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Reusing Existing Countertops

Keith Allen

Kitchen renovation projects produce a number of items that the homeowner can reuse elsewhere. Countertops make excellent workbenches in the laundry, utility room or garage.

The countertop provides a finished-looking work space, especially when coupled with salvaged cabinets, at a fraction of the cost of new countertops. The installation of the old countertop in a new location requires basic tools and skills and falls within the capabilities of most do-it-yourselfers.

  1. Remove the countertops from the existing cabinetry by removing the screws through the top frame of the cabinets into the bottom of the countertop. Break loose any adhesion between the backsplash and the wall. It may have been caulked in place, with a putty knife. Lift the countertops off the cabinets and transport to the new location. It may take two people to handle the countertop sections.

  2. Build any frame necessary to support the countertop at the new location. This step is not necessary if plans include moving the old cabinets to the new location. The frame can be as simple or as complicated as you like. The basic frame could be made of 2-by-4-inch lumber with a top height of 34 1/2-inches and a shelf located 6 inches from the floor. This will result in the countertops at the standard 36-inch height.

  3. Place the countertops on the frame. Cut the countertop, if necessary, with a circular saw for the flat portion of the countertop and a reciprocating saw for the backsplash. Fasten the countertop in place with 2 1/2-inch screws run through the top of the framework into the bottom of the countertop.

  4. Tip

    You can use the sink opening for another sink or other uses. Set a waste basket or garbage can under the opening for a waste receptacle where you can sweep brush items from the bench.