Removing old Laminate, Stone or Ceramic tile countertops is the first and relatively important step to installing new kitchen counter tile.
Peeling old kitchen counter tile off the old substrate requires a lot of
work. And add to this; The existing Thinset tile adhesive would be a
big challenge to remove. You'd be left with a surface that's damaged
from trying to get off all the tiles and Thinset tile adhesive, And
that's no good for bonding with your new kitchen counter tile.
You'll do better by removing the existing Laminate, Stone or Ceramic tile countertops entirely and then start from scratch and build a new one.
If the surface of your existing kitchen counter tile is solid and stable, and you plan on keeping your current kitchen cabinet layout, You could just tile right over your existing kitchen counter tile.
But this can only be done if the surface of the existing Laminate, Stone or Ceramic tile countertops have square corners, and without any curves or bevels, and also if you don't have an integral 4-inch backsplash.
Usually, this would be laminate kitchen counter tops, and if this is what you have and all the conditions match, The first thing you'll need to do is scuff up the plastic laminate kitchen counter top.
Use a rotary sander fitted with 100 grit sandpaper to scuff up the surface. This will give your new kitchen counter tile something to grab on to, And for stronger longer lasting results use a Thinset tile adhesive that's made specifically for installing kitchen counter tile over laminate.
Turn off your water by turning the hot and cold water valves all the way clockwise. Check to make sure the water is off by turning on the faucet. If water still comes through, and tightening them more doesn't solve the problem, you'll need to install new valves before moving forward, or you can hire a plumber to do it for you.
Gather up a bucket to place underneath the sink to catch any water that will escape from the pipes. You'll also need some old towels for mopping up spills.
Use an adjustable wrench to disconnect the water lines from the valves. Use your hands to unscrew the P-trap from the sink.
If you have a garbage disposal underneath the sink, use the key that came with it to disconnect it. If the key's not available, insert a flat-head screwdriver into one of the keyholes and turn the locking ring to remove it.
To save the old sink, You'll first need to find the screws or bolts that are holding the sink to the countertop. So Put your head and arms inside the cabinet and unscrew them.
Use your utility knife to cut any caulk along the edge of the sink.
You can either push up on the sink from below so you can lift it out or insert a wide putty knife under the edge of the sink and pry it up until you can get a good grasp of it with your hands and lift the sink up and out of the countertop.
Locate the corner blocks that fasten kitchen counter tops to the cabinet. Use a screwdriver to unscrew the fasteners, but be careful not to unscrew any fasteners that attach the corner block to the cabinet frame.
Score the joint between the backsplash and the wall with a sharp utility knife. If this joint is caulked, try to cut completely through the caulk.
Then Use your utility knife to score the joint between the countertop and the cabinet.
You want to break the bond of any glue or caulk. Be careful to keep the blade of your knife as perpendicular to the cabinet frame as possible to prevent from cutting the wood.
Pry off any trim from the kitchen counter tops edge and force a pry-bar between the countertop and the cabinet. Then pry up the countertop.
If the countertop is too heavy, you can either cut it into more manageable sections with a reciprocating saw or grab a few friends to help.