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How to cut and remove a brick fireplace surrounding

Updated February 21, 2017

Older homes that have a fireplace may have a brick facade that was added at a later date. These old fireplaces can be difficult to update and may no longer fit the style of the home. One option you have when remodelling a fireplace is to cut and remove the brick fireplace surround and then reface the wall. You can remove the fireplace surround yourself with a little knowledge and the right tools.

Remove the grout from between the bricks on the fireplace surround. The fastest way to cut out the mortar from between the brick is to use an angle grinder.

Run the grinder along the mortar, making multiple passes, until the mortar has been sufficiently cut away from the brick.

Break off the bricks using a hammer and chisel. Start at the top of the brick surround and work your way toward the bottom.

Place the chisel on the side edge of the brick on the mortar between the brick and the wall.

Strike the chisel with the hammer until the brick becomes loose. Repeat this process for each brick on the surround until all of the bricks have been removed.

Tip

The grinding plate will wear away from continued use and will need to be replaced. Grinding plates can be found at any home improvement store. You can use a power drill and a masonry bit to cut away the mortar as an alternative to using the angle grinder.

Warning

Angle grinders kick up a lot of dust that you do not want to breathe, so always wear a face mask when grinding out mortar. Wear eye protection to protect against flying chunks of mortar.

Things You'll Need

  • Hammer
  • Chisel
  • Angle grinder
  • Power drill
  • Masonry bit
  • Grinding plates
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About the Author

Cameron Easey has over 15 years customer service experience, with eight of those years in the insurance industry. He has earned various designations from organizations like the Insurance Institute of America and LOMA. Easey earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in political science and history from Western Michigan University.