How to Remove a Tile Kitchen Countertop

blue tile
  • 4-6 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 50-150
What You'll Need
Plastic face mask
Heavy plastic or canvas tarps
Heavy cloth gloves with leather finger inserts
Heavy plastic hammer
Heavy-duty scoring knife
Chisel(s) (small and heavy)
Grout extraction tool

A tile kitchen countertop adds a personalized and stylish touch to your home kitchen. However, just like any other designs and products, they will eventually be damaged or be out of fashion. In such cases, knowing how to replace your countertop is a skill that will save you money. Of course, before thinking about your new countertop, you should be able to remove the old one. Learn about the easy tips that will help you dismantle a tile kitchen countertop.

Step 1 - Examine the Old Countertop

It is important to inspect the way your old countertop is installed. Check how the tiles are placed and the way it meets with your walls. Also, examine the way the countertop is attached to your kitchen cabinets. Determine the material used for these attachments.

Step 2 - Line the Area with Tarps or Newspaper

Dismantling your tile kitchen countertop may lead to floor damages due to the impact of falling debris. It is wise to line the area with newspapers, blankets, or old tarpaulins to absorb the impact of any falling debris.

Step 3 - Remove Kitchen Drawers and Cabinet Doors

adjusting cabinet hinge

Again, it is important to protect the other kitchen parts from the falling debris. Cabinet doors and drawers are often coated with paint or clear coats that might be scratched upon contact with hard materials.

Step 4 - Deal with the Grout

Start removing tiles from the edge of the countertop. Scrape the grout off to remove the trim tiles on the edges. After the grout has been removed, carefully chisel the trim tiles off. Lightly hammer on the chisel to take off these trim tiles. Continue removing grout all throughout the tile surface. Use a small chisel or a small utility knife to score deeper in to the grout and start chiseling the tiles off one by one, one row at a time. Do this carefully, especially to the tiles that are nearest your kitchen walls, to prevent wall scratches and dents.

Step 5 - Dismantle Plywood or Wonderboard


Most countertops have a layer of plywood or wonderboard beneath the grout. If such is present, check how it was attached to the counter. It may be attached using nails, crews, or even adhesives. There are even some instances that these layers aren’t held by anything aside from the weight of the tiles and the adhesive grout. In that case, removing this layer will be very easy.

Step 6 - Clear the Area

After all of the tiles, grout, and other extra layers have been removed, dust the surface with a broom and remove the pieces of grout and tiles.

Step 7 - Evaluate Potential Design

When you can clearly see the bald counter, you may start considering the new style of countertop that you want to have. You can go with just a new tile design or a different countertop material.