One bite at a time....
What's that old joke; How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time! (ugh) So, here I go. I'll give the builder this- that island was built to last. Taking it apart was hard work!
First, because the island has electrical outlets, TURN OFF THE POWER TO THE ISLAND AT THE CIRCUIT BOX AND DOUBLE CHECK THAT IT IS OFF USING A VOLTMETER. Now then, remove the countertops. Because there is trim, it needs to be removed first. Score the caulking on the undersides and use a putty knife to pry off the moulding. Then, using a rubber mallet, whack the countertops from the underside to remove them.
Next, remove the drywall from the back side of the island. I used a boxcutter to score the drywall and a putty knife and/or crowbar to pull off the drywall from the wooden studs, being careful not to damage the electrical wires- I'm going to use them to power the new island! Be prepared for lots of dust and mess- you can cover doorways and other countertops with plastic sheeting to keep the detritus controlled. Keep your shop vac handy, too!
Next, the inside of the island. The cabinets are held together with screws inside the boxes so remove them and the base cabinets form the frame- I'll be using some of the cabinets to make the new island. Again, carefully remove the drywall to expose the studs. Using a hammer, mallet and crowbar, pry apart the wooden studs that form the body of the island-THIS is the hard work, as I said before, this was built to last.
Two posts were set into the floor and attached to studs in the basement, presumably for stability. The studs were also attached to the subfloor. Now that everything has been removed, the footprint doesn't look very big but it sure opens up the kitchen area!
Whew! That was hard work but one bite at a time, that beast is gone! My muscles are aching- time to pause, get some sleep and think about that flooring.....