Kitchen Demolition: Removal Process, Gutting Options & Tips

Here is a guide on kitchen demolition and removal that you’ll find useful. Gutting a kitchen isn’t a complex task if you know what to do.

However, it can be quite overwhelming when you’re not sure of exact steps to take. You don’t have to guess your way through kitchen demolition tasks or perform them haphazardly.

A long list of actions will be required when performing kitchen demolition. These must be done systematically to guarantee success in the long run.

The success of your kitchen remodel begins with how well the demolition process unfolds. So, let’s get into the basics.

Dismantling A Kitchen: Choices To Be Made

Before any action is carried out, there needs to be a decision based on the options available.

In this case, you’ll need to choose between performing DIY kitchen demolition and calling a professional to handle the procedure. What you end up doing largely depends on your inclinations.

At this point, a lot of readers will want to know what’s best. Homeowners need to know which option best serves their needs. Now, both DIY technique and calling a professional each have their benefits.

However, persons not having the know-how, time, or interest in DIY techniques will be best served by a professional.

The key difference between DIY demolition and calling for professional help is the kitchen demolition cost involved.

Little to no cost is incurred while performing DIY kitchen demolition.

What more? This article best serves people in this category (DIY’ers) as pros don’t need the tips provided here.

Sometimes, contractors may be involved in the actual remodeling while you adopt a DIY demolition approach. So, what do you want? The choice is all yours!

Not an Expert? No Problem!

If you have an interest in DIY kitchen demolition but wonder if you have what it takes, the good news is; you can follow the tips offered here.

The process begins with making basic preparations.

This is followed by the actual demolition process after which you’ll need to clean up.

Basic Preparations For Gutting A Kitchen

Basic preparations for kitchen demolition are simple tasks necessary for the success of the operation. They include renting a dumpster, clear-out, and de-cluttering, shutting off utilities, and removing appliances.

Your demolition tools need to be ready.

  • Renting a Dumpster

One of the first things you’ll need to get before kitchen demolition gets underway is a dumpster. You won’t need to buy one as there dumpster rental services. Is this important? It absolutely is!

A lot of debris will result from the demolition process.

A home dumpster comes in varying sizes. Here, we advise you to get a 20-yard dumpster as such will perfectly serve your kitchen demolition needs.

  • Clear-out and De-Cluttering

A clear-out or de-cluttering simply refers to the removal of useful items from the kitchen area to a safe place.

These items range from cookware, dishes, and dishcloths among other valuable items. These need to be evacuated to a more secure location where they won’t get damaged during demolition.

There are other reasons for clear-outs apart from the safety of these items. One of such reasons is to make for adequate space by limiting any obstructions. You’ll need the demolition area to be as spacious as possible.

What more? You get to organize such items for proper storage.

  • Shutting off Utilities

Utilities like water, gas, and power need to be turned off before demolition.

Having these on while the process gets underway may lead to serious damage and accidents. Safety is paramount during any type of demolition job.

So, you’ll need to take extra precautions to ensure all utilities are shut off.

When turning off the water supply, all points leading to the kitchen need to be targeted. You’ll need to take a look under your sink to locate the pipes running from the sink into the floor or through the wall.

These two lines need to be traced while looking for the knob.

Having located the knobs, all you’ll have to do is shut them off by turning them in a clockwise direction. To be double-sure that water has been shut off, turn on your taps.

Now, there might be a little flow of water held in the P-trap. Otherwise, there shouldn’t be any flow.

The services of an electrician may be necessary to help shut off power to the kitchen area.

Cables may also need to be rerouted if they stand in the way. Sometimes, all you have to do is flip a switch to turn of power.  Also, shut off all gas supply to stoves.

  • Removing Appliances

Kitchen appliances need to make way for demolition to commence.

Now, you may decide to reuse certain appliances or have them disposed of. Whatever the case is, appliances need to be out of the way. For stoves, it’s important to shut off the gas supply before having them removed.

This procedure helps prevent fire outbreaks.

  • Readying your Demolition Tools

Without the right tools, the desire to have your kitchen demolished will only remain a pipe dream. Different tools are needed for this procedure.

They include hammers, pliers, pry bar, utility knife, screwdriver, and putty knife.

Other tools required include a ladder, chemical stripper, drop cloths, heat gun, and wallpaper steamer. With these tools in place, you’re ready to commence demolition.

How To Demo A Kitchen

The kitchen demolition process includes several actions.

First, you’ll need to remove your countertops, get rid of base cabinets, and remove wall cabinets. Next, get rid of the backsplash before focusing on kitchen floor demolition.

  • Remove Countertops

The kitchen countertop area is where the demolition process begins.

You’ll need a putty knife, a pry bar, and a screwdriver for this task. Countertops with drop-in sinks will need to be loosened by cutting off caulk lining the sink all around. A putty knife or chisel should serve this purpose.

With the caulk completely cut off, use your pry bar to lift off the sink from its position before lifting it.

Now, not all sinks are installed the same way. There are those held in place by screws. You’ll need to have such screws loosened while the sink is being supported beneath. Having an extra pair of hands will be great.

Now, you’ll need to loosen the countertop(s) from the wall.

Your chisel or putty knife will come in handy as you insert it between the wall and countertop. This action is necessary to help cut through caulk. Prying it forward should further loosen the countertop.

It’s possible to find screws holding base cabinets to countertops. These should be loosened.

The next action involves lifting the countertop off. This action requires sliding your pry bar beneath the countertop rim and lifting or prying up a bit.

You need help lifting the countertop as it’s mostly heavy. Countertop weight is determined by the material it’s made of.

  • Get Rid of Base Cabinets

To complete base cabinet removal, you’ll need to remove any trim along base cabinet sides or bottom. A little prying should do the trick. All you have to do is slide your putty knife between the wall and trim.

Next, you’ll have to locate screws holding the base cabinet to the wall. Using your screwdriver, loosen all of these screws. With the base cabinet fully loosened from the wall, place a pry bar behind the cabinet pull away from the wall.

If there are any nails on the wall, these should be removed for safety purposes.

With the base cabinet successfully removed, you’ll need to carry it out to your dumpster to make the area more spacious for other demolition tasks.

  • Removal Wall Cabinets

Kitchen wall cabinets are next in line to be demolished.

At this point, you’re looking at performing the riskiest demolition task. Additional hands will be helpful to help avoid injuries. Start by unscrewing all cabinet doors.

This is followed by locating and unscrewing all screws holding the first cabinet section to the wall.

As the screws are loosened, your helpers should support the cabinet by holding it up. It’s best to remove wall cabinets section by section as it makes the job easier.

  • Get Rid of Backsplash

With the countertop, base cabinets, and wall cabinets successfully removed, you’ll need to focus on the backsplash.

First, you’ll need to place a drop cloth at the base of the area to be worked to catch falling debris.

Light switch plates should be removed or unscrewed before backsplash demolition begins. Next, you’ll need to do some breaking up of grout lines between some tile rows to expose the sides.

With tile sides exposed, your chisel should be placed under each tile to pry it off.

  • Kitchen Floor Demolition

The last action to be taken focuses on the kitchen floor. Now, kitchen floors could be made of varying materials.

The demolition process depends on the floor type. When dealing with a tiled floor, you’ll need to break up such tiles with the help of your chisel and hammer.

For linoleum or vinyl floors, strips of flooring need to be cut with a utility knife while pulling or tearing up each strip.

These kitchen demolitions and removal tips will prove useful to homeowners interested in performing DIY demolition. So far, we’ve focused on various components to be demolished.

With these completed, you’re ready to commence your kitchen remodeling work.

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