Removing a Brick Fireplace

Tearing out a unused firebox can open up a room and create more space.

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It is hard to believe there was ever a fireplace here. New drywall with chair railing covers the old opening and the old hearth is covered with new hardwood flooring.

Tools and Materials:

tape measure, square, level and chalk line
circular saw
compressor and framing nailer
demolition hammer
drywall hanging tools
powder actuated fastener
small sledge hammer
screw gun
brick chisel
16d, 8d, nails, shots and pins for concrete fastening
one 8-foot 4x6
four 8-foot 2x4
one sheet CDX (construction-grade) 3/4” plywood
four sheets drywall
hardwood flooring

Before: The old brick fireplace.

Steps:

Before you begin demolition, consult a professional mason to cap the chimney and explain safe practices of demolition.

1. Remove all brick that extends beyond the plane of the surrounding wall including the hearth. Ensure the hearth and any concrete below it is chipped down far enough to allow you to patch in a new sub-floor and finish floor. It needs to be deep enough to hold a piece of CDX plywood (3/4”) and the thickness of your finished floor. We replaced our hearth with hardwood flooring to match the flooring in the rest of the room.

2. Frame in the firebox opening to ensure stability and to provide a place to nail in the drywall.

3. Install drywall over the fireplace opening. In our project, we installed drywall over the entire wall to cover old paneling.

4. Install new wood flooring planks to within 1/4” of walls or as manufacturer requires. If patching in hardwood, it’s best to have professional floor refinisher sand and finish the floor so that the new and old finishes will match.

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