How to Cut & Remove a Brick Fireplace Surrounding


Older homes that have a fireplace may have a brick facade that was added at a later date. These old fireplaces can be difficult to update and may no longer fit the style of the home. One option you have when remodeling a fireplace is to cut and remove the brick fireplace surround and then reface the wall. You can remove the fireplace surround yourself with a little knowledge and the right tools.

Things You'll Need

  • Hammer
  • Chisel
  • Angle grinder
  • Power drill
  • Masonry bit
  • Grinding plates
  • Remove the grout from between the bricks on the fireplace surround. The fastest way to cut out the mortar from between the brick is to use an angle grinder.

  • Run the grinder along the mortar, making multiple passes, until the mortar has been sufficiently cut away from the brick.

  • Break off the bricks using a hammer and chisel. Start at the top of the brick surround and work your way toward the bottom.

  • Place the chisel on the side edge of the brick on the mortar between the brick and the wall.

  • Strike the chisel with the hammer until the brick becomes loose. Repeat this process for each brick on the surround until all of the bricks have been removed.

Tips & Warnings

  • The grinding plate will wear away from continued use and will need to be replaced.
  • Grinding plates can be found at any home improvement store.
  • You can use a power drill and a masonry bit to cut away the mortar as an alternative to using the angle grinder.
  • Angle grinders kick up a lot of dust that you do not want to breathe, so always wear a face mask when grinding out mortar.
  • Wear eye protection to protect against flying chunks of mortar.


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