How to remove a fireplace hearth

Remodelling your fireplace can make the entire living space look entirely different. A hearth may be a nice place to perch while enjoying the fire. Or, it might be an obstruction in the room, eating up valuable floor space. Removing the old hearth is a messy, noisy and somewhat labour intensive job. But, the task is straightforward and easily conquered by anyone willing to put in the time and effort. You will save yourself a lot of money by doing it yourself and will transform your living space in the process.

Lay 3-foot wide strips of cardboard along each edge of the hearth to protect the flooring. Tape it to the floor with low tack painter's tape to keep it in place.

Put on a mask and goggles, a long sleeve shirt and heavyweight jeans to protect yourself from dust and debris.

Attach the chisel bit to the demolition hammer according to manufacturer's instructions. Demolition hammers are available for rent at many hardware stores.

Turn the demolition hammer on and place the chisel tip about six inches from the edge of the hearth. Work the chisel tip toward the front or side of the hearth at a 45 degree angle. Chip off a small section of the hearth.

Move the tip of the demolition hammer over a few inches and chip off another piece of the masonry. Continue working in this way until you have removed all of the masonry materials.

Dispose of the large pieces of material. Sweep and vacuum the small pieces of debris and dust.


Demolition hammers are extremely labour intensive and require the operator to be in good physical condition to use. If you do not feel up to this task, call in a friend or a professional to do this job.

Things You'll Need

  • Goggles
  • Mask
  • Cardboard
  • Low tack painter's tape
  • Demolition hammer with chisel bit
  • Vacuum
  • Broom
  • Dust pan
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About the Author

Lisa East Hunter is a consultant and freelance writer in Phoenix. Her background in marketing and technology led her to explore all avenues of writing. She is currently dividing her time between freelance writing and her consulting business. Hunter has a Bachelor of Science in management information systems and marketing.