Bath Remodeling

If you are thinking about kitchen and bath remodeling, a big part of the project is tearing out your old cabinetry. Here are some tips to help you make the job go smoothly.

Arrange for Getting Rid of the Debris:

Start by determining how and where you will get rid of the old cabinets and other trash.

While you may think that you can save or re-use some of the cabinetry, in most cases you will end up needing to have most items hauled away. Call a company that rents roll off containers or make other arrangements so that you can have the debris taken away when you are done. Keeping the old cabinets in your garage or some place else in your way will just make it more difficult when you begin to install your new cabinetry.

Remove All Cabinet Doors, Drawers and Shelving:

It is usually very easy to remove the doors from the cabinetry. Take off all the doors, take out the drawers and remove any loose shelving or other unattached items from the cabinets. This will also make them lighter and easier to move when you take the actual cabinets out.

Disconnect and Remove Appliances:

With the doors and shelves off it will be easier to see if there are any electrical or water connections in the cabinetry that is connected to your appliances. Make sure to turn the water off before disconnecting items like sinks and dishwashers. And turn off the electrical breakers and any other electrical service to the kitchen while taking out the electrical appliances and cabinets.

Remove the Existing Counter Top:

Look inside the base cabinets and find the screws where the counter top is attached to them. In some cases there may also be screws holding the counter top to the back wall. Remove any screws or other attachments and remove the counter tops before you start to remove the cabinetry. One special consideration is your dishwasher. It may be easier to uninstall and remove the dishwasher after you remove the counter top.

Remove the Base Cabinets First:

After you have the counter top off and all appliances removed, look inside your base cabinets and remove any screws or fasteners holding them to the back wall or floor. You can make your job a lot easier by removing the base cabinets before you start on the wall units. Once the base cabinets are out of the way it will be easier to get underneath the wall cabinets and hold them while they are unscrewed from the wall.

There may be toe kick strips that run full length at the bottoms of your base cabinets. It is easier if you remove these strips first before you start taking out the individual cabinets.

If your cabinets are made with face frame construction, there may be screws that connect each cabinet to the one at it’s side that run through the face frame. Be sure to check for and remove these as it will make it a lot easier to separate each individual cabinet.

Take Down the Wall Cabinets:

After the base units are removed, you will need to remove the screws that hold the wall cabinets to the wall. Be careful working with these and make sure you have enough help on hand to hold the cabinets as they are taken down. If you have crown molding or other trim that runs at the tops of the cabinets, remove this first before you start on the individual cabinets.

Remove Any Remaining Tall Cabinets:

Now you should only have tall (floor to ceiling) cabinets left. As before, detach these from the wall. Be careful when tipping these down to move and make sure the top corners don’t catch and damage the ceiling or other fixtures. Moving these out is also a two man job so have help on hand.

Clean Up Any Remaining Items:

There may be hanging strips still attached to the wall or other items remaining from the original cabinet installation. Take down and clean up any remaining items. If you do not intend to re-do the walls in your kitchen, be as careful as you can so you don’t do any damage to the walls or sheet rock.

You may find that the floor under your base cabinets is lower or not covered by your existing kitchen flooring. This is common since it is not cost effective to run expensive flooring under the cabinetry. But be sure you consider this when installing your new cabinets. You may want to keep some of the old shelving or parts from your old cabinets to use as buildup if you need it under the new cabinets.

Now that you have everything torn out, saved any items you can make use of and have everything else in the dumpster ready to be hauled away, your job is done. You will now be able to look things over and make sure you will be ready to install your new kitchen and bath remodeling cabinetry.