Before you can upgrade your current countertops, you must detach and remove them. While this is an ideal time to replace your backsplash, you may decide to keep your backsplash if it matches your new countertops. You can often save money on a new countertop installation by removing the old countertop yourself. One common way to remove countertops -- with a reciprocating saw -- puts your backsplash at risk. A reciprocating saw will cut through your backsplash just as easily as it cuts through your countertops. Fortunately, you can remove your current countertops without using a reciprocating saw. This method ensures that you won't accidentally damage your backsplash with a reciprocating saw's spinning blades.
Turn off the water and gas supply to the kitchen.
Remove all items from the cabinets beneath your countertops. Remove the drawers from the cabinets and set them in an out-of-the-way area.
Unplug and move appliances, such as your stove and microwave, away from the counter. If you have a ceramic cooktop that is screwed into the countertop with retaining screws, locate the retaining screws beneath the cooktop and unscrew them. Lift the cooktop away from the counter.
Detach the sink's drainpipe. Cut the line of silicone caulk surrounding the sink with a utility knife. Wedge a putty knife beneath the sink's caulk line to break the adhesive seal. Lift the sink away from the countertop.
Removing the Countertop
Spray the line of caulk holding your countertop to your backsplash with caulk softener. Let the caulk softener sit for an hour or the amount of time recommended by the manufacturer.
Peel up the edge of the caulk line with the putty knife. Pull the softened caulk away from the wall with your fingers.
Wedge the putty knife in between the countertop and the base cabinet. Work the putty knife around the edge of the countertop, breaking any adhesive seal that exists between the countertop and the base cabinets.
Position an auto jack alongside the counter. Wedge a board tightly between the jack and the countertop.
Jack up the board. As the board moves upward, it will push the countertop up as well --separating it from the base cabinets.
Push a pry bar into the open space created by the jacked-up board. Pry up the remaining countertop.