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We decided to remove the large hearth in front of the fireplace & thought it was a wood frame with tile. Turns out it's all cinder blocks that were mortared to the floor.

The blocks break up easy enough but we can't seem to remove the bottoms that were attached to the concrete slab with mortar.

Any suggestions that aren't extremely costly & easy?
 

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You could also try a grinder which I'm sure will remove the remaining piece of blocks but it will create an awful lot of dust.
 

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Well you can go with hammering on concrete. Also make sure you wear those safety goggles if you are doing it yourself. Reason being, those high-velocity chips often turn into a great threat. In many cases, concrete has rendered people blind in a millisecond. You can also use a diamond saw for cutting concrete, and in this case wear a hearing protection as the noise is very loud. Also wear a dust mask to keep the dust away.
 

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Don't need a jack hammer or diamond saw. Go to a tool rental center and ask for a chipping hammer or demolition hammer. It will be the size of a large electric drill. Will bust up your remaining block in short order.
 

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Out of curiosity, how do you use a diamond saw to cut flush with the floor? Kind of like a toe kick saw?

if you absolutely had to, use a diamond wheel on a right angle grinder, but it sure wouldn't be my first choice inside the house, dust!
 
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