How to Raise an Existing Counter in a Kitchen

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Raising your countertops may be necessary if you are taller or the kitchen was designed to be handicapped-accessible.
Raising your countertops may be necessary if you are taller or the kitchen was designed to be handicapped-accessible. (Image: the kitchen. image by guiney from Fotolia.com)

Kitchens are one of the most commonly remodeled areas of the home. However, it can also be one of the most expensive rooms of the house to remodel. This is why it is important to evaluate exactly what you are trying to accomplish and determine if a lower-cost alternative is a better option. For instance, if your only goal is to raise your countertops, installing new cabinets to increase the height would end up being more costly than finding another way to raise the countertops while keeping your existing cabinets.

Things You'll Need

  • Screwdriver
  • Plywood sheets or trim pieces
  • Caulk
  • Glue

Remove the countertop surface. Many countertop surfaces are held in place with L-brackets underneath. Remove any drawers to access these brackets. Unscrew each bracket from the cabinet and the countertop. You may also need to run a knife between the countertop and the wall to release any caulk. Carefully set aside the countertop in a safe location.

Cut the filler to properly fit the tops of your cabinets.

Secure the filler into place. This can be done with wood glue. Allow this to dry completely to ensure that the pieces do not slip during installation.

Replace the countertop. Place the countertop back into place on top of the counters. Make sure that everything lines up properly and that the edges of the filler do not stick out beyond the countertop, so it will be well-hidden. If you used trim pieces, you can reuse the L-brackets and screw the countertop to the cabinets. However, if you used plywood, you can simply use wood screws directly through the plywood into the countertop. Drilling pilot holes first will help keep the plywood from splitting.

Caulk the edges of the counter. Apply a layer of caulk around the edges between the countertop and the wall. This will create a watertight seal and will keep crumbs and other unwanted materials from falling into or behind the cabinets.

Tips & Warnings

  • Determine exactly how much extra height you are looking for. If it is a smaller amount, a sheet of plywood in the desired thickness will suffice. If you are looking for an inch or more, it is better to try to obtain trim pieces that match your cabinets from the manufacturer. Whichever you decide, you will need to measure and cut the pieces so that they will fit your countertops without being noticeable.

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