The free diy home improvement guide with answers to your questions on a wide range of do it yourself projects.


Ripping Out Your Old Kitchen

It is best to attack this job in stages and not to rush it. Getting things wrong at this stage could result in costly repairs later on.

If you are planning on saving any part of your kitchen, such as the cupboard carcasses, then make sure you have plenty of space available to store them in the dry until you are ready.

Order of Work

woman dismantling kitchen unitsStart by removing everything from the kitchen leaving it completely bare. Remove appliances where appropriate, but not the cooker if it is attached to a gas line.

Remove the upper cabinets first as the lower worktops will give you a good resting place for your tools. Remove the doors first and then the carcasses. You may need to use a bit of brute strength to get these down, but do your best not to leave holes in the walls as you will need to fill them later. They may be attached to the wall by long screws or possibly brackets. Use an electric screwdriver to make quick work of these. They are likely to be attached to each other as well as the wall so undo all screws as you go.

Next turn off your water – the main stopcock will usually be under your sink and will turn off the cold water. The hot water will need to be turned off using the valve in the loft or airing cupboard. Turn on all your taps and let them run until the system runs dry. This will usually take around ten minutes.

Undo the waste pipe under the sink using a bucket to catch the drips. Simply twist off the plastic collar. Remove the fittings to your taps by using a wrench. It might be wise to have push-fit cap ends just in case.

Remove your worktop taking care to avoid the pipe work around the tap area.

Remove the lower cabinets in the same way as the upper ones, but take extra care when it comes to the sink as you don't want to ruin any of the plumbing in the process.

The cooker and hob ( if gas) should be removed by a qualified person as only they can check for any leaks which might occur. If you are planning on moving your boiler, this would be a good time to ask your gas engineer to do this. Electric cookers which are permanently attached to the power supply should also be removed by a professional.

Remove the radiator if there is one in your kitchen. See our article on removing a radiator if you are unsure how to proceed on this.

Chip off tiles using a bolster and hammer. This is a very messy job. Make sure you wear goggles or glasses as the pieces will fly off in all directions.

The floor can be stripped using a knife if it is vinyl or get a shovel underneath to prise it up. If there are many layers of glue, this can be a long and tedious job. It is important however to ensure every last piece of old flooring comes up as small bumps will show under your new flooring or will cause tiles to crack.

You are now left with a blank canvass ready for the process of making good the walls, moving the electrics and plumbing before you even start with installing the kitchen.

Refuse Disposal

Removing your kitchen will leave you with a lot more mess to clean up than you may have expected. Getting a skip is essential, unless you have a large car and are happy to visit the dump regularly.

The skip company will usually accept any material into the skip and will take care of the recycling for you. Ensure you have hired your skip from a reputable company and ask to see their permits for waste disposal. Last thing you want is your old kitchen to be lying in a lay-by somewhere!

If you do not have a driveway you will need to get a special permit from your council to put the skip on the road. The skip company will ask about this.

It is polite to let your neighbours know you are having a skip delivered as the truck will be large and you need to be sure there will be enough space.

If you are disposing of your kitchen yourself make sure you recycle where you can. Your council should provide information about what is recyclable in your area. Generally all electrical items must be recycled.