To remove a brick fireplace face and replace it with stone is basically a dismantling and rebuilding project. The replacement stone can cover any portion of the mantel area or extended to the ceiling and along the wall. The fireplace trimmed with a wood mantel or decorative stone can be made into the focal point of the room.
Things You'll Need
- Crow bar
- Stone chisel
- Mason's trowel
- Drop cloth
- Mortar mix
Spread a drop cloth around the front area of the fireplace to catch debris as it is removed.
Remove any molding or mantel pieces that are in front of the brick. Use the hammer, chisel and/or crow bar to remove the bricks one or two at a time and one row at a time. Avoid allowing the bricks to fall off and damage the floor or hearth area. Clean the area of all debris after all of the bricks are removed.
Follow directions on the mortar mix bags to prepare a substantial amount of mortar. Use the trowel to spread a layer of mortar on the area where you plan to place the stone. Start on the bottom of the wall or hearth area and lay each stone in place, working your way up one row at a time. Use the trowel to put mortar in between each stone. Stones that are evenly cut with straight edges should be placed perfectly level. Uneven stones that have natural shapes should be laid in the motor so that they fit evenly into the irregular shapes. Break the stones if necessary to make them the shapes you need to match the adjoining stone edge. Keep the mortar spaces between the stones as close to the same width as possible throughout the project.
Embed a mantel into the stone with mortar as you lay the stones. Use a level to set the mantel perfectly level into the stone. Adjust the mortar surrounding the mantel if necessary to make it level.
Use a wet rag to thoroughly clean off any mortar mix that gets on the front of the stones, mantel, walls or floor area. Do not let the mortar dry before removing it.
Tips & Warnings
- Follow directions on the mortar mix bags to determine how to mix and the amounts to mix for each batch that is used. Mix all of the mortar exactly the same way throughout the project. If different batches are used they could be different colors or shades if not mixed the same each time. Determine the amount of stone needed based on the type you use and the area you plan to cover.
- Always take safety precautions and wear proper safety equipment while using hand tools.
- Photo Credit greenbroke: Flickr.com
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