Reusing kitchen base cabinets


Old 07-11-16, 06:59 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: USA
Posts: 9
Reusing kitchen base cabinets

Four years ago I had my kitchen renovated. The layout was my design with an island in the middle. The layout is great overall, but in the four years since I have come to realize that I oriented the island cabinets the wrong way.

The kitchen is a rectangle (duh!) with the stove against the shortest wall. I have two 30"wide base cabinets, back to back, forming the island with one set of drawers facing the stove and the other set of drawers facing the other end of the room. What I want to do now is turn the cabinets sideways to their current position so that the front drawers are facing one of the long walls. I also want to have the countertop expanded to provide working/eating space on either end of the island.

The cabinets have a granite countertop which will be too short to cover the reoriented cabinets. If I can reuse the granite top, I would like to add to it with butcherblock at the stove end and shift the granite so that it extends over the other end of the island.

I have looked online about reusing cabinets and how to do it. I have also looked online to see if I can reuse the granite countertop and how to do it. But when I read the latter directions, the question came to me, whether the cabinets will survive the separation of the granite.

So my first queston is - can I realistically reuse both?

If I'm not having the whole kitchen renovated, will a professional take on such a relatively small job?
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Old 07-11-16, 09:56 AM
Join Date: May 2015
Location: USA
Posts: 3,138
There are a few pitfalls you may hit when trying to reuse the granite and the cabinets, but you may get lucky.

For the cabinets, main issue is likely to be finished sides. When cabinets are ordered they normally only apply finished veneer to the sides that will be exposed and the other sides/back are plain plywood. If by reorienting them different sides will be exposed, they may not have matching finish. Even if this is the case, given they are only 4 years old, you may still be able to get the finished panels to match. You would need to discuss with the manufacturer. Other issue may be doors hinged on wrong side, but that is usually easy to reverse.

With the granite, it is often just set on a bead of silicone caulk to hold it on the cabinets. That can usually be sliced through with a fine wire to separate it without damaging the cabinets. There may be a few screws into inserts, but they are easy to remove. Bigger question is if there were any reinforcing rods set into the granite for unsupported overhangs that will now be in the wrong place. Doesn't matter if you have reinforcement where it is no longer needed, but if a different section of the top will now be overhanging, it may need reinforcement. Nothing a competent counter installer can't handle.

As to finding someone to do the work, that depends on how busy the local contractors are. Many shun small jobs when they are busy, but if you have a flexible schedule you may find one that can fit you in. Or if you find a quality handyman, this would not be out of their scope. You may have to get a counter shop to deal with the granite, and someone else to do the cabinet work.

One final may have some flooring work to do as well, depending on type and how it was installed.
Old 07-11-16, 11:28 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: USA
Posts: 9
Yes, there will be a gap

We have laminate flooring and a full box of slats down in the basement. So that's another prof we'll have to hire.

Thanks for your quick response. Your answer is very helpful.

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