How to Remove a Fireplace
If you are planning to remodel your home, it may be a good idea to consider removing your fireplace. It can make a space more versatile and add value to your home.
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It can also be a great way to update your decor and create a cozy living space. However, it can be a difficult project that requires a lot of hard work.
The key to removing your fireplace is to do it well and in the right order. This will ensure that you don’t damage your home or cause other problems.
First, prepare the area by turning off the heat source or gas if it’s a gas unit and allowing time for the room to cool down before you begin.
Next, protect the floor surrounding your fireplace by laying down a sheet of plastic or tarp. This will help to catch any debris during the demolition and ease the clean-up process afterward.
Once you’ve got your floors covered, it’s time to get started removing the hearth itself. This will be the most time-consuming step, but it’s essential to complete in order to avoid damaging your flooring.
Start by using a bolster chisel and club hammer to break the bond between the brick hearth and the constructional hearth beneath (the constructional hearth will be flush with the floorboards). Once you see the crack beginning to appear along the bottom edge of the hearth, knock in wooden wedges to help you lever it up.
When you’ve broken the bond, remove the hearth a section at a time. This will be a slow and careful process, so take frequent breaks to rest or rehydrate.
If you’re planning to lay carpet or laminate flooring over your construction hearth, the process is a bit different. You will need to remove enough of the construction hearth to allow a bridging joist to be laid and for new boards to be fitted over the top.
This will be a more difficult and expensive job, so make sure that you have the appropriate safety equipment on hand before you begin.
After removing the construction hearth, you’ll need to cut out any wire lath that fastened it to your wood floor. If you’re unsure how to cut out the lath, ask a professional.
The wire lath is usually held in place by nails or thick staples that are perpendicular to the face of the fireplace. If the wire lath surrounded the edges of your hearth, you will need to cut it out with sheet-metal scissors.
You should also pull out the braces holding the mantel in place. These will need to be removed before you can loosen the mantel and then lift it from the wall.
Removing the mantel is a messy and tiring job, so it’s best to get help from someone else who can pass you tools and brace the mantel while you’re working.
If you’re planning to replace the mantel with a new one, it’s a good idea to mark out where you want the new one to go on the walls and the floor. This will make it easier to install the new mantel and prevent you from ripping the existing one off of the wall.