Cutting out the cutting boards
December 4, 2017 9:38 AM   Subscribe

I am a non-handy person, and need to remove two 1970’s built in glass cutting boards… quickly, and with minimal damage to the surrounding countertops. Suggestions?

We’re selling our childhood home… fast. I need to remove these likely over the weekend. Unfortunately I don’t have a clear image of the cutting boards, but you can see glimpses of them
- they are surrounded by a (stainless steel?) frame. One is over cabinetry, the other is over a dishwasher.

Here are similar cutting boards: One, , two, three.

(note: I've never made any attempts to remove them, it might be easy or it might be hard, but they've been firmly in place for the 32 years we've owned the house, and I think nearly 40 since construction)
posted by raztaj to Home & Garden (12 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Sorry -- it's not clear but are you trying to take them with you? Or keep them intact for some other reason? Because you could just smash them and pick out the remains without damaging the surrounding tile.
posted by BlahLaLa at 9:42 AM on December 4, 2017 [1 favorite]

If they are built in they are considered fixtures and remain with the house.
posted by leaper at 9:42 AM on December 4, 2017 [3 favorites]

Agree, it would be helpful to know why.
posted by humboldt32 at 9:46 AM on December 4, 2017

Maybe it would be helpful to look at how such cutting boards are installed. Here are some instructions for installation; I found them by searching for "how to install glass cutting board", in case you want to find better description or images.
1(video), 2
posted by wryly at 9:55 AM on December 4, 2017

I agree that you should leave them if they're attached to the counter. It's probably attached with some sort of epoxy in which case removing them would damage the countertop under it, or at the very least leave epoxy residue that would be very difficult to remove.
posted by bondcliff at 9:59 AM on December 4, 2017

Response by poster: To follow up: it's one of the conditions of sale we're putting in place. The new owners will likely do a total renovation (if not full tear down) - so we would like to keep the cutting boards intact.
posted by raztaj at 10:03 AM on December 4, 2017 [1 favorite]

Then I would acquire enough dry ice to cover the cutting board to see if that would loosen whatever adhesive is under it. Spread it out on the board for a few minutes and then gentry to pry it up with a putty knife wedged between the glass and the counter.

This is how we used to remove computer security pads back about 20 years ago. They were attached to the desks with some very strong glue that would loosen when frozen. Not sure if it will work the same way.

Precaution should of course be used when handing dry ice. Use gloves. Don't touch it to your skin. I might wear eye protection on the off chance the glass shatters.
posted by bondcliff at 10:10 AM on December 4, 2017

From the looks of the description wryly posted, it looks as if they could have been screwed in place from below. Can you get at the underside to see? Removing screws should be sufficient, thinking that 40-year-old adhesive might only need some vigorous wiggling to dislodge.
posted by pammeke at 10:12 AM on December 4, 2017 [1 favorite]

If speed is of the essence and if, as it sounds like, appearances don't matter too much, maybe just cut the counter top around them with a reciprocating saw so you'd have more to to figure out how to preserve the cutting boards?
posted by AwkwardPause at 10:14 AM on December 4, 2017 [5 favorites]

Yeah, the 1970s-era kitchen in our apartment has a wooden cutting board mounted in an aluminum frame exactly as shown in wryly's second link. I'd take a look underneath to see if there are any lugs that need to be unbolted before attempting to pry it up from above.

(And after 40 years in a maybe-damp environment expect some of the screws to be rusted and/or seized. Two on ours wouldn't budge at all, putting the kibosh on my "quietly replace it without getting the landlord involved" plan.)
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 10:19 AM on December 4, 2017 [2 favorites]

Yeah, the first thing to do is look underneath.
posted by rhizome at 11:09 AM on December 4, 2017

I've seen these before and have considered installing them - it's essentially a metal frame that is screwed into place from below and looks like this picture. Instructions are available for something like this here, and I would suggest that if the screws give you trouble just use a hammer on them.
posted by zenon at 11:29 AM on December 4, 2017

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