How to Remove a Kitchen Island Step-by-Step

Whether your kitchen island has started to look outdated, damaged, or simply does not fit the overall design of your kitchen, replacing your kitchen island is the best option to refresh your kitchen’s look and feel. However, removing a kitchen island is not a simple task, especially if it is large, has electrical connections and plumbing, and gas lines. For these reasons, it is imperative to take into consideration the floors, walls, plumbing, and electrical systems during demolition. 

To carry out a clean job, there are certain types of equipment and specific techniques for kitchen island removal. For such a technical task, we have experienced kitchen remodel professionals here at Penn Construction + Design, who can help remove your kitchen island without causing any damage to your space.

In this article, we will guide you through the step-by-step process of removing a kitchen island, from disconnecting the plumbing and electrical systems to removing the base, legs, and island top. To do the job safely and efficiently, the following are the right steps to take: 

Turn off the power supply

Before you start the kitchen island removal process, the first step is to turn off or disconnect the power supply to the kitchen island or locate the main electrical panel and turn off the circuit breaker for the entire kitchen. This will prevent any electrical accidents and ensure that the job is done safely and comfortably.

Clear the area

Remove all cooking tools, such as pots, pans, and utensils, from the drawers as well as any appliances, such as toasters, blenders, or mixers that are placed on the kitchen island countertop. Furthermore, move away all large appliances, such as refrigerators, wine coolers, dishwashers, and ovens. Pull out all drawers and dividers from the Island and place them aside. With the help of a professional, the process of removing and safely reconnecting these items will be carefully handled to the last detail.

Disconnect plumbing and gas lines

If your kitchen island has fixtures such as a sink, dishwasher, or cooktop, there will be plumbing or gas lines servicing them, which need to be disconnected. Examples of the processes involved are delinking the plumbing lines, draining the pipes, loosening the nuts that connect the lines to the cooktop or the gas valve, and loosening the nuts that connect the pipes to the faucets.

Our plumbers are professionals with years of experience and license. When you hire us, you can trust that you and your family will not be facing any risks associated with faulty plumbing or wrong gas connections after the renovation process. 

Remove molding

If your kitchen island has any molding, such as baseboards, crown molding, or trim, you need to remove them before removing your kitchen island. All nails or screws that secure the molding to the wall must be removed before the molding can be removed. This must be done with care so as not to damage the wall or the molding itself.

Remove screws and hardware

The next step to removing a kitchen island is to remove all screws and hardware that secure the island to the floor and the walls. This includes all screws or nails under the molding, in the corners, or on the sides of the island as well as screws or nails that secure the island to the wall studs or the base cabinets.

Remove drawers

Most drawers have screws or hardware that hold them in place, To remove the drawers, you need to open them and locate the screws or nails that secure the drawers to the slides, detach these screws and nails, then pull the drawers out of the island.

Remove countertops

Once you have removed the drawers, it is time to remove the countertops. If your kitchen island has a solid surface countertop, such as granite, quartz, or marble, care is needed not to damage it during removal. If the countertops are glued in place, a proper pry bar handled with the right skill will help remove the countertops. On the other hand, If the countertops are attached with screws, unfasten them and set them aside, then carefully detach the countertop.

Disconnect base cabinets

If your kitchen island has base cabinets, first, locate the screws or fasteners that secure the cabinets to the island. Then, remove the screws to disconnect the cabinets and set them aside. Carefully lift the cabinets away from the island, taking care not to damage the cabinets or the surrounding area. This process will be repeated for each cabinet connected to your kitchen island until they are all disconnected.

Removal of the wall holding the kitchen island top

For most kitchen island designs, the kitchen island top is held in place by a wall. You will have to disconnect any plumbing or electrical connections that run through the wall, then, use a stud finder to locate the studs in the wall and cut through the drywall along the studs, taking care not to damage any electrical or plumbing lines that may be hidden behind the wall. Remove the drywall pieces and set them aside. Once the wall is removed, the top should come off easily.

This process can be complex and should be done with caution, as structural changes to a building can have safety implications. It is necessary to consult a professional for guidance.

Remove the toe kick

The toe kick is the small strip of wood or paneling that covers the space between the floor and the base of kitchen island cabinets. Follow these steps: remove any screws or fasteners that secure the toe kick to the island, carefully lift the toe kick away from the island and set it aside, and repeat this process for each side of the island. Removing the toe kick is especially necessary if you intend to move your kitchen island to a new location or replace your old kitchen island with a new unit.

Disconnect the Legs

Sometimes, the legs of kitchen islands are connected to the island base with brackets. In such a case, you may need to remove the brackets first before removing the legs. Locate and detach the screws or fasteners that secure the legs to the island base. Carefully lift the legs away from the island to prevent any damage to the legs or the island base. Repeat this process for each leg until they are all detached.


Here are some common FAQs regarding removing a kitchen island:

How much does it cost to remove a kitchen island?

The cost of removing kitchen islands varies widely depending on the size of the island, the materials used, and the complexity of the work involved. It can also depend on the area you live in. Talk to your contractor to get an accurate estimate of what it would cost you.


Is removing a kitchen island a DIY project?

Removing a kitchen island involves certain caution such as taking care not to damage any electrical or plumbing lines that may be hidden behind the wall. To prevent hazards, it is recommended to use a professional contractor to ensure the work is done safely and up to code.

What do I need to consider before removing a kitchen island?

Depending on whether you want to upgrade to a new design or remove the kitchen island completely to free the space, before removing a kitchen island, you should consider factors such as the amount of space you have, the layout of your kitchen, and the impact on electrical and plumbing connections. You may also want to consider the impact on the overall look and functionality of your kitchen and how it will affect storage and counter space.

Can I reuse my kitchen island in another room?

Yes, you can reuse your kitchen island in another room, provided that it was carefully removed without any unrepairable damages to the parts or structure — hence, the reason for using a professional. For example, you can reuse it in your basement bar or outdoor living area. This can be a great way to repurpose your old kitchen island and make the most of your investment.

How long does it take to remove a kitchen island?

The timeline for removing a kitchen island will depend on the size of the island and the design. This determines the complexity of the work involved. On average, it can take anywhere from a few hours to a day or two to remove a kitchen island.


Removing a kitchen island can be a complex and challenging task for someone lacking the professional know-how and experience. But, an experienced professional with the right tools and approach can get it done safely and efficiently. At Penn Construction + Design, we understand the importance of having a functional and aesthetically pleasing kitchen, and we can help you achieve that. Our team of professionals will work with you to find the best solution for your needs and make your kitchen island replacement a smooth transition. Visit our kitchen gallery featuring various kitchen island options for your kitchen remodel.

As a leading design-build firm providing home design & renovation services throughout Philadelphia & the surrounding suburbs, we pride ourselves on our quality & service. A majority of our work comes from clients who trust us & love the work we have done for them. We will work with you to meet your timeline & budget needs while providing an unparalleled customer experience. If you are ready to remove your kitchen island or have any questions about the process, please contact us today.

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