How Do You Get Pavers Out? (Explained)

Removing sand-set pavers is a messy, tedious job. If you don’t have the help of professionals, it can be quite difficult to remove them without damaging the yard, or yourself. 

Proper installation is key to ensuring the longevity and stability of your pavers.
Adding new pavers to an existing patio or walkway can be a great way to update the look of your outdoor space.
Rectangle pavers are a versatile and popular option for patios, walkways, and driveways.
Looking to lay pavers over brick? Follow the right steps for a successful installation.
DIY paver decks can transform your outdoor space into a beautiful oasis.
Further reading and expert guides are available to help you with paver installation, removal, and replacement.

You’ll need a few different tools and materials to get started with this project; here are some tips for removing pavers from your lawn:

Remove Pavers By Hand

Use a chisel and hammer to break up the pavers. Work from one side of the area to remove each paver.

Remove pavers by hand by using a pry bar to gently pry off any stubborn pieces that do not come up easily. Once you have removed most of the pavers, use a shovel to dig out any remaining ones or dirt that you may have left behind when removing them. 

How Do You Get Pavers Out? (Explained)

Do not use your hands! If some of the tines on your rake become bent during this process, replace them with new ones before continuing with your project so that they will be strong enough for future tasks without breaking again.

Power Wash The Pavers

The first thing you should do is power wash your pavers. It’s easy, and it’ll help you get rid of the dirt and grime that has settled into the cracks between them. 

You can use a pressure washer with a high-pressure nozzle to clean out any loose sand or gravel from between the pavers, too. If you have an electric power washer, be careful not to push too hard on any single area as this may cause damage to your paver installation.

Break Up The Pavers With A Hammer Drill

To break up the pavers, use a hammer drill and a 3/8″, 1/2″ or 1/4″ masonry bit. If you have the space and don’t mind the noise, it’s worth renting or borrowing one of these tools from your local hardware store. If not, you can rent them at Home Depot (for example).

With the 3/8″ bit, set the depth between 2-3″. Aim for breaking up any concrete chunks and getting down to dirt or gravel as much as possible. 

The smaller bits will do some damage to your soil, so be sure to cover it with plastic sheeting before drilling into it if possible.

Use a 1/2″ bit if there are bigger chunks of concrete than 2-3″, but less than 4″. This will allow you more room for error when drilling through larger pieces without damaging too much of your soil beneath them.

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Use A Pry Bar And Sledgehammer To Remove The Pavers

In order to remove the pavers, you’ll need a sledgehammer and pry bar. With the sledgehammer, break apart any pavers that have been cemented in place. If they are too hard to break with a single strike, try hitting them multiple times until they come loose.

You should also use your pry bar to lift up any loose pieces of concrete that may be under the pavers so that you can remove them more easily later on. 

Avoid using too much force when lifting these pieces as this could damage the concrete below or even cause it to crack and crumble away from its surrounding area

Remove The Broken Pieces With A Shovel

Remove the broken pieces with a shovel: Use a shovel to remove any remaining pavers and dirt or gravel that was beneath them.

Remove sand or larger gravel: If you have sand or other large aggregates, use the back of your hand to sweep it off the surface of your driveway into a pile on one side.

Make sure there’s no more loose pavers left behind: Check to see whether any small pavers are still left in their original position. If so, carefully remove them by hand using pliers or another tool that won’t damage your driveway.

“Looking to lay pavers over brick? Our guide on how do you lay pavers over brick, explained can help. From preparing the surface to laying the pavers, we provide detailed instructions and tips to ensure a successful installation.”

Rent An Electric Chisel To Remove The Pavers

If you don’t have the right tools for removing pavers, renting an electric chisel is a good option. Electric chisels are not as powerful as gas chisels, but they do provide more control and safety than a hammer drill.

Pull Up The Pavers With A Bobcat

If you’re lucky, your pavers are sitting on top of concrete. If they are, and you have access to a Bobcat (a large vehicle used for construction and demolition), then this is the best way to get them out.

The process for removing pavers with a Bobcat is simple:

Rent the machine. They’re expensive but can be rented from most equipment rental places or dealerships. You’ll usually need a minimum of two days’ notice and proof of insurance coverage in case anything goes wrong—but with some luck and patience, it’ll pay off!

Pull up each paver individually using the front-end loader attachment on top of your bobcat’s cab (the bucket). This takes time but is an effective method that minimizes damage to existing landscaping while also making sure that all dirt underneath gets removed as well.

“Rectangle pavers are a versatile and popular option for patios, walkways, and driveways. Our guide on how to install rectangle pavers, explained provides step-by-step instructions and tips to help you achieve a professional-looking installation.”

Use An Angle Grinder To Cut The Paver

Use an angle grinder to cut the paver. To use this method, you’ll need an angle grinder with a diamond blade and a lever. For safety reasons, make sure you are wearing safety glasses and gloves when using the tool.

Place the pavers on a flat surface where the paver can be easily reached from all sides. It is best to do this in an area that has good lighting so you can see what you are doing while working with your tools.

With one hand holding onto your angle grinder, place it against one end of the paver and begin rotating in small circles until it starts cutting through it like butter!

Use A Leaf Blower To Remove Debris From Between Sand-Set Pavers

If you’re working with sand-set pavers, you can use a leaf blower to remove debris from between them. You will also want to use a leaf blower to clean up the area in and around your paver installation.

Doing so will ensure that all of your new pavers are installed correctly and properly, which means there won’t be any problems with the stability or appearance of your new patio or walkway!

“Adding new pavers to an existing patio or walkway can be a great way to update the look of your outdoor space. Check out our guide on how to add new pavers to existing pavers for tips and tricks on blending new pavers with the existing ones for a seamless look.”

Use A Power Washer To Clean Pavers If They’re Still In Place

In order to use a pressure washer on pavers, you will need a powerful model. However, there are other ways to achieve the same results—and without having to move your pavers or break any of them.

You can purchase a power washer that runs off water pressure, which is built into most households and easy to use with minimal training. 

Typically these machines range from 1,200-3,000 PSI (pounds per square inch) and are equipped with two different nozzles: one for cleaning concrete surfaces and one for cleaning asphalt surfaces.

Some perks include being able to wash your driveway without having to move it out of place first! It also saves time as well as money; using chemicals regularly can be expensive over time while using electricity can add up too unless you live in an area with affordable rates (which isn’t usually the case). 

In addition there is no run-off into storm drains like there would be with chemicals which means less pollution in our waterways too!

Sweep Sand Or Gravel Back In Between The Remaining Pavers

Once you’ve removed the pavers, sweep sand or gravel back in between the remaining pavers. This will help prevent weeds from growing through your patio.

A broom, dustpan or shovel is a great tool for this clean-up task. To avoid sweeping sand or gravel into your grass and street (which is illegal), make sure to sweep only onto the driveway and sidewalk when disposing of it.

“Proper installation is key to ensuring the longevity and stability of your pavers. Our guide on what is the best way to install pavers provides a comprehensive overview of the installation process, including base preparation, layout, and finishing touches, to help you achieve a beautiful and durable paver project.”


If you need to remove the pavers in your backyard, it’s best to hire a professional. It’s not difficult work, but there are many ways that it can go wrong if you’re not careful or don’t know what you’re doing. 

If you do decide to tackle this project yourself and want to save some money, use these tips as a guide when removing your own pavers.

Further Reading

How Do You Get Pavers Out? Explained: A guide on how to remove pavers from different surfaces safely and efficiently.

How to Install Pavers: A comprehensive guide on how to properly install pavers, including base preparation, installation, and maintenance.

How to Remove and Replace a Paver: A step-by-step guide on how to remove and replace a single paver without damaging the surrounding pavers or the base.


What tools do I need to remove pavers?

The tools you need to remove pavers depend on the type of surface and the type of pavers you are working with. Generally, you will need a pry bar, a rubber mallet, a chisel or screwdriver, and safety gear such as gloves and goggles.

How do I remove pavers from a sand base?

To remove pavers from a sand base, start by removing the sand around the edges of the pavers with a flat shovel or trowel. Then, use a pry bar and rubber mallet to loosen the pavers and lift them out of the sand.

How do I remove pavers from a concrete base?

To remove pavers from a concrete base, use a chisel or screwdriver to remove any joint sand or mortar holding the pavers in place. Then, use a pry bar and rubber mallet to loosen the pavers and lift them out of the concrete.

How do I replace a damaged paver?

To replace a damaged paver, remove the surrounding pavers by following the same steps as for removing pavers. Once the damaged paver is removed, replace it with a new one and then reinstall the surrounding pavers.

How can I prevent damage to the pavers or the surface when removing pavers?

To prevent damage when removing pavers, use caution and take your time. Use the proper tools and techniques for the type of pavers and surface you are working with, and avoid hitting the pavers too hard or prying too aggressively.