How to Remove a Floating Mantel

A floating mantel can be unsightly and make your room feel smaller. In this blog post, we will go over how to remove a floating mantel. First, purchase some heavy-duty wall anchors from the hardware store. Then, after measuring where the studs are in the wall, drill holes for each anchor into one side of the wall at least four inches away from any electrical outlets or other important fixtures.

How to Remove a Floating Mantel

Place them every 24 inches apart vertically on either side of where you want to place your new mantle against. Next, grab an assistant and start removing pieces of drywall, so there is enough space for two people to work together comfortably behind it with enough space left for all your tools and

Materials You Needed

  • Chisel
  • Mallet
  • Pry Bar
  • Hammer
  • Utility knife
  • Screwdriver

Steps to Follow on How to Remove a Floating Mantel

Step One: Determine Type of Mantle

You need to know whether the fireplace mantel is “floating” or not. If it has no legs, then it is definitely a floating mantle, but if there are legs supporting the mantle, you will have to determine what type of support those legs have. A simple test to find out if they’re resting on the floor or if they’re attached to a wall is this: try to shake the mantle.

If it moves, then the legs are just resting on the floor, and you can proceed with removing it from above. If there are no visible attachments (screws etc.), try tapping around the mantle. If you hear an echo of hollow wood, then there are likely screws in the mantle. If this is the case, you should use a stud-finder to find where they might be located.

Step Two: Locate Studs

Try using a stud-finder to locate the studs in the wall. If they’re behind the mantle, you will want to poke a hole through one side of it and then carefully cut around where you think the stud might be. Then proceed with removing it from above.

Using a Stud-finder to Locate the Studs in the Wall

Step Three: Proceed with Removal

Use a hammer to remove the mantle. You may need to adjust your swing so that you can control how it lands on the floor, but do not worry about damaging the mantle at this point since you are most likely going to be disposing of it anyway. Remove any screws or nails that might be holding it to the wall.

Step Four: Proceed to Installation of Replacement Mantle

Once you remove the old mantle, you can install your new one (if they’re different). You will most likely want it to be an “insert” type instead of a floating one since they are less likely to become damaged and not functional.

After Removing the Old Mantle, You Can Install Your New One

Step Five: Enjoy Your Newly Installed Mantle

You should now have a functioning, new mantle! Congratulations. Now you can use your fireplace again. And don’t forget to check out other tutorials on the rest of our blog too. Thanks for reading How to Remove a Floating Mantel.

When You Should Remove a Floating Mantel

While many people are clinging to their old fireplaces in the current economy, some houses don’t have them anymore. Perhaps they never had them when built, or maybe they were ripped out in a previous renovation. If you’re selling your house and want that extra selling point of having a fireplace, but there’s no fireplace there.

The good news is that you don’t need to install a very expensive and probably old-fashioned fireplace just for the sake of it. Instead, all you have to do is remove the mantel, and voila – instant open space!

Before You Remove a Floating Mantel

If you’re contemplating doing this project yourself, you should look at hiring a professional. Unless you know what you’re doing, which is highly unlikely, there’s no way to get around working with potentially dangerous chemicals like caustic soda and putty.

However, if you’re determined to do the work yourself, you should read the following before knocking out that mantel. First, look for any nails or screws holding the mantel in place. If they’re only glued, then you should be able to knock them out with a hammer and chisel when you get there.

However, if there are screws in the way, you’ll need to use a drill to get them out. Beware of lead-based paints if you have an old mantel. The paint may be extremely flaky, especially around the edge where it meets the wall, which means there’s likely to be lots of dust when you start chipping away at it. If you’re not wearing a mask and full protective gear or you cough, this could become extremely dangerous.


The floating mantel is a beautiful architectural detail, but if you want to remove it for any reason – such as moving the furniture around or upgrading your home décor – some steps can be taken before removing it.

To ensure the wall’s stability and avoid damage to other surfaces in the room, put up sheetrock on either side of where the mantel will go back into place once removed. Once this has been done, use wood blocks placed at every three feet to support each end of the mantle while taking out screws one by one from behind with a drill/driver attachment until all have been loosened enough for removal.

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