How to remove tile from a fireplace hearth

Updated February 21, 2017

A fireplace is a primary focal point in a room, and one of the easiest ways of dressing up or modernising a fireplace is to replace the hearth tile. With new carpeting or flooring, changing the hearth tile can complement the flooring and change the visual appeal of a common fireplace. Removing old hearth tile is the first step, and the method quickly clears the hearth surface for it new finish.

Spread a cloth or plastic paint tarp over the floor around the base of the hearth to collect the removed tile.

Don work gloves and a pair of safety glasses. Begin the tile removal at the firebox edge of the hearth by placing the tip of a cold chisel against the edge at the base of a tile and striking the cold chisel with a hammer to break the tile loose.

Scrape loose the tile grout as you remove the hearth tiles, using a pry bar or scraper. You can use a hand brush and dustpan to clean up the tile and grout debris it accumulates. The tile mortar will be brittle and should scrape free of the hearth surface without much effort.


Fired ceramic and stone tiles used for fireplace hearths tend to shatter during removal, resulting in sharp or pointed slivers. Wear safety glasses and work gloves during the procedure described in this article.

Things You'll Need

  • Paint tarp
  • Hammer
  • Pry bar
  • Scraper
  • Cold chisel
  • Safety glasses
  • Work gloves
  • Dustpan & broom
Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Paul Massey has been writing since 2009, drawing on a 35-year career in the construction industry. His experience includes 15 years as a general building contractor specializing in architectural design, custom homes, commercial development and historic renovations.