Laminate Countertop Removal

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Turbo98
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Laminate Countertop Removal

Post by Turbo98 » Sun Aug 21, 2016 10:48 am

Hello,
I’m doing some upating to my kitchen. I’m getting some new countertops to replace the laminate ones. They are basically in a “L” shaped pattern up against the walls with a 4” INTEGRAL laminate backsplash. Then there is a peninsular section that juts out from the wall. I want to do the removal of these myself as they will charge to remove them. My question is what is the best and safest way to remove them without damaging the tile on walls? As you can see in the pictures, there is ceramic tile right above the backsplash/counter. I was talking to the guys that came out and measured for the new ones and they said “just hit it with a hammer and the backsplash will break loose”. I wasn’t sure what exactly to hit with the hammer. They indicated that it should work fine and that the tile should not be disturbed. My plan was to cut the caulk first then maybe score/cut with a knife right in the corner where the backsplash meets the counter. Then maybe lift up on the counter and it will break loose from the backsplash? It's also jammed up under the window sill. I’ve located all the screws that hold the countertop down so it should be freed up once I take them all out.

Thanks!

ImageCountertop Backsplash

ImageCountertop Backsplash 2

Turbo98
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Re: Laminate Countertop Removal

Post by Turbo98 » Sun Aug 21, 2016 10:51 am

I also thought about hitting the corner where the backsplash meets the counter with a sharp chisel to break the laminate.

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A. Spruce
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Re: Laminate Countertop Removal

Post by A. Spruce » Sun Aug 21, 2016 11:45 am

The square top corner on the backsplash is indicative of a separate backsplash, not a one piece unit. I can't see int counter/splash seem well enough to confirm. Is the counter/splash a perfectly square edge, or does the laminate bend to form the corner? If separate, then pull the counter top first, after cutting the caulking along the counter/splash seam. If one piece, you can take a chisel or flat bar and hammer to break the laminate along the joint.

Look carefully for all screws holding the counter in place, they like to hide, if the counter doesn't lift relatively easily, keep looking for screws or puddles of glue or silicone that were used to hold the counter in place.

The corner seams of the counter are held together with clamps, pop these clamps off so you can separate the seam (which is also glued ). The key thing here is not to put too much pressure on the tile, which means you can't lift the counter much or you'll shove the splash into it. Wiggle it free. Score it with a saw to remove smaller section.

The backsplash itself will be easier to remove without fear of tile damage once the counter is out. You could and may need to pull it first, but try doing the counter first.
If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy.

Turbo98
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Re: Laminate Countertop Removal

Post by Turbo98 » Sun Aug 21, 2016 11:51 am

Ok, thanks. The laminate bends up to the backsplash so there is no seam there where the counter meets the backsplash. So I'll hit it with a chisel like you said. I'm assuming the counter will break free from the backsplash rather easily once this is done? And yes, I'v undone those clamps at the miter joints.
Thanks again.

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A. Spruce
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Re: Laminate Countertop Removal

Post by A. Spruce » Sun Aug 21, 2016 11:59 am

Yes, you'll definitely need to sever the laminate through the corner then. It will break easily, it's just a matter of focusing the force of your blows right on the corner, hence the chisel or flat bar. You could even use a sawzall if you have one.
If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy.

Turbo98
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Re: Laminate Countertop Removal

Post by Turbo98 » Sun Aug 21, 2016 12:02 pm

Ok, great, thanks. Yes, I have a sawzall also.

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A. Spruce
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Re: Laminate Countertop Removal

Post by A. Spruce » Sun Aug 21, 2016 12:09 pm

As always, work carefully, take your time, and your methodology will present itself as you go along. Jump in there with brute force and no regard, that's when things start getting broken and damaged.
If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy.

Turbo98
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Re: Laminate Countertop Removal

Post by Turbo98 » Sun Aug 21, 2016 1:15 pm

Ok, thanks. Yes, you are right. I'll be careful.

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Shannon
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Re: Laminate Countertop Removal

Post by Shannon » Sun Aug 21, 2016 4:02 pm

A osolating multi tool/saw works good as well and easier to control them a recip saw
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Turbo98
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Re: Laminate Countertop Removal

Post by Turbo98 » Sun Aug 21, 2016 4:22 pm

Yeah, I was thinking about that also. Def. easier to control. We shall see what will work best. Once I get into it, I think I will find the best way like mentioned.
Thanks for the idea.

Turbo98
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Re: Laminate Countertop Removal

Post by Turbo98 » Sun Aug 21, 2016 4:35 pm

BTW, I'm going to start with a small section in-between the fridge and the range top. So this will be easier to manage until I get a feel of how it's going to go and how well that backsplash is attached to the countertop.

ImageCountertop Backsplash 3

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A. Spruce
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Re: Laminate Countertop Removal

Post by A. Spruce » Sun Aug 21, 2016 5:31 pm

Good plan, but don't fight working in a cramped space. Pull the refrigerator out of the way. If you've got vinyl or wood floors, put down some 1/4" plywood to protect the floor from the fridge rollers.
If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy.

Turbo98
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Re: Laminate Countertop Removal

Post by Turbo98 » Sun Aug 21, 2016 6:29 pm

Cool, thanks. Will do.

Turbo98
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Re: Laminate Countertop Removal

Post by Turbo98 » Mon Aug 22, 2016 7:44 pm

Wow, I'm starting to get into this a bit now....... It has become apparent that the entire U-shaped piece must have been pre-assembled (probably at the place it was made) then laid on the base all in one piece. T?he sink won't come out with ease as some of the clip studs/screws land right in line and smack on top of a partition making it impossible to loosen unless I cut them off a bit. I suppose there is no reason to remove the sink first unless it prevents me from maneuvering the top enough when removing it. I have maybe an inch to pull it back if I leave it in.

I can get to two of the clamps/bolts on each side where the miter joints are. But the third one in the back is partially under the base support (where the counter sits). Undoing those ones will prove to be impossible. I don't think I can cut them as they are on top of the base and I don't want to cut the base. There are also large cleats that are nailed on (probably glued also) to help hold the miter joints together. Again, these had to be applied before the top was laid on because they aare partially on top of the base. I can easily cut through those with a sawzall though from the top if need be. The miter joint also is siliconed together.

My original plan was to take the metal clamps out at the miter joints and cut down the entire miter joint (as close as I can to the cabinet base) to free up the two sides of the "U". But with that last clamp being impossible to cut or loosen, I think I'll have to make other cuts. So it's turning into quite a project. They always do with me, lol.

Anyway, I'll report back later this week as I really get some surgery going.

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A. Spruce
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Re: Laminate Countertop Removal

Post by A. Spruce » Mon Aug 22, 2016 8:14 pm

In instances like this, a sawzall is your best friend. Cut down either side of the sink, separating it from the rest of the counter top, this will allow you more easily handle smaller pieces.
If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy.

Turbo98
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Re: Laminate Countertop Removal

Post by Turbo98 » Mon Aug 22, 2016 8:18 pm

Ok. Yes, that is what I am thinking. I just hope the counter separates from the backsplash easily. I can feel under there and the counter is butted up against the backsplash so it's probably glued on.

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A. Spruce
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Re: Laminate Countertop Removal

Post by A. Spruce » Mon Aug 22, 2016 8:27 pm

If you can't separate the backsplash easily, run a saw along the splash to get rid of most of the counter top before you start ripping and tearing at the splash. The smaller pieces you work with, the easier it will be to be gentle and not cause wall or tile damage. It would be fine to leave 3 or 4 inches of counter attached to the splash, you don't have to worry about severing it right at the joint.
If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy.

Turbo98
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Re: Laminate Countertop Removal

Post by Turbo98 » Mon Aug 22, 2016 8:30 pm

Well, that's true. I'll look at doing that. Then it would be rather easy to remove the splash "assembly" once the counter is gone. Thanks.

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A. Spruce
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Re: Laminate Countertop Removal

Post by A. Spruce » Mon Aug 22, 2016 8:32 pm

No problem. 8-)
If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy.

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