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I'm hoping someone can answer my question please.

The plaster needs replacing in our living room so I'm going to knock it all off. I'm then going to board it. My question is, around the fireplace where the new fire is going to go in, do I need to use a fireproof plasterboard or will normal just be okay?

Thanks Smile

i would use a cement based non asbestos board for any part touching a fireplace
they come in the same thicknesses as plaster boards so setting the level is ok

depending on the size of fireplace one or two should do it

assuming the walls are flat enough for glue spots rather than battens keep the glue a few inches away from the edges to the fireplace and backfill the gaps with a fine sand, cement and lime mortar to seal around the edges.
with battens you need more mortar and perhaps expanded metal edging strips pushed into the gap to hold it in place.

re cutting the stuff i use a sawsall but a hardpoint hand saw will cut it although it may be the last job it does.
angle grinder will work but even with a diamond disk there is a lot of nasty dust.

the alternative is to deep render the area with a cement/lime mortar (and additive layers to avoid tar and salt bleed from the bricks) and then finish it with a nice smooth plaster skim

you might find you have depth issues re doorways windows etc, these are best sorted at the planning stage.

why is the plaster knackered?
how deep is it now?
does all of it need off or is some ok or ok enough to skim over?
skimming is a cheap and easy option for cosmetic damage but some stuff needs a more radical approach.

different things need different remedies.

Thanks for all that DPack. Smile

It's currently not boarded but is the original plaster I guess from when it was first built (1930's) and a lot of the walls sound hollow when tapped. Also a lot of it is looking very uneven, so thought it a good time to replace it.

hollow sound is probably the deep and surface plaster separating from the brick/blockwork

without seeing it up close it is hard to know what might be best.

stripping back to masonry, a deep render and a nice surface with all the assorted edged and carpentry adjustments is best but often the most expensive option.
tis really cheap if you are skilled at deep plastering and have a week or so per room

spot stick boards on the outside of the existing+ adjust door linings architraves etc is a bodge but can look ok so long as there are no serious underlying problems such as damp.

strip and either spot stick or batten boards and skim is a option many folk use for refurbishing dodgy plaster.

any sign of damp?

There is no damp or cracking of the plaster.

We are wanting to paint the walls but of course the top layer is not suitable, that along with the hollow sound is why we decided to remove it all and board with dot and dab.

I'm guessing that exposed brick is the wrong aesthetic?

how easy that will be depends on the brick/block work.

if it is fairly flat it is fairly easy

if the walls are well wonky it can take a bit of packing with shims or battens to give a flat plane of boards.
ie spirit level and string(laser) until you have a decent support to fix the boards to.

a proper messy wall (bomb damage, subsidence etc etc or it was thrown up after a good breakfast in the pub and the plasterers made it look ok) can need 2 x3 timber, a power plane, shims, a decent sds drill + nail plugs(frame fixings) and quite a bit of work to get a flat surface from masonry with a few inches of variation from flat.

if your walls are similar to the one you filled in the doorway, ie block on the inside and fairly flat dot and spot with a few shims should work and keep to the original depth.

that said if it is downstairs i would deep render in a waterproofed cement mortar(or breathable lime mortar) and skim on top.

deep render is not really a diy job unless you have learnt it as a trade in the past and you are still at Olympic standard fitness

just getting the correct mix is quite an art as well as a science and making stick and making it flat is quite skilled Wink

a good spread team should be able to do a normal domestic room for a grand or so

hack off is another skill , i use a solid but lightish breaker with a standard hex chisel if you get it right in use it sharpens to an asymmetrical edge that slides between render and masonry and pushes it off in sheets

it needs a sharp edge so if it arrives blunt grind it

work down and across in sections
once you are above barrow ht peel it off into a barrow if you can, sheets are easier than bits to clean up

bandstands or a platform are well useful, steps and a breaker is moody, ladder is ok if you are good at it otherwise it is well bad.

a diy strip might save a bit of cash but not much after breaker hire /muck away etc

if some plaster is ok it is possible to leave the good stuff, hack and render the dodgy bits and match to the existing level before a thin skim to give a decent surface

if possible work to the original surface cos then the doors etc still fit

im sorry not to be more useful but plastering advice is a bit tricky to do by remote control
the general principles above might help you work out what is the best next move.

ps hollow sounding bits can often be made to fall off by giving them a few whacks at 90 degrees with a hammer and lever em off with a crook end wrecking bar.
the bigger the bits the easier the job
the last one i did i got quite a lot of slabs but sometimes it comes of in little bits which need shovelling

ok if you are sure you want to do a proper job on this room pop off the hollow sounding bits and see what the underlying structure might be like seems a sensible opening move.

it would be daft to do a full refurbish if a clever repair will do a decent job.
Mistress Rose

If it is brickwork and anything like our first house (inside walls put up after a good lunch at the pub as Dpack has suggested) brick would be 'interesting' to say the least. All sorts of half bricks, burnt ones, different levels etc. Slim.

I would also agree that just removing and repairing any bad spots is a good idea. Another way to minimise cost and trouble is to put up a suitable paper and paint that. You used to be able to get woodchip paper, which was followed by Angalypta, and may well have been followed by something else. Hides a multitude of sins and can be repainted any number of times.

Slim, brick isn't what Mrs C wants, she wants a nice, smooth wall.

DPack, thank you for all that. Time to sit and have a think and chat to the good lady wife. Things are never as straight forward as you think are they?

MR, it's got some painted blown vinyl up at the moment and you can still see the unevenness. Woodchip, hmmmmm, that's the devils wallpaper. Twisted Evil

strip the paper
soak, soak again and then soak some more. keep doing that until it peels off in sheets, scraping is no fun and that way there is minimum scraping. a sprayer and warm water with a dab of sugar soap or washing up liquid is pretty easy if you persist with repeated sprayings until it is loose.

see what the plaster is like, it might be better than expected.

This sounds like the kind of project that spirals out of control and eventually ends marriages. Just hold steady at the exposed brick stage, the next Mrs. C might prefer it!
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