How to Remove a Kitchen Cabinet
Remove your kitchen cabinets in record time by following our four simple steps.
- electric drill or driver
- voltage/current detector pen
- Phillips-head screwdriver
- a helping hand
Remove Contents + Cabinet Lighting
Above counter cabinets are fairly easy to remove. Begin by removing all the contents inside as well as anything on top. If there's any cabinet lighting, you'll need to detach it before proceeding with the cabinet removal process. Do so by turning off the correct switch at the circuit breaker box. To double-check the proper switch is off, use a voltage detector pen (Image 1). If it lights up, the wire is still hot and you will need to return to the breaker box to turn the correct one off. Once you are sure there is no power running to your lighting, locate and remove the screws holding the lighting in place. Most of the time, these screws are found inside the light itself. Remove the light cover, and locate and remove the screws (Image 2). If you prefer to fully remove the lighting, detach the supply line by unscrewing the wire nuts. Make sure to detach the copper ground wire as well.
Detach From the Other Cabinets
Cabinets are attached in two places — to each other and to the walls. If you are removing more than one cabinet, first detach them from each other. Locate the screws on the inside wall, and use a driver to remove the screws. There are generally 2-3 screws in each cabinet side.
Detach From the Wall
Once your cabinets are detached from one another, you are ready to remove them from the wall. Locate the screws attaching the top of the cabinet to the wall. These will either be inside the cabinet itself or on the very top edge of the cabinet depending on if your cabinets are flush with the ceiling. Once you have located all of the top screws, use the driver to remove them. Your cabinets should now only be held to the wall by the bottom screws.
Next, locate the bottom screws on the cabinet. These are located either on the underside or on the inside. If there are more than two screws in the bottom of your cabinet, remove the screws on the sides first (leaving the screw in the middle for the last). Most importantly, make sure the cabinet isn’t going to fall and hurt you or damage something underneath it. Have a buddy help you with this process.
Remove the Final Screw
Have your buddy hold the cabinet in place while you remove the final screw from the bottom of the cabinet. Once the final screw is free, your cabinet will fall. If you have removed all of the side screws and top screws from the cabinet, it should come off the wall easily. If the cabinet is not falling, it's still attached somewhere. Locate the final screw and remove it, being careful not to let your cabinet fall while removing it.