How to remove a fireplace hearth

Written by lisa east hunter
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How to remove a fireplace hearth
An updated fireplace, with a minimal hearth, looks sleek and clean. (David Sacks/Lifesize/Getty Images)

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.

Skill level:

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Things you need

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

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  1. 1

    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.

  2. 2

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

  3. 3

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

  4. 4

    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.

  5. 5

    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.

  6. 6

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

Tips and warnings

  • 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.

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