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How do we remove black "builder grade" slate fireplace surround, from the wall and floor?

How do we remove black "builder grade" slate fireplace surround, from the wall and floor? We are looking to replace with stone and do now want to just cover the existing slate.

 

Thanks for any help/recommendations!

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Posted 2013-11-19T02:31:08+0000  by jeturlik jeturlik
 

Hello jeturlik!

 

Walls on which modern fireplaces are installed are very similar to walls in any other room in your home ... they are framed and covered with sheetrock.

 

A wall where a fireplace is installed is most commonly left as open frame boards until the fireplace insert or masonry fireplace are installed.

 

Once the fireplace and the stack above are complete, the wall is closed and the mantel and hearthstone are attached ... centered on the opening.

 

Your project will be to remove the mantel and hearthstone(s) back to the sheetrock.

 

You have a bit of grace on this project because you will recover the area with your new treatment ... so slight damage to the sheetrock is not significant to the overall project.

 

VOICE OF EXPERIENCE:

When I changed the kitchen counters to granite, I had a different color marble surround on the firebox (see thru kitchen/den). The two stones conflicted from a design aspect, so I removed the mantle and replaced the marble with a custom-cut surround in the same stone used in the kitchen.

 

The process required cutting the caulk between the wall and mantel, then slowly prying the mantel off the wall. Once free, that exposed the marble surround which was held in place with construction adhesive.

 

A TRICK:

I have found that pulling construction adhesive simply destroys everything behind ... in this case, the sheetrock.

 

Enter a standard hand saw ... slide the tip between the item to be removed and begin that traditional back and forth saw motion. As you go, you'll cut some sheetrock but most often this separates the two items enough that they simply fall apart.

 

Should the sheetrock be badly damaged, consider replacing with material suitable for your new install ... sheetrock, backer board, concrete board, etc.

 

Plan to re-attach the mantel and caulk the new seams ... then paint and enjoy.

 

Above all else, take your time both when removing and when rebuilding ... your home will look great with this new addition!

Posted 2013-11-19T15:07:56+0000  by Pat_HD_ATL
 
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