Removing a tiled fire surround

Author: dpinning  //  Category: DIY Tips, Home Improvements, Interior Design

If you are preparing to redecorate your fireplace area and you wish to remove the fire surround, the process will vary depending on the type.  A tiled fire surround made from tiled concrete is one type, and it can be removed if you know what to do.

Get a helper

This is a task that requires two people.  Have your helper steady the surround while you are working so it does not fall.  Remember, these can be quite top heavy and when you begin removing screws they can topple and damage your flooring.  Your helper will also help you remove it when you are ready.

Find the screws

Most tiled fire surrounds are attached to the walls using screws that fit into metal lugs.  These are typically hidden behind the plaster, so you will need to remove any wall coverings and then chip away at the plaster to reveal them.  Once you find them, clear the screws of any plaster and then unscrew them from the wall.  Sometimes the screws will be stuck so if you cannot unscrew them, then prise the lugs to loosen the fittings from the wall instead.

Remove and break up the surround

Once the screws or lugs are loose from the wall, lower the surround, with your helper’s assistance, on to the ground.  If you are going to break it up to dispose of it, take it outdoors. Cover it with an old piece of sack or cloth and protect your hands and face with the right safety gear.  Then, use a sledgehammer to break it into small pieces.  If you notice any metal strengthening, which is common with concrete, pry the tiling away from this as you break up the surround.  When you are done, dispose of it properly and get ready to redo your fireplace surround.

Picture: Domonic Alves

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