Brick fireplace with the 3 protruding bricks instead of a mantle

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How can we remove the bricks and add a mantle? The bricks are evenly spaced at different heights - low, medium and high. They are not very big and don't hold anything, making it impossible to decorate the fireplace. I plan to paint the brick and fireplace surround.
q replacing protruding fireplace bricks with a mantle, concrete masonry, fireplaces mantels, how to, You can see the highest one in this pic
You can see the highest one in this pic.
q replacing protruding fireplace bricks with a mantle, concrete masonry, fireplaces mantels, how to, You can see the lowest one in this pic
You can see the lowest one in this pic.
q replacing protruding fireplace bricks with a mantle, concrete masonry, fireplaces mantels, how to, Another one of the highest one
Another one of the highest one.
  25 answers
  • Fab and Pretty Fab and Pretty on Feb 11, 2015
    Have you thought of mounting a chunky wood mantel on and at the height of the lowest one? (straight across, you'll need another anchor at the other end)This would allow you to use that wooden mantel for visual display and just leave the other 2 as 'texture' elements, don't use them for display...

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    • Lisa Hall Lisa Hall on Feb 11, 2015
      After your reply, I visited that idea. The thing is I want to put a beautiful mirror I have in the center of the mantel to add light to the room. I'm trying to think if there is anything that would look right at that top right brick with the mirror to cover it. You have awesome ideas and have definitely got me thinking. Thanks so much for your input.

  • Martha Martha on Feb 11, 2015
    Donna, that's the same thing I was going to suggest.

  • ...well...all of us have the same idea ! lol. I was going to suggest that also ! If you want to update your brass ( some people like the brass) , its possible . Again, a matter of personal preference. :)

  • Nivasi Frankly-Speaks Nivasi Frankly-Speaks on Feb 12, 2015
    once removed do you have brick to match the fireplace? if so, take a chisel and knock them out, add the new brick (matching if possible) and mount whatever mantel you want

  • Marlene Haigh Marlene Haigh on Feb 12, 2015
    I would make thick wooden shelves longer than the protruding brick and mount them over the top of the brick. this would give you 3 mantels and carry your eye across the room.

  • Country Design Home Country Design Home on Feb 12, 2015
    Hi Lisa! If you are planning on painting the brick anyway, then I would chisel those bricks out and replace them with ones that are flush with the others. Then paint the whole brick wall and add the chunky wood mantel.

    • Martin Conyard Martin Conyard on Apr 20, 2017
      If you are able to remove the protruding bricks without breaking them, using an angle grinder, it should be possible to cut each of them into two pieces that you can use to plug the holes. It will take a little longer to remove them without damaging them but if you are unable to find a stockist for matching ones, this might be the answer to the problem. 😉👍

  • Barrett etc Barrett etc on Feb 12, 2015
    we had that in an old house of ours. my husband hit them with a sledge hammer and they broke right off.

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    • Tina Ungerank Tina Ungerank on Sep 25, 2015
      I removed same from a fireplace with sledge hammer tapped easily off . Luckily mine was same texture and colors underneath .Good luck!

  • Barrett etc Barrett etc on Feb 12, 2015
    we painted the bricks a HIGH GLOSS white afterwards, and mounted a mantel!

  • Dale Dale on Feb 12, 2015
    I too was gonna suggest a sledge hammer.

  • Fran Fran on Feb 12, 2015
    I too have those dreaded 3 bricks sticking out on my fireplace and have been pondering how to get rid of them and put on a mantle! On the upside, I hang decorated garland over them at Christmas and it does look great. I hope you will post your end result when you do resolve this.

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    • Tina Ungerank Tina Ungerank on Sep 25, 2015
      Your welcome. :)

  • Mag1120776 Mag1120776 on Feb 12, 2015
    Craft a mantle with a cut-out to cover the lowest brick shelf. Then Rather than one large mirror hang different sizes.

  • Martha Martha on Feb 12, 2015
    Instead of knocking the bricks out, it may be possible to saw them off pretty much even with the other bricks, using a masonry saw of some type. You might check with a mason or at a masonry store.

  • LaMiya Morrill LaMiya Morrill on Feb 12, 2015
    Masonry saw or put a masonry blade on a reciprocating saw that has variable speed. There are also scoring options that will allow the brick to break cleanly when hit. Talk to a brick mason to get the best option

  • Kate Sullivan Kate Sullivan on Feb 12, 2015
    Perhaps build a mantle in the shape of a box, without a back. Make it tall enough to cover the highest and lowest bricks, and as wide as the fireplace (and as deep as you want the mantle to be). Then attach to the bricks.

  • Myrna Engle Myrna Engle on Feb 12, 2015
    Knock them out with a chisel. I believe there is just another brick behind it. If that one is set deeply then chisel it out also. Then reset your brick flush. Then your are ready to move on. It will work.

  • Lisa Hall Lisa Hall on Feb 12, 2015
    Thank you all so much for all the wonderful ideas and I'm definitely still open to any other suggestions. Y'all are awesome!!!

    • B. Enne B. Enne on Jul 14, 2015
      @Lisa Hall I have that on my angel stone fireplace. On HGTV or CityLine (Canada), they said to use a cold chisel and hammer. I plan on trying it, but in my case the stones are rough and irregular, so it doesn't matter if they are not perfectly smooth. I was told to go slow and steady...not a big whack to prevent damage to the mortar.

  • Chris Sabol Chris Sabol on Feb 13, 2015
    I would chisel the bricks out, see how they are made to stand out like that, if possible, set them in deep like the rest. Or if they can't be set in, have them cut by a mason to fit and put them back in the hole.

  • Linda Linda on Jul 14, 2015
    Before you do anything, take the gold door out spray paint it black and put it back. The room has a lot of character , but need some updating, sprucing up to bring about it's charm.

  • Fran Fran on Jul 15, 2015
    Lisa Hall - did you ever get around to painting the fireplace? I'd love to see a finished picture.

  • Wanda sinnema Wanda sinnema on Nov 13, 2015
    I'm dealing with a fireplace issue myself.. Instead of removing the 3 brick how about making ,making a wood box to slide over them.. a wider and bigger size. a floating shelf.. those bricks are to narrow to decorate very much. My mantle i also narrow brick.. I am planning on doing that with mine-hopefully very soon.

  • MN Mom MN Mom on Jan 24, 2016
    That's definitely a sign of the era in which the house was built. I'd leave the bricks and deal with the brass surround instead. Or convert it to gas if it hasn't been already.

  • Elaine Elaine on Mar 21, 2016
    This is very common for the vintage of the house. Like others have said, I'd inquire about reducing the size of the bricks or just ignore them (I don't find them that offensive!) and place a decorative iron item right above the screen. The only thing that, I find, negative is the brass. Once you bring that up to date, I think you'll be much happier.

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    • Elaine Elaine on Mar 21, 2016
      Glad that I helped, Lisa! (Love decor questions!) As I said, I don't find your bricks a big deal - probably goes with other little things that were done in a house the age of yours. My daughter and son in law have a mid century (I would guess) home and some may not like the brick on their fireplace that stands between the living & dining area but to me (and them, of course) it suits the vintage of the home.

  • Jackie Byrd Jackie Byrd on Oct 03, 2016
    Hey, Lisa, give us an update please. What did you do?

  • Terie Kay Terie Kay on Apr 20, 2017
    Cut the brick flush, do away with the detail altogether. Or, use decorative garden rope to hang pretty planters at varrying levels. This will as a splash of color, keep the rustic feel and instead of fighting y the fireplace, "embrace" it. "Become One with the fireplace."

  • Terie Kay Terie Kay on Aug 27, 2017
    An emory board.
    Call a mason, for heavens sake or a tile guy. I can't since all your problems! LOL