How to Remove a Brick Path

In a worn out and damaged brick path, the uneven bricks can be dangerous to walk on and may lead to injuries. These unsettled bricks should be removed and new bricks reinstalled. The brick paths may be either mortared or just laid using the sand to fill the joints. If the brick path is mortared, you have to remove the mortar by chiseling. If no mortar has been used, the task is much easier, using the paver extracting tongs to take out the pavers.

Materials and Tools

  • Chisel
  • Hammer
  • Water spray hose
  • Trowel/shovel
  • Paver extracting tongs
  • Wheelbarrow
  • Goggles

Step 1: Removing the Soil

Scrape away the soil from the edge of the brick path using a shovel so you can remove the edge pavers first. Lower the soil level on the path edge to the level of the base of the pavers.

Step 2: Chiseling the Mortar

Chisel away the mortar surrounding the joints in brick pavers using a chisel and hammer. Start from the edge of the path. Keep the chisel in the direction of the damaged pavers to prevent good pavers from getting chipped off or breaking. Use eye protection.

Step 3: Prying the Bricks

Pry the brick with a chisel after the mortar is chipped away. Loosen the brick and take it out. If the brick does not move, you may have to break it with the hammer and remove it in pieces. Do not hammer too hard, or you may also damage the adjoining bricks. Remove all the pieces of the brick from the gap.

Step 4: Setting Paver Extractor to Remove Pavers where no Mortar was Used

Set the paver extracting tongs on the paver. Pull the pin to adjust the opening of the tong clamps to hold the paver on its side. This makes it easier to remove the broken or cracked bricks without damaging the good bricks. The pavers that get set with sand are difficult to pry. Prying with leverage tools can damage the adjoining bricks. Paver extracting tools are special tools used for this purpose to pull pavers straight up.

Step 5: Pulling the Pavers

Stand on the brick paver while bending your knees and push the extractor's handles to apply pressure on the tongs and pull the paver. Lift it straight up while squeezing the handles of paver extractor together. Twist the tongs from one side to another and try to lift the paver free.

Step 6: Releasing the Paver

Stop applying pressure on the tongs to release the brick paver. Set the paver aside.

Step 7: Cleaning and Leveling the Path

Take away all the loose bricks from the path and clear all rubble and debris. Smooth out the sand or gravel and add more, if required. Pack it down flat. You can now install new brick pavers.