How to Remove a Fireplace?

Removing a fireplace is often done to update a home and give it a new look. It is not as difficult as it may seem, but you should follow a few steps to do the job right. 

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Before you begin, make sure that your house is safe to work in. Move any furniture and carpet away from the fireplace, and cover everything with dust sheets. This is especially important if your fireplace has had a lot of use in the past, as soot and debris can accumulate in the chimney flue. 

Get the Tools You Need

Removing the mantel requires a variety of different tools, from hammers and chisels to rubber mallets. Be sure to have a few of each on hand, and always wear protective glasses and gloves to avoid injury. 

First, remove the bricks that make up the facade of your fireplace (also called a hearth). These are typically set in mortar and can be removed using a cold chisel and hammer. 

Start by inserting the chisel into the space between the end bricks, and tap it with the hammer as you break up the mortar. Once the bricks are loosened, toss them onto a piece of tarp-covered plywood near the fireplace. 

Next, remove the fireplace surround if it is attached to the wall with screws. A hammer and pry bar will do the trick, but if it’s stuck, you can also use a screwdriver to loosen it. 

If you have a shelf mantel, you will likely need to remove the corbel braces as well. These are decorative supports that are often large and made of stone or brick. Depending on the material, they may be held to the wall with screws or bolts. If they’re metal, you can chisel the surrounding masonry to reveal the fasteners and then chisel around them so you can pull them off. 

When you’ve completed removing all the facade bricks, you can then start removing the fireplace hearth. This is generally done in the same way, but you may need to chip out a section of the concrete floor or joists to allow for the removal of the hearth. 

Replacing the Mantel and Surround

Once you’ve removed your mantel, you’ll need to replace it with a new one. This can be an expensive endeavor, but it’s a worthwhile investment to freshen up your home. You can find new stone, ceramic tile or metal hearths that fit in your home’s style and budget. 

Alternatively, you can leave the current mantel in place and then install new masonry slabs or tiles to it. You’ll need to re-install the fire surround and hearth afterward, and this can be a project that is best left to a professional. 

A Fireplace Facelift

Replacing the surround of a fireplace is an affordable way to refresh your home’s appearance, and it can be done by a DIYer with a little patience. Whether you’re installing tile or stone, it should cost between $1,500 and $2,500 to do the job.