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Old 02-23-2011, 07:26 AM   #1
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Old Firplace HELP!


My husband and I may have bitten off more than we can chew. We recently decided to unscrew our mantle from the wall. Behind it lay crumbling bricks. We were able to easily remove the crumbling bricks as well as the original (also crumbling) tile. Behind all of this we found the original brick fireplace. I wanted to tile over it so we set out the remove the wall covering. This consisted of sheetrock covered with concrete covered with another type of board. We though the brick must go all the way up. We were wrong. My question now is: Do we continue to tear this layered wall out and just hang drywall on the studs? Or is there a simple way to patch this? Side note: The concrete and old sheetrock are both very crumbly. This is why we just continued up the wall. Thanks!
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Old 02-23-2011, 07:50 AM   #2
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Old Firplace HELP!


The stuff you are calling sheetrock sounds like rocklath plaster. Rocklath is a layered material, 3/8 drywall/3/8 cement coat, 16" widex8' long, over which thin coat plaster is applied. Generally used in houses of the 40's-50's. For the fireplace, I would suggest you find a mason familiar with fireplace construction.

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Old 02-23-2011, 08:19 AM   #3
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Old Firplace HELP!


I agree. Sometimes its cheaper in the long run to hire a pro. They can come in, and basically get you back to a "blank slate" so that you can finish it the way you choose.
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Old 02-23-2011, 08:56 AM   #4
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Old Firplace HELP!


I was worried that might be my only option. I have a contractor coming to look at it today. Thanks for your help.
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Old 02-23-2011, 09:06 AM   #5
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Old Firplace HELP!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Rbowl87 View Post
I was worried that might be my only option. I have a contractor coming to look at it today. Thanks for your help.
Why are you worried? Get a legit good contractor, have it done right the first time, then you're ready to finish it the way you want...theres no shame in knowing your limitations. In fact, stopping was probably the best thing you could have done. If you keep going you may do more damage ( not that you did ) causing a more expensive update/fix. Once its fixed up by the contractor, you can focus on how you want to finish it
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Old 02-23-2011, 11:00 AM   #6
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Old Firplace HELP!


I am just worried it will be expensive. Can this type of plaster be saved if it is crumbling down?
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Old 02-23-2011, 12:06 PM   #7
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Old Firplace HELP!


If it was me I'd just tear it all out and see what I had.

The building I work in has that kind of plaster, and it's really hard and durable and not crumbly at all. The only time it's crumbly is if it's water damaged.

Make sure you don't have a roof leak at the chimney. They're pretty common. In your photo, the studs kind of look water damaged too.
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Old 02-23-2011, 12:20 PM   #8
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Old Firplace HELP!


I was worried about water damage because the drywall is brown and almost feels moist. My dad called and assured me that there is no way I can damage anything by tearing it down. My thought was if the plaster is crumbling it is no good. Also there are chunks of wood and concrete in the insulation. This leads me to believe it is crumbling at the top and falling down. I guess I will wait to hear what the contractor says. Thanks for everyone's input.

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