A fireplace mantel is something that always adds to the overall beauty of your home. It also creates an attractive shelf for you to display your family photos and artwork pieces. More often than not, the fireplace becomes the room’s focal point, automatically drawing attention to the items displayed on its mantel. When you change the mantel for different reasons, it imparts a whole new shape to the room. You can replace the fireplace mantel with an updated version of it or can remove it altogether. When you are doing renovation works in your home, you might want to remove the fireplace mantel. It is not difficult to do, but you need to be familiar with its methods and tricks.
So, exactly how to remove a fireplace mantel? What is the gear required for doing that? Are there some tips and tricks involved in removing a fireplace mantel? Let’s discuss it in detail….
How to Remove a Fireplace Mantel? Step by Step Guide
Here, we will share the steps to remove two kinds of fireplace mantels, i.e. shelf mantels and Knockdown mantels.
Here is what you need to remove a fireplace mantel.
- Rubber Mallet
- Masonry Chisel
- Power Drill
- Socket Wrench Set
- Tarp (for debris collection)
Steps for Removing Shelf Mantels
Step 1: Loosen the Corbel Braces
Mostly, the shelf mantels have these braces in place. If yours don’t have them, you can ignore this step. You need to use a chisel in the section where these screws and bolts are attached to the wall. You can also remove these braces by using a pry bar behind them and wrenching them loose. You can use a mallet to put the pry bar behind the braces.
Step 2: Removing the Fasteners and Screws
Mantels are usually fixed using screws. It is better to use a power drill to remove the screws faster and easily. However, a screwdriver can also be used in this scenario if the drill is too clumsy and inconvenient. If you find some bolts holding the braces on the wall, you will need a socket wrench set to remove them.
Step 3: Remove the Corbel Braces
When you are done with removing the fasteners, you can easily pull the corbel braces from the wall. Please note that you might be required to provide support to the mantel so that once the corbel braces are removed, it doesn’t rip out of the wall.
Step 4: Removing the Mantel
Now, you are left with mantel only. Try to rock it back and forth for loosening its grip from the wall. You can use pry bars as well to create some extra space if it is difficult to loosen it. After that, pry off the mantel as its grip has been weakened. In some cases, there may be a secondary brace underneath. If there is one, remove the fasteners from it and then go on to remove the mantel.
Steps for Removing Knockdown Mantels
Step 1: Loosening the Sides
The best way to remove the knockdown mantel is by taking a bottom-up approach. The first thing to do is to loosen the sides by using the mallet and pry bar. If you are trying to salvage the whole thing, try not to pry too hard, or else you will end up with damaged pieces.
Step 2: Removing the Fasteners
The knockdown mantel is usually attached and held by screws which may be hidden by moldings. To find the screw heads, you might need to chisel a little bit, now use a power drill to make this process is faster and easier. In case the power drill isn’t working in your scenario, you can instead use a socket wrench set.
Step 3: Removing the Mantel
Now you have detached the sides, you can start to pry off the mantel itself. Try to loosen the mantel shelf, you can use a rubber mallet in this case and hit it softly from the bottom. You will need someone helping you make sure that the whole thing doesn’t fall forward. Don’t try to handle it all by yourself as the knockdown mantel can be very heavy.
Some Tips to Remove a Fireplace Mantel
Here are mentioned some tips to follow so that this whole process can be carried out as smoothly as possible…
- Always patch the holes in the wall with caulk or mortar even when you are replacing your old mantel. Make sure you have the tools ready for this beforehand.
- Don’t do it all by yourself, it is better to take someone’s help. I know it’s a bit tempting to remove the mantel all by yourself but you will definitely need someone at a certain point.
- It is important to lay down the plastic first in order to avoid any mess.
- Always cover the fireplace before starting, otherwise you’ll end up blowing ash everywhere.
Some Safety Precautions
Here are some safety precautions you must take before starting to remove the fireplace mantel….
- Always wear eye protection as you want to avoid getting any particles in your eyes while working,
- Wear gloves before starting the project as it involves handling hammers and nails. Although a rubber hammer is involved in this process, it can still strike your fingers pretty hard.
- Apply even pressure everywhere, even when a piece isn’t loosening, don’t yank on it otherwise there is a possibility of mishaps.
- You will be dealing with a lot of dust and some ash as well even if you have cleaned the fireplace beforehand, so, do wear a mask.
Also Read: How to Clean Flat Paint Walls
A fireplace with a mantel in a home always lights up the whole environment around it. Sometimes, you have to remove the fireplace mantel for different reasons like renovation or replacing it, etc. It isn’t a difficult task but you still first learn how to remove a fireplace mantel. You can follow the above-mentioned procedures with tips and safety precautions to have the best possible results.