How to Replace Kitchen Base Cabinets

How to Replace Kitchen Base Cabinets Without Removing Countertop

Replacing kitchen cabinets is a great way to give your kitchen a whole new look without having to spend a lot of money. However, it can be difficult and time-consuming to replace the cabinets without removing the countertop. Here are some steps that you can follow for replacing your old base cabinets without removing your countertop.

Remove the Cabinets

The first step is to remove all of the cabinet doors and drawers from the base cabinets. You’ll want to do this before you take a measurement so that when you install your new cabinets, they will fit perfectly in the space.

Set the New Cabinets in Place

The first step is to place the new cabinets in their desired location on the countertop.

You want to make sure that you leave enough room for plumbing and electrical outlets. You may need a plumber or an electrician to help with this step.

For a kitchen that has an L-shaped sink, give yourself at least seven inches of space from the edge of the countertop to where the cabinet will be placed. If your kitchen has two sinks, you will need about nine inches of clearance.

Once your new cabinets are in place, you can attach them with some screws to the wall studs. Make sure that they are level before attaching them completely. This can be done by using a spirit level on top of each cabinet and adjusting it until it is level with the bottom shelf.

Cut a Hole for your Sink

Measure the width of your existing sink, and then measure your new cabinet to make sure it will fit. When you’re installing the new cabinet, measure the desired hole size with a carpenter’s square. Use a jigsaw with a fine-tooth blade to cut the hole for your sink in the new cabinet.

Back to the Countertop

If you have a 3-inch space between your countertop and the bottom of your new cabinet, you can simply replace your countertop. If not, then you’ll need to remove your old cabinets and put them in storage.

Remove the Doors and Drawers

The first step is to remove the drawers and doors from the cabinets. You will need to be careful when removing these items because they can be heavy and difficult to handle. The next step is to remove the screws connecting the cabinet to the wall brackets. There will likely be two sets of screws on either side of each bracket, so you’ll need a screwdriver for this step. Remove all of the screws before sliding each cabinet out, one at a time.

The next step is to lay a tarp or blanket over your countertop and flooring. This will protect the surfaces from any dirt, dust, or debris that may fall when removing old base cabinets. Now, you’ll want to take up your tiles or linoleum on your kitchen floor. Use a utility knife with a metal cutting edge for this task so you don’t damage your flooring while cutting it up

Finally, move each cabinet out of its place and cover it with an additional tarp or blanket if possible so that it doesn’t get dirty while you’re working on installing new cabinets.

Tools and Materials You Will Need

You’ll need a few basic tools and materials for this project. You’ll need to have these on hand in order to replace your cabinets without removing the countertop.

  • A saw (circular, jigsaw, saber)
  • Clamps
  • Ruler
  • Tape measure
  • Chalk line
  • Drill with hole cutter attachment  -2 inch hole saw drill bit with keyhole style cutter

Step-by-Step Instructions for Replacing Base Cabinets Without Removing Countertop

1. Remove all cabinet doors and drawers from the old cabinets.

2. Using a saw, cut through the countertop along the outline of the old cabinets. Be careful not to make any cuts outside of the cabinet outline.

3. Remove the countertop by lifting it off of the top of the cabinets.

4. Place boards on either side of the cabinet opening to help support your new base cabinets while they are being installed. You may want to use a helper for this step, as it will take some time to get everything set up and secure before installing your new base cabinets.

5. Install your new cabinets by starting with the bottom one first, then moving up in order until each cabinet is secured into place using screws or brackets that are appropriate for your type of countertop (e.g., laminate, stone).

6. Replace all door and drawer fronts on your old base cabinets after installing them into place at their new location in your kitchen if desired.

Demolish the Countertop and Remove the Sink

First, you will need to demolish the countertop and remove the sink. You can do this by using a saw to cut through the countertop and sink from the underside of the cabinet.

Place new Countertop on top of Cabinets

To replace your old base cabinets without removing your countertop, you’ll need some new panels for the top of your cabinets. You can find these online in a variety of styles and colors.

Next, take a measuring tape and measure the distance from the top of your cabinet to where you want it to rest on the countertop. This will allow you to determine how much countertop you need for each panel.

Measure out all of the new countertops and place them onto the top of your old cabinets before securing them with screws or nails. The number of boards you’ll need will depend on how many cabinets you’re replacing; only one row is needed if there are only two or three cabinets in need of replacement.

You can be creative with this process by using different colored countertops or adding tiles to create a mosaic effect. Simply measure out each board and lay them out in order to get an idea of what they’ll look like before putting them into place permanently. If there are any spaces that need filling, use another piece of wood or tile as filler pieces until everything is appropriately covered up.


Replacing kitchen base cabinets without removing the countertop can be a great way to update your kitchen and make it much easier to clean.

You’ll need to remove the doors and drawers from your old cabinets, demolish the existing countertop, and place a new countertop on the cabinets. You will also need a new sink if you want to install one.

If you’re unsure about how to do this work, hiring a contractor can be a great idea. But if you’re up for the challenge, this is a great way to save money and get the work done in just a few hours.