Can You Replace the Countertops Without Replacing Backsplash?

Before upgrading your current countertops, you must disengage and remove them.

While this may be the right time to upgrade your backsplash, you may decide to retain it if your new countertop matches it.

This way, you can also save money on your new countertop installation.

You can remove and replace your countertop without any damage to your backsplash.

A standard method of removing countertops, using a reciprocating saw, puts the backsplash at risk.

The good news is that there is another method of removing your countertop without using a reciprocating saw.

This method ensures that a reciprocating saw’s spinning blades won’t accidentally damage your backsplash.

In this post, we will describe in detail how to safely replace your countertop leaving the backsplash intact.

But first, ask yourself a few questions before removing the countertop.

What was installed first, the countertop or the backsplash?

an image of backsplash

In most situations, they would have installed the countertop first.

So with this being the case, you should be extra careful with the grout line on top of the countertop.

Be ready to replace it, though.

There is a good chance of reworking the grout line, as often, the cement breaks away while you attempt to remove the slab from underneath.

If you are going to replace the cabinets also, it is possible to make the new countertop’s height cover the face of the tiles.

This will rule out the need for re-grouting, though it will require making an exceptional depth countertop.

Either that or crop the standard-size countertop that you ordered sans backsplash.

Related Reading: Average Cost Of A Kitchen Backsplash – Click Here To Read.

Does your new countertop have the same thickness as your old one?

There would be a difference in thickness between your old countertop and the new one.

You may be unable to accommodate the new countertop beneath the existing backsplash.

Here are some standard countertop thicknesses.

All top manufacturers have their own fixed standards for fabricating, so these figures should not be taken as rules but as estimates.

Check with your supplier for a more precise dimensional measurement of your countertop selection.

  • Plastic laminate tops – one and a half inches thick
  • Real granite counters – either three-quarters or one-and-a-half inches thick
  • Silestone thickness – one-and-a-quarter to one-and-a-half inches
  • Corian – one-and-a-half inches

Steps for Removing the Countertop without Damaging the Backsplash

Follow the below preparatory steps before removing the countertop.

Step 1

Turn off the gas and water supply to the kitchen.

Step 2

Take out all items from your cabinets beneath the countertop.

Also, remove the drawers from your cabinets and place them in some out-of-the-way areas.

Step 3

Unplug and remove appliances, such as your microwave or stove, from the countertop.

If you own a ceramic cooktop fixed into the kitchen top with retaining screws, find the screws beneath the cooktop and unbolt them.

Lift the cooktop and put it away from the counter.

Step 4

Disconnect the drain pipe from the sink.

Use a utility knife to cut the silicone seal surrounding the sink.

Wedge a putty knife underneath the caulk line of the sink to break the adhesive seal.

Now remove the sink from the countertop.

Removing the Countertop

Step 1

Spray the caulk softener over the caulk line between your countertop and your backsplash.

Let the caulk softener stay for one hour or the time recommended by the manufacturer.

Step 2

Peel off the edge of the caulk line using the putty knife.

Remove the loosened caulk from the wall using your fingers.

Step 3

Insert the putty knife in between the base cabinet and the countertop.

Work it around the edges of the countertop, cracking any adhesive seal between the base cabinets and the countertop.

Step 4

Place an auto jack by the side of the countertop.

Wedge a board firmly between the countertop and the jack.

Step 5

Raise the board using the jack.

As the board rises upward, it will force the countertop up, disengaging it from the base cabinets.

Step 6

Wedge a pry bar in the opened space made by the jacked-up board—Lever the remaining countertop.

Related Reading: Want To Have Backsplash Same As Countertop – Click Here To Read.

Replacing Countertops without Replacing Backsplash – FAQs

1. Can you remove the granite countertop without breaking it?

an image of replacing a countertop

Unlike other materials, granite countertops require high-level skills and tools.

So you should hire a professional to do the job.

2. Should my countertop and backsplash have the same colour?

Backsplash and countertop colours should complement each other.

3. What type of backsplash goes best with a granite countertop?

Glass tiles match granite countertops best because they feature a glossy, clean, modern, and almost transparent look.

Related Reading: What Is The Current Trend In Kitchen Backsplashes – Click Here To Find Out.

In Conclusion

As long as you use the right tools, one or two extra pairs of hands, and a little patience.

You should be able to replace your countertop without replacing your backsplash, just like a pro.