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Old 10-02-2010, 07:29 AM   #1
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Removing and saving granite counter tops


Hi all, its been a while since I've posted on the chatroom, so good to be back!

In our kitchen remodel, we tried to mix new upper cabinets with existing base cabinets.. installed the granite over the old base cabinets... and a year later, we are second guessing (wife is... ). It doesn't look "finished." So the plan would be to order new base cabinets from the same manufacturer/color/style as the uppers.

Now, they new ones would fit the same profile as the old ones. Same width for each unit, same height, same location (on a straight wall). There is no backsplash up yet, so nothing to worry about there.

What concerns should I have with the existing granite that we want to remove from the old base ones and put back on the new cabinets when they come in?

Besides having help with the weight (the total wall is 10 feet, with one slab where the sink is about 2 ft deep and 6 ft long and the other is 2ft by 18 inches), what issues do any of you see here?

Silicone removal? Weight? Slab cracking near the sink? SHould I remove the sink first?

Thanks!

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Old 10-02-2010, 08:04 AM   #2
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Removing and saving granite counter tops


Be careful... very, very careful.

Remove the sink by cutting away any putty or silcone. Ditto under the slab of granite.

If possible, reinforce the sink opening at your earliest opportunity using a piece of plywood and tape to stop it from cracking.
There are no guarantees.

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Old 10-04-2010, 08:41 PM   #3
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Removing and saving granite counter tops


Risky business!

Depending on how the granite is attached...meaning how much silicone/adhesive was used where...I would be absolutely positive that all of the silicone/adhesive has been severed before trying to lift anything.

The best way is to use a guitar string. Fish it between the granite and the cabinet and start sawing the silicone/adhesive everywhere you can. If the cabinets can be removed (pulled away from the wall slightly) with granite attached it would be easier to cut the adhesive.

Even a putty knife can be used to guarantee the backside has been penetrated.

When ready...don't lift from an end, lift from the front.
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Old 10-05-2010, 02:51 PM   #4
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Removing and saving granite counter tops


All good tips... thinking of hiring some muscle/buddies (payment in beer/pizza) to help ease it off. Any other tips would be appreciated as I've got another 2 weeks till new cabinets arrive..
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Old 10-05-2010, 04:07 PM   #5
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Removing and saving granite counter tops


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All good tips... thinking of hiring some muscle/buddies (payment in beer/pizza) to help ease it off. Any other tips would be appreciated as I've got another 2 weeks till new cabinets arrive..
Good idea. Just hold off on the beer until afterward. This was done with success on Holmes on Holmes by pros. Even working with pros, he warned the homeowner that they could very well crack. You should also get some of those suction cups they used for lifting such materials.
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Old 10-31-2010, 07:39 PM   #6
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Removing and saving granite counter tops


I would never attempt to remove granite countertops while remodeling a kitchen by myself. Hire a granite guy to reinstall them since they have the man power, equipment, etc. U could manage the rest of the project. Issues would be weight, cracking near the sink, is it glued down.

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Old 11-01-2010, 09:26 AM   #7
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Removing and saving granite counter tops


I hear you... still investigating this... got one quote at $300 for this small section, which is causing me to think more about myself... its silicone-ed down around edges, no other adhesive... gotta get some more quotes, cabinets should be here in another week or so.
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Old 11-01-2010, 10:02 AM   #8
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Removing and saving granite counter tops


can you replace one at a time?
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Old 11-01-2010, 10:21 AM   #9
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Removing and saving granite counter tops


I just need one section of granite removed and then placed back (essentially, swaping out the cabinets beneath it)... a rectangular piece that is 2 feet wide by 6.5 feet long, with a sink cut out in the middle..
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Old 11-29-2010, 10:54 AM   #10
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Removing and saving granite counter tops


Hey all, figured an update would be in order... as late last night we removed the counter top, took out the old cabinets, installed new base cabinets and reinstalled the granite. No cracks! Success!!

So a couple bullet points from the experience:
* Was very worried about cracking the piece.. spoke to a couple installers and handymen, no one would (understandably) "guarauntee" no cracks, but all said even if it did, you would likely be able to get a counter top person to repair it where it wouldn't be a horrible scar left after they fixed it... this gave me the confidence to go about it on my own, not hiring "pros" to remove and reinstall... if they or I broke it, we'd be hiring someone to fix it out of my pocket, so might as well try to save on the cost of trying myself first.

* I figured removing the sink (undermount) would make the slab easier to handle, and less of a lift required to remove from cabinet and reinstall back on cabinet... but, the sink was epoxied on with some pretty heavy duty stuff, so I couldn't remove it. I ended up cutting out the front of the old cabinet for easy slid out removal (we were junking those cabinets anyway) and muscling up and grunting and sweating and lifting the slab a bit higher when reinstalling over the new base cabinets. I actually think leaving the sink on allowed for a bit more rigidity of the whole slab.

* I was really afraid of cracking, have I mentioned that? I figured if the slab torqued at all or the weight of it in the center was too much, that's the cracking point. So I got four 2x4's and clamped them length-wise on both sides... figured they would help keep the slab from flexing when lifting off the base cabinets and moving. I don't know if this prevented the cracking, but it gave me a tremendous amount of piece of mind.

* My wife and I did this alone.. we were going to have a couple buddies help , but she wanted to do it yesterday and get it done. 72 inches length wise and 26 inches depth... we figured the slab was about 300 lbs... scary... but she was a tropper (she goes to the gym, I dont so she may have been in better shape!! ).

* We found the toughest part was angling the slab back on top of the new base cabinets... had some light switches in the wall that prevented us from hitting some good angles, and not enough brute strength to shimmy it back... but long way of saying... SUCCESS!!

Now just have to silicone the joints and we're good to go! (My back and legs are SORE today!)
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Old 11-30-2010, 03:04 PM   #11
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Removing and saving granite counter tops


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I would never attempt to remove granite countertops while remodeling a kitchen by myself. Hire a granite guy to reinstall them since they have the man power, equipment, etc. U could manage the rest of the project. Issues would be weight, cracking near the sink, is it glued down.

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I agree here. The cost of your granite could possibly be close to half the cost of your entire remodeling. You're already saving money by installing the cabs yourself. No reason to be a hero. Leave this to the pros... but make sure they're insured. It's THAT serious.
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Old 11-30-2010, 04:28 PM   #12
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Removing and saving granite counter tops


You're right... I guess in my situation, as described above, I decided if there was no guarauntee the slab wouldn't crack, why not attempt myself... flawed logic probably, and maybe I got lucky with it working.

Bottom line, I think in most cases for granite it seems call the pros and/or know your limits. Neither of which I listened to

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