Dismantling a Kitchen

When dismantling your kitchen practice caution so has not to damage the wall as you remove old cabinets, or damage counters, cabinets or floors that you plan to re-use. Shut off utilities before beginning work and cover up exits to adjoining rooms to reduce dust and debris from getting to other parts of the house. Remember to estimate time for remodeling work. You will need to set up a temporary kitchen if your kitchen remodeling takes more than just a re-paint job or any minor modifications. Ensure that the temporary area has access to water, as well as outlets that will let you keep foods cold in cooling units and heat up meals. Portable appliances like a crock pot, electric frying pan and a microwave work best for this temporary arrangement if you are replacing your old appliances. 


Before you start your remodeling project, remember to:

  1. Everything or anything that is not in use in the temporary kitchen should be kept away in labeled boxes. Anything that isn’t nailed or screwed down like drawers, wall clocks, ornaments etc., should be removed. Cover anything that can’t be removed which will remain in the work space.
  2. Arrange for disposal of any refuse that accumulate during the remodeling. Rent a dumpster ahead of time or have a pick up truck on hand for hauling the rubbish to the dump. 
  3. Before removing any major appliances, turn off all utilities, i.e., electricity, gas and water. Most homes have individual shut off valves/switch, if not then you will have to turn off the main valve/switch. 



Remove all doors and drawers of the cabinets before removing the cabinets themselves. Remove the base units first so that you can disassemble the wall cabinets later. If the unit are attached to each other, detach and lower them separately or as one. If you plan to re-use them, clean and store all pulls, knobs and screws and keep them in plastic bags. Depending on the type of cabinets you have, you may have to remove part or the entire wall if the cabinets are built into the wall itself, which are common with older types. Some are nailed to the soffit or to each other. Newer units are likely held into place with screws, hung on metal or wood cabinet hangers. You will need a hammer, pry-bar, putty knife, screwdriver, crowbar, ladder and saw. Most countertops are made with plywood, with the finish material on top. These finish material may be worth saving (tile, marble or wood). Depending on type, you may want to salvage these finish countertop material for use later.


Any small holes, crack or gouges in walls should be repaired with wallboard compound, spackle or patching plaster. Replace drywalls if they have gaping holes or many gouges. As replacing old cabinet with new ones may call for some re-arrangements, locate and mark the wall studs on the floor and ceiling as reference for attaching the new cabinetry. The walls will need repainting, so a coat of sealer or primer should be applied before the colour coat. 


If you want to replace your floors, you should do them first before installing cabinetry/appliances. Ceramic tiles and hardwood floors are normally installed before installing your cabinets, while vinyl floors can be laid either before or after they are in place. Repair any water damage floors before laying down your new floor. If the sub-floor is damaged, then you should lay a new one directly on top of the existing floor.

Kitchen renovation procedure

  •      Remove and store food, utensils, crockery and appliances.
  •      Secure plastic sheeting across doorways to block dust and create \’walkways\’ to stop dirt being tracked through other areas.
  •      Dismantle and remove the existing kitchen, including appliances, cabinetry, benchtops, splashbacks, light fittings, sinks, taps, finishes and floor coverings.
  •      If making structural changes (resizing doors or windows, knocking down interior walls, adding skylights or serveries, concreting floors etc), these jobs come next.
  •      Configure electrical and plumbing services.
  •      Install cabinetry
  •      Install benchtops and splashbacks
  •      Fit all appliances
  •      Add floor coverings
  •      Seal surfaces and paint
  •      Clean and re-stock