Although this sounds fairly straight- forward, depending on the counter's method of construction, things can get tricky. This particular kitchen was built with laminate countertops that had oak edging. The workers removed all the visi- ble fasteners but the countertops were still stuck in place. After a little exploratory surgery with a scraper and pry bar, they learned that the countertop plywood had been screwed to the base prior to having the laminate installed. This meant there were several areas where the laminate surface had to be peeled away, or the wood
edging had to be pried off, to access the hidden screws and dislodge the top. This job was a full kitchen replacement, which meant four different countertop surfaces had to be removed and replaced. With all fasteners gone, the countertop should then lift off easily. A number of shims are often left behind attached to the cabinet base. The installers pried these off to begin installation of the granite on the flat, even top of the cabinet base.
INSTALLATION Each granite slab will have been fabricated to the exact size specified by the work order. It
takes two workers per slab to lift the granite into place. This requires some muscle because the slabs must be carefully laid into position (not dropped) to avoid risk of sudden impact that could crack them or chip a corner. The largest of the countertops— an L-shaped corner counter that housed the sink basin—required two slab sections seamed togeth- er at a prefabricated joint. Once laid into place, the heavy slabs are very difficult to move. The installers use the type of handled suction cups favored by window installers to make slight adjustments to the slabs' lateral position.
First step in removing an old countertop is to disconnect all integrated appliances.
In some cases, a countertop may have been fastened to the cabinet base prior to having the finished surface installed.
With all screws removed, the countertop should lift freely off the base. Carefully set the new granite countertop section in place on the cabinet base.
Pry up the old laminate and remove any screws hidden beneath it. Pry off any old wood blocks or shims from the top of the cabinet base.