How to Remove Brick From Interior Wall

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Tearing out an interior brick wall is a messy job.
Tearing out an interior brick wall is a messy job. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Brick adds a natural element to your interior decor. However, if you have an old, cracked or crumbling brick wall or are in the process of remodeling and the wall is in the way, you can remove it. While this is a messy job, and you will have to protect your floor, a special air-powered tool will expedite the process.

Things You'll Need

  • Air hammer with flat chisel bit
  • Air compressor
  • Plywood
  • Heavy tarps
  • Sturdy ladder
  • Flat scraper
  • Wheelbarrow (recommended)
  • Protective eyewear
  • Respirator mask
  • Leather gloves

Cover the floor with heavy tarps to protect it from falling brick and mortar. Place one or two sheets of plywood on top of the tarps to serve as a landing spot for the bricks.

Attach an air hammer to the hose of an air compressor, and insert a flat chisel bit. Adjust the speed setting to “Low.”

Start at the top row of bricks and turn on the air chisel. Position the flat blade of the chisel in the mortar seam just below the uppermost row of bricks.

Touch the vibrating chisel blade to the mortar seam and it will begin chipping away the old mortar. Angle the blade of the air chisel up and under the first brick to get it dislodged. Continue chipping away mortar until the top brick comes loose.

Grab the loose brick with gloved hands and drop it carefully onto the plywood below.

Chip away at the mortar, removing one brick at a time. You may adjust the air hammer to a higher speed once you become accustomed to the tool. Work from the top of the wall down, row by row.

Pull brick ties out of the wall using a nail bar. Brick ties are thin metal strips the bricklayer uses to support the bricks during installation. Usually one or two nails hold them in place.

Tips & Warnings

  • Scrap residual mortar from smooth walls with a 6-inch flat trowel. Use a metal brush to scrub mortar debris off rough concrete or cinder walls.
  • If possible, position a wheelbarrow on top of the plywood, and carefully drop the bricks into the wheelbarrow for easy removal from the house.
  • Wear goggles for added protection from flying bits of mortar and a respirator to avoid inhaling the dust you will generate.
  • Never remove bricks from a lower row first. This may cause the wall to collapse and cause injury.
  • Use only a sturdy ladder to reach the top of the wall.

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