A fireplace can add charm to a home. It is useful in keeping the house warm during cold nights. A living room illuminated by a fireplace can be warm and cozy and can provide a wonderful atmosphere with the family sitting close together. The crackle of burning firewood and the scent of pine are wonderful reminders of Christmas and other holidays with the family. But when your house is getting cramped and need more space and the fireplace is no longer working and just taking up a lot of space, it may be time for you to demolish the existing fireplace and replace it with a dry wall.
If you want to do it yourself, take into consideration that it is not an easy task and that you will need help. You can demolish a fireplace yourself if it is non-structural, and the tips below will show you how.
- Remove furniture around the area where you are going to work so that you will have more room to move. Remove cabinets and shelving, frames and other decorative pieces on the surrounding wall, as well as carpet.
- Cover the rest of the furniture and with dust cloths for protection. Glass tabletops and cabinet doors should also be protected against flying tile shards and pieces of mortar that can damage and break glass.
- Use safety goggles and work gloves while you work. Clean out the fireboxes with a broom or a shop vacuum. This step will remove the dust and ashes that will fly about when you begin demolishing. Place drop cloth or tarpaulin around the hearth.
- Begin the demolition by breaking the inside grout of one of the tiles using a chisel and stone or chipping hammer. Once you have broken the inside grout, chisel out pieces of the first tile. This is your starting point to be able to remove the other tiles. Once you have cleared out the first tile, use your chisel and hammer or a crowbar to pry out the rest of the tiles.
- Remove all the tiles and the structure that extend beyond the surrounding wall that includes the hearth. Chip as close as you can down to the area where you will place a new sub floor and the final floor.
- Ensure stability around the hearth by adding a frame to it. This will also serve as the place for you to nail the drywall.
- Install drywall over the fireplace opening. If you decide that you want to replace the whole wall paneling, this is the time to do so. You can opt to install new a new drywall to cover the old wall paneling. Do not forget the flue. You should line it with insulation before closing it.
- Install your new wood flooring. It should match the rest of the floor. It will be easier for you if the flooring requires wood planks. If you have to patch a hardwood floor, you need professional help from a floor refinisher to ensure that the finish will exactly match the rest of the floor.
Make sure that you have a professional check the fireplace first before you demolish it. Get an estimate of how much it will cost you to demolish the existing fireplace. It can be expensive as well as laborious.