Ridiculously huge fireplace mantel - help!

Discussion in 'Carpentry and Woodworking' started by ladybugg1629, Jan 29, 2011.

  1. Jan 29, 2011 #1

    ladybugg1629

    ladybugg1629

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    Hello all, first time posting here :)

    We have a monstrous mantle surrounding the gas fireplace in our house (was here when we bought it). I've never seen anything like it; it's 5 feet high, 6.5 feet wide and almost 3 feet deep! (the insert itself is only 2ft 6in feet high x 3ft 2in wide)

    Needless to say, it takes up way too much space in the room and I would like to know how I would go about removing it, moving the fireplace back to the wall and putting a more 'normal' mantle around it?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Jan 29, 2011 #2

    Arbutus

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    This may not be really helpful, but here it goes. You have to find out how it is attached to the wall and how the pieces are attached to each other. Look for nail holes, screw holes, plugs, etc. Remove any screws and carefully drill out any plugs (you don't want to damage the head of the screw while doing this). Try going along the wall with a small thin pry bar and levering it out to see how well it is attached and how.

    If you can get it 1/4" from the wall, getting in the gap with a reciprocating saw and cutting any fasteners with a bi-metal blade will loosen it and maybe even remove it completely.

    Keep in mind that the person who put it in might not have intended it to come out. You may have to destroy it and damage the wall to remove it.

    Good Luck.
     
  3. Jan 29, 2011 #3

    joecaption

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    With out a picture it's near impossible to do anything but guess on this one.
     
  4. Jan 29, 2011 #4

    ladybugg1629

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    Here are a couple of pictures; one of the front and one of the side:


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Jan 30, 2011 #5

    joecaption

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    It would have looked fine it they would have laid it out differant and not have been so simplistic when building it. A flat bar and a hammer and it should all come off but have a plan on what you want to replace it with before starting because there's going to be some wall damage.
    This a picture of one we buiult for about $100.00 worth of materials. Everthing was primed and sealed before cutting anything and only took about 1-1/2 hours to build. Cabinet grade plywood, 1 X 4's of clear pine, a piece of crown moulding, cap moulding and for the top we used plywood with a a piece of untreated lattice on the edges to make it look thicker.
    Without a hearth it also looks odd.

    PICT0054.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2011
  6. Jan 30, 2011 #6

    oldognewtrick

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    Joe, thats a nice looking surround, but the problem the op has is the firebox is not set in the wall. It looks like the box was just set against the wall and a surround created, thus it sets in the room and takes up a lot of otherwise usable space.
     
  7. Jan 31, 2011 #7

    nealtw

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    Is this a gas fireplace venting out the wall?
     
  8. Jan 31, 2011 #8

    ladybugg1629

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    That's exactly the issue...I would love to have something similar to Joe's picture, that's lovely!

    Yes, it is.
     
  9. Jan 31, 2011 #9

    nealtw

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    The box was built deep so the old big tv would sit on top of it. The insert should fit in a box that is only 18" deep. The place to start is disconnect the gas and thermastat. I would talk to people in your area that sell inserts, they will put you intouch with a gas fitter and give you ideas on what to build. when your done you just tile the floor infront like a harth.
     
  10. Jan 31, 2011 #10

    ladybugg1629

    ladybugg1629

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    Thanks - that gives me a starting point - to talk to a gas fitter....before I start ripping the thing apart!

    I can't imagine putting a tv up there - I think you'd have a sore neck in short order - not to mention that this thing takes up so much room that you can't really fit a couch in here!

    Thanks everyone for all the replies - great forum here!
     
  11. Feb 3, 2011 #11

    frozenstar

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    That sucks. It really takes a lot of space compare to what joe posted. Hope you can fix that soon.
     
  12. Feb 7, 2011 #12

    PatDoody

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    honestly the old one is kind of ugly and isn't going to have much resale value. I would just "rip" it out... literally, with no regard to saving it... Can the insert be removed from the mantle beforehand? there should be a gas shut off valve somewhere behind it. just make sure you close that valve before disconnecting the gas line from the insert. Don't be scared if you hear a little hiss when you first break the connection in the line as there will still be a small amount of gas in there. Nothing to worry about tho. You can probably bet on having to repair the dry wall around it to some level of extent.
     
  13. Feb 8, 2011 #13

    designer-fixit

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    hello and welcome....arbutus is right in telling you what your first step should be. sooooo do you live in a mansion because that is the only place that i have ever seen something that huge.heheheheh. maybe you could knock out a wall and just make the room bigger to fit the fire place. it actually sound like a very neat feature to have in a home. might be a silly question but can you list the materials that your piece is made out of. it will make a huge difference on how to remove it and what your tools of choice should be.
     
  14. Feb 8, 2011 #14

    nealtw

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    When you start this job, keep in mind that in order to disconnect the vent at the back' you will have to break in one side to get behind it and these things come with two upside down "V" out of metal on top right at the front. They are there to make sure the framing wood is kept away. Sometimes they are screwed in from inside or they may be just slipped into notches. If you can't clear them from inside you will need to remove the first row of tile above the unit. Hopefully this thing has just been covered with drywall.
     

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