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GarfE 04-09-2012 07:46 PM

How to remove a faux fireplace from a plaster lath wall
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I'm hoping someone has some advice. We just bought an old colonial built late 1800s -1900. We have a living room and dining room side by side with an old pair of pocket doors separating the two rooms.

Problem- The living room has an old faux fireplace with mantle that we need to remove (see photo). It takes up the whole interior wall and corner of the living room that's really the only suitable place for the tv and any shelving unit.

How can we remove this thing? It's over 6 ft tall. The mirror is already loose and looks like it could be popped right out of the mantle and into the wall with a push.

From the basement I found that there is hole looking straight up behind the plaster wall that it's attached to. It doesn't appear there was ever a working fireplace. But obviously at one point the house had a vent going behind it from the basement. The second pic is looking straight up from the basement. The faux fireplace is attached to the plaster wall on the left. The pocket door is to the right. The bottom is the chimney running from the basement to the roof.

How is the mantle attached to the wall?
How would you remove it?
Is their a way of easily removing it that doesn't require demolishing it?

I'm wondering if it might have some value as an antique home feature. I don't really care too much though... I'm willing to cut it into pieces if necessary. Just wondering if anyone would have any advice since i can't tell how it's attached or what will happen to the plaster walls surrounding it, if I cut it out off the wall.

Just Bill 04-10-2012 07:16 AM

Probably nailed. I would start at the top board with a few whacks up with a hammers. Something should move. Then the columns. Wonder bars work wonders...... Can't really see how the mirror is held, usually with trim or molding.

Fix'n it 04-10-2012 10:04 PM

that has value, to someone. and it probably isn't much. i would just bust it out. perhaps trying to save a few of the pieces for other uses. and watch out for the wires.

Ravenworks 04-10-2012 10:11 PM

How do you plan on fixing the wall so it matches?
What about the trim and the floor under this?
You better think about this before you get into it.

user1007 04-11-2012 05:06 AM

Tape the mirror so you don't get cut or have glass shards all over if it gives on you. The whole thing looks like it was made from trim and molding pieces so as mentioned, use a nice flat bar and I am guessing you can just pull it apart.

You have a decent picture so if you disassemble and mark all the pieces you could try listing it on Craig's List for a few schillings. I wouldn't get my hopes up though.

GarfE 04-11-2012 07:40 AM

3 Attachment(s)
I hope it's a relatively easy piece to pry off the wall. I don't think it's made of trim work. The house was built around 1890-1900. It's a real solid piece of work. I'm hoping I can just pull it off with little harm to the plaster.

The difficult thing is that it is placed on a corner that was built out between two walls. Where there should be a 90deg corner where the wall with the pocket doors intersect with the interior wall of the room, there is this wall with the fireplace mantle.... Taking up most of the wall. There's only about 3-5 inches from the mantle to either side of the two walls. Not much space for work with tools.

Will using a pry bar destroy the walls? I've never worked with plaster walls. Previously I've only worked with drywall in my previous house

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