REMOVING OUR FIREPLACE'S BRICK HEARTH
Yesterday we shared our fireplace and the grand plans we have for it. If you missed it check out that post here. We also shared our fireplace inspiration Pinterest board. If you’re not following along with us over there, don’t miss out! Follow us here! Now that we got that out of the way let’s get into how we removed the hearth on our brick fireplace.
We knew we wanted to get rid of the hearth for the sole reason that it serves no purpose, not only that but it takes up a significant amount of floor space. Eliminating the hearth was also a great way to ensure no more heads were hurt on the corner. If you don’t have children, this probably isn’t a concern for you, unless you have really bad balance. ;) In our grand plans post, we touched base on how the brick fireplace, including the hearth, leaned more towards a farmhouse design, and we are going for a more modern fireplace.
If you have a brick fireplace, or even a stone one, you could easily do this DIY. I will note that this is the original brick fireplace. We had no idea what was lurking beneath the surface, and we don’t know what’s lurking below yours. Before tackling this project observe and make notes and take the surrounding of your fireplace into account. We checked out what was below the hearth from the basement, and we knew we would just be exposing the sub floor.
So what did we use/what will you need to remove your brick fireplace hearth?
All you’ll need for this DIY project are the following:
While we didn’t wear gloves, or safety goggles, they’ll definitely come in handy when you’re working with sharp mortar, and little pieces of brick that chip off while you’re hammering.
We shared a poll on our Facebook page and Instagram last night. If you follow us on Instagram you can view a few behind the scenes videos we documented. They’re currently in our insta stories, and are saved to our highlights under BTS! So now to the demolition photos! We’re so excited to share this process of how we removed our brick fireplace hearth with you! It was MUCH easier than we anticipated (easier than an exterior brick fireplace we removed)! The best part about this project, being able to incorporate practical and ethical minimalism into it.
Reduce, reuse, recycle applies to this DIY. We plan on reusing the bricks we threw in the backyard to fix broken bricks on our front stairs, and hopefully complete a mailbox surround! So we will keep you posted.
We were dealing with a significant amount of mortar, but shockingly there was a good amount of bricks under that hearth. We started on the top layer and worked our way down.
We took turns removing the bricks! One of us would chip away, while the other threw the bricks out the back door into the yard. This sped up our process tremendously, with minimal mess. This tool was a LIFESAVER with the mess too! One of us would hold it next to whoever was chipping away to cut down the dust that was stirred up.
The white line you see around the perimeter of the old brick is just paint from where I was too lazy to tape/the paint seeped through the tape. That can be removed by a light sand.
Also, it might just be me, but I am a super instant gratification person, and demo is totally my thing, so seeing these bricks chipped away was AMAZING. The vision truly started coming to life once we got a little further down the hearth.
I am seriously still drooling over how much floor space we opened up. The tape, caulk, wood, and garbage bag were placed there to prevent any air/bugs that could come up from the basement since it was open sub floor. The fireplace hearth also went straight into the drywall, so we taped a bag over it so that the insulation wasn’t exposed for our children, aka toddlers, to touch.
If you know anything by now, you know we’re big suckers for a great before and after. Well you’re in luck, because we have one for you today! Check it out.
We we’re both a little worried about what the bricks would be like underneath the fireplace, the ones behind the hearth, and they’re so beautiful! They’re not damaged in anyway so the project moving forward will be that much easier (less patching).
The plan is to fill the existing flooring with a flush concrete hearth. Later down the road when we have our hardwoods refinished, we will most likely have the concrete removed to have the hardwoods flush with the fireplace. Refinishing our hardwoods is a huge budget, and with young children we’re not willing to tackle that, even though it’s tempting with the pour stain/poly job the previous owner did. Forever dread these orange floors. Haha.
Here’s an up close view of our hilarious sub floor. These are just temporary patches because we didn’t want any bugs or air coming up from the basement.
So now that you’ve seen the process in photos let’s get to our to-do list and what we still have in mind regarding our fireplace makeover.
Install flush concrete hearth
Build a lower, squared off hearth*
Install a fireplace insert
We cannot believe how much bigger our dining room looks! The old brick fireplace hearth was SO intrusive. We’re excited to continue sharing this project with you, and if you have a brick fireplace, or stone, that this project inspires you to change your space if it’s just not working for you! If you have any questions please feel free to reach out here, or drop some comments below!
Thank you for stopping by and reading, we’re so thankful for your loyal readership and interest in our home improvement projects! If you loved this post, we’d be so grateful if you posted any of the three Pinterest Pins onto your boards!