Removing a marble fireplace is a job that can be a bit overwhelming. You can hire a professional – or save money doing it yourself. It is a job that takes more than one person and will take some time. If you want to do it yourself, grab a helper or two and follow these instructions.
Step 1 – Prep the Area
Make sure you remove any and all furniture, wall hangings and other articles from the room where the fireplace is located. It is a good idea to dust off the fireplace before starting. Once you start taking it apart, dust will fly everywhere, so don’t help it out in the beginning. Always wear a dust mask, protective eyewear and gloves when working to remove your marble fireplace.
Step 2 – Start from the Top
Erect your scaffolding making sure it is sturdy and stable. Never attempt to work swinging a hammer overhead at a spot high up on the fireplace. This is extremely dangerous. Always attempt to work within an arm’s reach in front of you. Begin by setting the scaffolding high enough demolishing from the top down. Working with a chisel and a demolition hammer, strike at the grout and mortar area first.
Step 3 – Remove Blocks
Once you have loosened the fireplace marble blocks by removing the grout with a small hammer and chisel, begin working the blocks loose with a prybar. Depending on the height and size of each marble block, you may need to lower each by a rope bucket. Never drop the block straight to the floor. Marble is a porous stone that can break and shatter on contact causing pieces to fly possibly damaging people and the surroundings. Once lowered to the ground, move them to the outside with a wheelbarrow.
Step 4 – Removing the Surround Only
If you intend to remove the surround only, any backing material, as well as a connecting chimney, will be left in place. The surround, comprised of marble blocks, will leave a spot in the room that needs to be either replaced with a new surround, or covered over. Make sure to cap off the chimney before covering over the interior area where the marble fireplace surrounds has been removed. Failing to do so will allow entry to the house for outside elements including the weather and possible wild animals getting trapped inside an uncapped chimney.
Step 5 – Removing the Chimney
If you intend to remove the fireplace without replacing it, it is a good idea to also remove the chimney. Do this brick by brick from the top down. Make sure, once again, to rent sturdy scaffolding that allows you to work safely. Loosen the brick grout removing each brick individually. Lower these to the floor carefully and then stack them a safe distance away from the work area.
Step 6 – Reconstruction
There should be no effect on the structural integrity of the house, simply a need to cover the hole created from removal of your marble fireplace.