Category Archives: Cast Stone Fireplace Surrounds

Increase the value of your home with stone fireplace surrounds from Old World Stoneworks, manufacturers of cast stone fireplace mantels, surrounds, and cast stone range hoods.

Fireplace Mantels

How to Remove a Fireplace Mantel: A Step-by-Step Guide

Many homeowners are interested in updating or replacing their fireplace mantels to enhance the aesthetic appeal of their home’s interior. But knowing how to remove a fireplace mantel or surround in order to replace it can be tricky, if you’re not sure what you’re doing.

The guide below gives tips on how to remove a fireplace mantel properly and safely, courtesy of Old World Stoneworks, a leading provider of high-quality cast stone mantels and surrounds.

Preparing for Removal: Safety and Tools Required

Before you start, be sure you have the right tools you need to remove and replace a surround. Here’s what you should have on hand:

  • A plastic sheet or tarp
  • A fireplace covering
  • A cordless power drill
  • A masonry chisel and hammer
  • A pry bar
  • A rubber hammer
  • A putty knife
  • A Phillips head screwdriver

Depending on your situation, you may not use all of these tools, but it’s still wise to have them at your disposal to make things go as smoothly as possible.

If you’re working on projects like mantel removals and replacements, protect yourself with the correct safety gear. Wear safety goggles, gloves, and a mask to protect your hands and keep debris out of your eyes, face and lungs.

Use the tarp to protect the floor and anything else in the work area from debris as well.

Essential Steps for Removing Fireplace Mantels

With the right tools in place, your next step is to identify the material you’re working with, as that will determine how you approach your fireplace surround removal. Some materials, like wood, are relatively easy to remove, while others, like metal, require a greater effort. Specific mantel materials are covered below, but some of the steps will be the same regardless of the composition of your mantel.

Removing a simple mantel shelf is relatively easy. Removing a surround mantel, which encases the fireplace on its top and both sides, will be more complicated. Whatever the mantel is attached to will also influence how challenging it will be to remove; mantels attached to brick may be more difficult to work with while those attached to drywall are often much simpler to remove.

By now, you’re ready to start removing your fireplace mantel. If you have a shelf mantel, take these steps:

  • Loosen the corbel braces (if present)
  • Remove the fasteners with a power drill or screwdriver
  • Remove the braces
  • Gently loosen the mantel and remove it

Those with surround mantels will follow a similar process, with some notable differences:

  • Loosen the sides of the mantel with a pry bar and mallet
  • Remove the fasteners with a screwdriver or power drill
  • Gently loosen and remove the mantel

How to Remove a Mantel from a Brick Fireplace

Need to know how to remove a mantel from a brick fireplace? Doing so will require the same heavy-duty protective gear along with a power drill and a pry bar. Start by removing the fasteners to the attachments, if any, with your power drill. Then, use the pry bar, tapping it with a hammer, to separate the mantel from the brick. Gently lift the mantel and remove any adhesive using a putty knife.

How to Remove a Stone Fireplace Surround

Want to know how to remove a stone fireplace surround? The steps are somewhat similar to those required to remove a mantel from a brick fireplace. You’ll still want your power drill handy, but you’ll instead drill holes directly into the stone. Then, you’ll use a hammer and chisel to chip it off in pieces. It’s a dustier, messier process, so protective gear is once again vital. Additionally, take extra caution with the wall behind the fireplace mantel, as stone surround removal methods can easily damage it.

Selecting Your New Fireplace Mantel

Of course, before you replace your fireplace surround, you will want to determine what you will replace it with. There are several elements to consider when selecting your new mantel.

Of course, aesthetic appeal is probably the primary consideration. The cast stone mantel options available at Old World Stoneworks come in a wide variety, including more than 40 mantel designs that can accompany any decor style, from traditional to transitional.

These designs come in three colors, multiple sizes, and additional options to fit specific types of hearths. If you need something different, special orders are also available!

Installation Tips for a Seamless Mantel Replacement

The most important tip for a suitable mantel replacement is to not underestimate the difference a professional installation makes. Calling a professional ensures your mantel is beautifully installed and adequately secured, and it is the best way to guarantee you’ll have little to no issues with your mantel down the line.

Maintaining Your Fireplace Mantel’s Splendor

In addition to learning how to remove mantel from fireplaces, it’s important to know how to maintain your new one. First of all, stone fireplaces benefit immensely from proper sealing because it greatly enhances their look and longevity. Make sure you get the right kind of sealer for the material your fireplace is made of!

Start by cleaning your fireplace with a mild soap and water. Let it dry for around 24 hours, then apply the sealer using a foam-tip applicator. Focus on applying an even coat, potentially adding a second coat for more protection.

Once it’s sealed properly, you can use soap and water to clean your fireplace, only bringing out the sealer again if you notice any wear.

Ultimately, keeping up with your fireplace’s maintenance can help prevent efflorescence and other stains that could impact its appearance.

Recap: Transforming Your Fireplace With a New Mantel

Ensure you have all the tools you need to safely remove your mantel, follow the steps outlined above (adjusting them as needed), and don’t hesitate to reach out for professional assistance. When you’re ready to purchase your new cast stone mantel, get professional help with installation, then follow the maintenance tips above to keep your investment looking great for years.

Discover your ideal fireplace mantel with Old World Stoneworks — Contact Us Today!

Berkley with Overmantel 9 design.

Cast Stone Fireplace Overmantels That Wow

Incorporating a cast stone fireplace overmantel is the perfect way to add both visual interest and height to your living space. With its rich history and a wide variety of designs we offer, adding an overmantel to your cast stone fireplace is sure to be the focal point of your home that will make everyone stop and say “wow!”.

Here are 4 cast stone fireplace overmantel designs that are guaranteed to make a grand statement. Continue reading

European Cast Stone Fireplace Mantel Design Manchester

European Designs: Cast Stone Fireplace Mantels

At Old World Stoneworks, the names of our cast stone fireplace mantels are highly thought out because of the design inspiration in which they came from. When creating these beautiful pieces of work, we not only strive to make them look luxurious but to also transport you into another world.  

European designs for cast stone fireplace mantels can be described as many elements beautifully blended together. It starts with the rich historical bones of European elegance, fused with the modern and sharp-edged details that we love today.

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Mid Century modern design cast stone fireplace mantel Conrad

3 Inspiring Mid-Century Modern Fireplace & Mantel Designs

Adding a mid-century modern fireplace and mantel is a simple way to achieve the undeniable timeless appeal of mid-century modern design into your home. Mid-century modern design is one that fully encompasses a sleek and simple appearance and doesn’t lack in luxury feel.

At Old World Stoneworks, our main focus is on creating inviting living spaces that are infused with cast stone elements that will never dull. Here are three inspiring designs that can help you incorporate the timeless and refined mid-century modern fireplace mantel design into your home:

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Best Practices for Building Fires in Your Fireplace

Best Practices for Building Fires in Your Fireplace

Fires are cozy, welcoming, and remind many of us of holidays and beloved family traditions. But if built improperly, they can also be dangerous. As we head into fall, this week we’ll review best practices for building a safe and lovely fire in your wood-burning fireplace. Continue reading


How to Prep Your Fireplace for the First Fire of the Season: Fireplace Tips

At Old World Stoneworks, we’re excited about lighting that first fire of the season. But because we’re professionals, we know the importance of slowing down and make sure our fireplace is properly prepped before igniting any logs. Here is how to prep your fireplace for the first fire of the season. Continue reading

family style dinner

January is National Sunday Supper Month

Back when the world moved at a slower pace, Sundays were a day of rest, capped off with a family meal. Since Sunday is a school/work night, this meal often served as a combination of lunch and dinner and took place in the late afternoon. It was a time when different generations of family and friends sat together, sharing food, stories, jokes, and wisdom. Continue reading

Gatwick cast stone fireplace mantel

Choosing the Right Color for Your Mantel

Most people have probably never considered the finer differences between light, neutral colors like buff and cream. This is usually the domain of interior decorators, wedding dress designers, and stationers. But if you’re planning home improvements without the help of a designer, these can be surprisingly important color distinctions. Continue reading


Hanukkah Fire Traditions

Hanukkah, the eight-day Jewish festival of lights, starts December 12 this year. Since Hanukkah has so many fascinating connections to fire – and at Old World Stoneworks, fire is our specialty – this week we’ll delve into this cultural and religious celebration. Continue reading

Mandalay Palace

Places behind the names: Mandalay

We love to name our beautiful cast stone mantels after the world’s great cities. This week we’ll explore Mandalay, Burma, for which our Mandalay mantel is named. This busy Asian city has played an important part in Burma’s history since its founding as a royal capital in 1857. With a current population of 1.2 million people, it’s now Burma’s second largest city and a center for business, education and health. Continue reading

braunschweig's castle square

Places Behind the Names: The Brunswick

While “Brunswick” sounds very British, it’s the English spelling of Braunschweig, an old German city. Nowadays, towns called Brunswick have sprouted in many corners of the globe. You may have heard of a Brunswick in the US, Canada, the UK, New Zealand, Australia or even Chile. But as we examine the place behind our Brunswick Cast Stone Fireplace Mantel, we’re going back to the original town in Germany. Continue reading

color options

Old World Stoneworks Introduces New Color Option

If you’re scrolling through our product offerings, pondering your dream mantel, you’ll notice something new: an additional color choice. At Old World Stoneworks, we value the classic and traditional as it relates to making your home transcend the ordinary. In service of that mission, we have decided to add a new, dazzling white color option for our products. Continue reading