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tomines 06-05-2012 11:14 PM

Can I remove this fireplace facade?
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I'm about to close escrow on a house. One of the first things I want to do is remodel the fireplace you see in the attached pics. I'm thinking that most of these bricks are just the facade. You'll see in the second pic that it looks like the two top columns are attached to the drywall. I'd like to remove the two columns, the 1st horizontal row underneath and the 2nd horizontal row of bricks that are standing on end. I want to bring it low enough to be able to mount a TV so that it's not too high.

Does anybody see any issues with compromising the structural integrity of the fireplace by removing these bricks? I can't imagine the two columns continue through the ceiling.

My next step would be to level off the third horizontal brick row so that it is flush with the remaining brick to make it easier to tile over. Any ideas on tools that I would use to shave off the protruding brick?

Forgive me if my questions are elementary. First house. Brand new DIYer.

oh'mike 06-06-2012 05:29 AM

That's just decorative(in a fashion) Make whatever changes you wish.

TRUEPRO 06-08-2012 09:32 PM

No you would not be facing any structural issues. If you want to cut the brick you have limited options. A 14" concrete saw would be your best bet for making an exact cut but you will create alot of brick dust inside your house which is no bueno. You could possible use a small demo hammer with a sharp chisel to cut the brick minimizing dust but creating more debris. You can rent this tool at your local H.Depot for a minimal price but be careful. The potential to cut off more or create more damage is very possible. You will probably have to use a scratch coat to fill any inconsistencies or voids on the brick.


wkearney99 06-09-2012 08:21 AM

Is the outside fireplace masonry also? If not then, yeah, that's just decorative. Ugly, yeah, but just decorative. I agree that using a saw would be a bad plan, that dust will get everywhere. If they're just decorative then should be able to get away with just whacking them loose with a brick chisel and hand mallet. Perhaps enough to get to a point where you could patch into the existing drywall to get a flat surface across the top. You might want to pay a drywaller to do the work as matching that texture might be a hassle.

TRUEPRO 06-09-2012 11:19 AM

Actually all you have there is a simple knock down texture should be very easy to blend and paint over. You will never know the bricks were there.

Another VERY important aspect of this that i missed yesterday... You def want to rent some scaffold for this job. Bricks have a tendency to fly all over the place. You def dont want to be doing this job with a ladder. If this job was done correct, then those stacked brick panels will have wall ties in them thus making the demo job a little harder. Reason for the scaffold is 3 things; Safety, ease of work and repair. The plaster guy will thank you if you leave the scaffold up when its his turn to work. Plus the scaffold would make it a breeze for painting and hanging the flat screen. All important things that should be taken into consideration. Also be careful not to pry on the wall with whatever tools you decide to use we dont need any extra holes.

IMPORTANT= I recommend using a demo hammer on low speed, only hit the mortar joints do not use directly on the brick. Hit the mortar joint enough to break the bricks loose, starting from the very top. You want to break it enough to where you can grab the brick with you hand and throw down. Keep some good snips around to cut the metal wall ties(if there are any).


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