A seamless restoration: Fireplace Removal from 1870’s Edinburgh
This fireplace removal was our complete service, including matching the period skirting with an exact match of wood machined to the same size and profile using pieces of the original as profiles. This is, without doubt, a preferred option with period properties as the original skirting type will be impossible to buy “off the shelf.”
Undoubtedly, direct replication stands as the preferred choice during period property restoration, considering you can not buy the original skirting type anywhere.
To ensure authenticity, we meticulously machined the historic wood components to match the size and profile of the original pieces, as finding ready-made substitutes for period skirting ruins the charm of your space.
Why our client requested this Victorian Edinburgh fireplace removal
The fireplace was removed to create much-needed space in a smallish bedroom as it no longer served any useful purpose and, to some extent, dominated the room, being large for the space whilst also restricting the layout as a single bedroom.
Period property fireplace challenge
The wooden surround was of some age, although the fire itself wasn’t; this led us to believe that part of the surround had been removed and then refitted with a new fire at some time in the recent past. The tiles seemed to have been reused in the new fire as they were the same as the hearth, which appeared to be the original. Somewhat of a mystery, this is not that unusual; however, most older fireplaces will throw up a few surprises. It just makes things a bit more interesting!
How we solved it
The first part of the process was to remove a small section of skirting; this was then sent off for the machining of the new skirting to be carried out. This was done four weeks before the actual start date to ensure it was to hand when starting the work.
To remove the surround, it had to be taken out in one piece as the customer had other plans for it. To do this, we removed all the plasterwork around it to access its fixings. From that point on, the job was reasonably straightforward. We then framed the insert with wood and sheeted the whole area with plasterboard. The surround was also embedded into the adjoining wall; this only required removing a small section and replastering.
Why this matters
The application of Universal Renovation Plaster, skillfully “floated” to match the original wall’s texture, underscored our commitment to using high-quality materials. Universal plaster is our preferred product for fireplace removals due to its high strength and excellent workability when “floating” is required.
Getting to work:
The hearth was now at a lower level than the floorboards due to the removal of the tiles. This was primed with an appropriate solution and returned to the same level with a self-leveling compound, which sets to a rock-hard smooth finish. Most people paint this black, which is innkeeping to most period properties.
The final stage was to fit the new skirting, and in this case, a new piece of quarter bead. This was very straightforward as it was only a single-section skirting. Most period skirtings that we have machined are box skirtings that are in two or more pieces, not to mention the underlying framework.
Elegance is critical in period property restoration.
Wrapping up the fireplace removal and restoration
The customers were delighted with the result and could now utilize the room to its full potential.