How to Remove Mantel from Brick Fireplace

Are you tired of the outdated mantel on your brick fireplace? Or maybe you’re just ready for a change and want to give your living space a fresh, modern look. No matter the reason, removing a mantel from a brick fireplace may seem like a daunting task.

But fear not! In this blog post, we will guide you through the step-by-step process of removing a mantel from a brick fireplace, complete with helpful tips and tricks to ensure a successful and stress-free project.

So grab your tools and let’s dive in, because you’ll be amazed at how this relatively simple DIY project can transform the entire aesthetic of your space. Get ready to say goodbye to that old mantel and hello to a whole new fireplace focal point. So, keep on reading to learn more about how to remove mantel from brick fireplace.

How to Remove Mantel from Brick Fireplace

Can You Remove the Mantel from The Brick Fireplace?

The fireplace is often the centerpiece of a living room, providing warmth and ambiance during the colder months. Many homeowners choose to decorate their fireplaces with a mantel that can be customized to fit their specific style. While a mantel can add a charming touch to a brick fireplace, some may wonder if it is removable. 

The answer is yes, the mantel can be removed from a brick fireplace. However, it is important to do so carefully and ensure the integrity of the fireplace is not compromised. Whether you want to update your home’s decor or simply remove a worn-out mantel, taking the proper precautions can ensure the process goes smoothly.

Why Should You Remove Mantel from Brick Fireplace?

Brick fireplaces have a timeless beauty that adds character to any home. However, the mantel, the shelf above the fireplace, may not always be as charming. Removing the mantel from a brick fireplace can transform the look of the entire room without undergoing a major renovation. 

The mantel may be outdated, too bulky, or simply not fitting with your style preference, and removing it can help open up the space and make the fireplace a focal point. Plus, with the mantel out of the way, you can hang artwork, a mirror, or whatever décor you’d like above the fireplace. Removing the mantel from a brick fireplace is a relatively simple project that can make a big impact on your home’s design.

Pre-Demolition Preparation

Gather Information:

Before removing the mantel, it’s essential to gather information and understand how it is installed. If you have any original documentation or history of your home, this can be helpful in understanding how the mantel was attached to the brick. Otherwise, research online or consult a professional for guidance.

Protect the Area:

Before starting the removal process, it’s important to protect the area around the fireplace. Cover any furniture or flooring with drop cloths or plastic sheets to avoid damage from falling debris.

Safety First:

Removing a mantel can be a manual and labor-intensive task. It’s essential to take precautions and wear protective gear such as gloves and goggles to avoid injury. Additionally, make sure the work area is well-ventilated.

Tools and Supplies Checklist:

To efficiently remove the mantel from a brick fireplace, gather the following tools and supplies:

  • Hammer
  • Pry bar
  • Screwdriver
  • Drill with masonry bit (if necessary)
  • Chisel
  • Wood filler
  • Paint or stain (if planning to refinish the exposed brick)

How to Remove Mantel from Brick Fireplace – The Step-by-Step Guide

Step 1: Preparation

Before removing the mantel, you need to ensure you have the right tools and safety equipment. You’ll need a hammer, drill, pry bar, and reciprocating saw with a metal blade. You should also wear gloves and eye protection to avoid injuries. Once you have your equipment ready, clear the area around the fireplace so that you have space to work. Cover the surrounding area with a drop cloth to avoid damage or dirt on your flooring.

Step 2: Remove the Screws

If your mantel is held in place with screws, remove them with a drill. Use a screwdriver attachment to take out each screw. If the screws are stubborn, you can use a hammer and chisel to break them off. Be careful not to damage the brick around the screws, as it can be difficult to repair.

Mantel is Held in 
Place With Screws

Step 3: Loosen the Adhesive

If there’s adhesive holding the mantel to the brick, you’ll need to break it apart. Use a pry bar to gently loosen the mantel from the wall. Using a hammer and chisel, you can chip away at the adhesive. Be careful to avoid damaging the brick or the mantel itself. Depending on how strong it is, you might need to use a reciprocating saw with a metal blade to cut through the adhesive.

Step 4: Remove the Mantel

Once the adhesive is loose, you should be able to remove the mantel from the wall. Gently pull on the mantel and wiggle it back and forth to loosen it. If there are any nails or screws still holding the mantel in place, remove them with a hammer or pry bar. Be careful not to damage the mantel, especially if you plan on reusing it elsewhere.

Step 5: Clean Up

After you’ve removed the mantel, clean up the area around the fireplace. Use a vacuum or broom to sweep up any debris or dust. Remove the drop cloth and put away your equipment. Check the wall for damage and repair any cracks or holes if necessary.

Step 6: Prep the Surface

Once the mantel is gone, you’ll need to prepare the surface of the brick before adding a new mantel or other decorative feature. Start by using a wire brush to remove any dust or debris from the wall. After that, use an orbital sander with fine-grit sandpaper to smooth out any rough spots. You can also use a damp rag to wipe down the surface and remove any remaining dust.

Step 7: Install Your New Mantel

Now it’s time to start installing your new mantel. Start by using a level and marking where you want the mantel to go. Use an adhesive like masonry glue, construction adhesive, or wall anchors to attach the mantel to the wall. Be sure to use enough adhesive and secure it firmly in place if you’re using screws, pre-drill holes into the brick before adding them.

And there you have it – a complete guide on how to remove mantel from brick fireplace! With these steps, you should be able to remove your existing mantel and install a new one easily. Take your time and use the right tools and safety equipment for the best results.

5 Considerations Things When You Need to Remove Mantel from Brick Fireplace

1. Safety

Safety is the first and foremost consideration when removing a mantel from a brick fireplace. Before attempting to remove the mantel, ensure that the area is clear of any flammable materials and that all open flames have been extinguished. Additionally, wear protective gear such as gloves, goggles, and a dust mask to protect yourself from any debris or dust that may be created during removal.

2. Tools

The next consideration is which tools you will need for the job. Removing a mantel from a brick fireplace typically requires a hammer, chisel, drill, level, and screwdriver. If you do not have these tools on hand, purchasing or renting them may be necessary before beginning the project.

3. Support

Another important consideration when removing a mantel from a brick fireplace is how you will support it while it is being removed. This can be done using two-by-fours or other sturdy pieces of wood to prop up the mantel while it is being taken down. It is important to ensure that whatever material you use for support has enough strength to hold up the weight of the mantel without breaking or collapsing.

It is Important to Ensure 
That Whatever Material

4. Damage

When removing a mantel from a brick fireplace, there is always potential for damage to the bricks themselves or surrounding areas such as walls and floors. To minimize this risk, take your time when removing each piece of hardware and try not to rush through the process too quickly, as this could damage your home’s structure or décor elements, such as paintings or furniture pieces nearby.

5. Cleanup

Finally, once you have finished removing your mantel from your brick fireplace, it is important to clean up any debris left behind during the process, such as dust and dirt particles that may have settled on surfaces throughout your home due to vibrations caused by drilling into bricks or chiseling away mortar between them. Vacuuming these areas thoroughly should help ensure that no further particles are left behind after you finish your project.

No matter the task, it is always important to consider these five considerations when removing a mantel from a brick fireplace to do the job safely and efficiently. Doing so will help ensure that you will have the best results for your project and minimize any potential damage or accidents that could occur in the process. 

Considering these points before beginning the job, you can be sure that your mantel-removal project will go as smoothly and safely as possible.

Post-Removal Considerations of Removing a Mantel from Brick Fireplace

1. Repairing the Wall

After removing the mantel, you may notice that there are holes or cracks left in the wall where it was attached. These can be easily patched up using a patching compound or caulk for small holes and cracks. For larger holes, you may need to use a piece of drywall to fill in the space before patching it up.

2. Updating the Look

Removing a mantel from a brick fireplace also presents an opportunity to update the look of your fireplace. You can choose to leave the bricks exposed for a more modern and industrial look or add a new mantel with a different design or material for a fresh and unique appearance.

3. Cleaning the Bricks

Once the mantel is removed, you may also want to clean the bricks to remove any dirt or residue that has accumulated over time. You can use a mixture of water and mild soap or specialized brick cleaner to scrub away any marks or stains gently.

4. Adding New Decorative Elements

After removing the old mantel, you can also add new decorative elements to your fireplace, such as a wall clock, paintings, or plants. This can help elevate the look of your fireplace and make it a focal point in your home.

5. Regular Maintenance

Lastly, after completing the mantel-removal project, it’s important to perform regular maintenance on your brick fireplace to keep it in good condition. This can include cleaning it regularly, repairing any cracks or damages, and using proper tools and techniques when adding new mantels or decorative features in the future.

By following these post-removal considerations, you can ensure that your fireplace remains a beautiful and functional part of your home for years to come.

Some Common Mistakes People Make When Trying to Remove Mantel from Brick Fireplace

Removing a mantel from a brick fireplace can be daunting; if not done correctly, it can damage your fireplace or injury to yourself. Unfortunately, too many people make the same mistakes when attempting this DIY project. One common mistake is using the wrong tools or not having the proper equipment, leading to frustration and wasted time. 

Removing a Mantel 
From a Brick Fireplace

Another pitfall is not taking the necessary precautions to protect the surrounding area or themselves. Taking the time to plan your approach properly and having the right tools will make all the difference in getting the job done quickly and efficiently while avoiding any costly mistakes.

The Potential Costs Involved in Removing a Mantel from A Brick Fireplace

1. Tools and Materials

If you do not have the necessary tools or equipment, this can be a significant cost to consider when removing a mantel from a brick fireplace. Purchasing or renting these items can add up quickly and increase the overall cost of the project.

2. Repairing Damages

As mentioned earlier, there is always a risk of damage when removing a mantel from a brick fireplace. If there are damages to the bricks or surrounding areas, you may need to spend extra money on materials and labor to repair them.

3. Hiring Professionals

If you do not feel comfortable or confident in performing this task yourself, you may choose to hire professionals to remove the mantel for you. This can be an added cost, but it may also provide peace of mind and ensure the job is done correctly.

4. Time and Effort

Removing a mantel from a brick fireplace can be a time-consuming task, especially if you encounter any challenges along the way. It’s important to consider the value of your time and effort when determining the overall cost of this project.

In conclusion, removing a mantel from a brick fireplace requires careful planning, the right tools and equipment, and proper precautions to ensure safety and avoid potential damage. By considering these factors and avoiding common mistakes, you can successfully complete this DIY project while minimizing costs and achieving the desired results.

Alternative Methods for Updating the Look of Your Fireplace Without Removing the Mantel

Updating the look of your fireplace doesn’t always require removing the mantel. There are several ways you can give your fireplace a fresh, new look while leaving the mantel intact:

  1. Painting the Mantel: A fresh coat of paint can completely change the look of your mantel. Choose a color that complements your home’s decor, or go for a bold, contrasting color to make the mantel a focal point.
  2. Adding Decorative Accents: Adorn the mantel with decorative accents to enhance its appearance. Vases, candleholders, picture frames, or seasonal decor are all great choices.
  3. Updating the Surround: Changing the material of the surround can transform the overall look of your fireplace. You can add tiles, stone, or even metal to give it a modern or rustic appearance.
  4. Lighting: Adding lights can create a warm, welcoming ambiance. Consider installing sconces on either side of the mantel or use string lights for a cozy effect.
  5. Cleaning the Bricks: Sometimes, all your fireplace needs is a good cleaning. Use a specialized brick cleaner to remove soot and grime from the bricks. This can help them look new and bright again.

Remember, any changes you make to your fireplace should reflect your personal style and the overall aesthetic of your home. With a little creativity, you can update your fireplace without any major renovations.


Removing a mantel from a brick fireplace might seem daunting, but it’s a manageable task with the right tools and techniques. Before starting, ensure you have the proper safety equipment and clear the area around the fireplace. If your mantel is held in place with screws, remove them first with a drill.

If there’s adhesive, break it apart with a pry bar or reciprocating saw. Once the mantel is loose, remove it carefully and clean up any debris. This guide lets you update your fireplace space and breathe new life into your home. Thanks for reading our post about how to remove mantel from brick fireplace.

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