How to Remove and Reset Granite Countertops

Updated February 21, 2017

Granite countertops are frequently used today as part of kitchen design. Because they are templated, cut and set by professionals, you may wonder what to do when you need to make an adjustment to them. Whether you are replacing your dishwasher, redoing your backsplash, or maybe installing some new cabinets, sometimes you need to remove and reset the granite. You can take the counter off and reinstall it yourself, provided you take proper care in lifting the granite.

Cut away the adhesive between the granite counter and the cabinets beneath it, as well as the joins between the counter and walls it abuts. Aim a heat gun at the adhesive to soften it and then slide a utility knife between the counter and cabinets or wall to cut the adhesive. Alternatively, use a hand-held cutting tool to slice through the adhesive.

Check to make sure all the adhesive has been cut through by running the utility knife around the edges of the counter on all sides. Cut through any remaining adhesive to loosen the counter.

Carefully lift the counter off of the cabinets in one piece. Granite is very heavy and should be carried and stored on its side like a sheet of glass. Get help from an assistant to lift and carry the counter to avoid injuries to you or damage to the counter.

Cut away any remaining adhesive from the cabinets where the granite will be reseated and from the stone itself with a razor blade. Both the stone and the cabinets it will be resting on should be completely free of dust, adhesive and debris to create a firm seal.

Make sure that the cabinets are completely level and that the plywood which will support the stone is in good shape.

Run a line of silicone adhesive around the edges where the countertop will be seated. Squeeze the tube of caulk gently to produce a continuous and thin line of adhesive along each edge that the counter will be touching.

Gently lift the granite on its side to carry it to the cabinets. Stand so that you and your assistant are on either side of the stone and lift together, turning the stone as you lift so that it lays horizontally. Settle the stone onto the cabinets and press it into place against the wall.

Things You'll Need

  • Utility knife
  • Heat gun
  • Hand held cutting tool, such as a Fein Supercut
  • Razor blade
  • Silicone adhesive such as Liquid Nails
  • Assistant
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About the Author

Sarabeth Asaff has worked in and has written about the home improvement industry since 1995. She has written numerous articles on art, interior design and home improvements, specializing in kitchen and bathroom design. A member in good standing with the National Kitchen and Bath Association, Asaff has working knowledge of all areas of home design.