Hearth Removal: Concrete, Jackhammer, Persistence

The hearth re-do.

Our intention was (6 months ago) to remove the existing mortar bed of the hearth so we could lay a new tile hearth flush with the floor. I’m embarrassed to admit that we haven’t made any progress with this project since last spring. For a reminder of where we left off, read this post.

A quick re-cap: we removed the wood stove and its tile pad, revealing “faux” tiles made from concrete which sat on a mortar bed.


The first layer of concrete was easy to remove with a chisel and hammer, but there was a very stubborn layer of concrete underneath. We went to work on removing it.


We started small. We tried using a cold chisel and a hammer. Didn’t work.


We tried using a wonderbar and a mallet. Didn’t work.


We tried using a crowbar and the back end of a scary ax. Didn’t work.


Finally, we rented a demolition hammer. With this mother of all tools, it took only about 10 minutes to remove a pad of concrete that was 2″ deep and measured 24″ x 70″. Amazing!


To prevent the concrete dust from flying everywhere, we rigged up a little shelter using a ladder, wood, plastic sheeting and clamps. Still, it took longer to clean up the debris than it did to jackhammer it out.


Here’s me chipping away, wishing we would’ve rented this thing 6 months ago.


All done! Next up: installing a new wood stove, setting new hearth tile, and painting the floor.


I’m hoping it won’t be another 6 months before that happens.

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See more of Heidi’s artwork at Old Stuff. New Stories.

10 thoughts on “Hearth Removal: Concrete, Jackhammer, Persistence

  1. Isn’t it amazing when you’ve got the right tool in your hand. We had this dog run in our yard at our hold house. The pad was a mix match of concrete from a bunch of different projects. When we parted with our beloved Buddy, we decided to remove the Kennel and hired someone. I could believe how fast it all came down and got hauled away. Have you already picked out tile? Can’t wait to see how it comes together!

    • Yes, the right tool is the key! Sorry about Buddy, that’s tough to lose your pet. Our cat is such a pain though I can’t wait to lose him. :(

      For the tile, we found a black (charcoal gray) limestone 4×4″ tile. It is similar in color to the floor paint so it should look like a continuous surface. They are almost ready to install the woodstove in the fireplace opening (yay!) so once that is done, we can go ahead and tile, THEN we can paint the floor. (finally!)

      • Thank you for your sympathy for Buddy. We said good bye just before we sold our lake house, so 3 years ago I guess. I wasn’t the first time, but it might have been the last, we’re unsure. It is so darn hard at the end isn’t it?
        Everything you do turns out so nice, no doubt it will look great. I love that you can get wood stoves in such nice colours now too. Sounds like you’re nearing the finish line soon. Almost time to find something new to rip apart ;)

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