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How to Remove Brick Pavers

By Jeffrey Brian Airman
Pavers gradually sink into the ground and become more difficult to remove.

Cracked and misplaced brick pavers can be safely removed without causing any damage in the surrounding area. Once brick pavers are fully set and grouted with sand they become very difficult to pry up. Leveraging tools against the surrounding brick pavers may crack more bricks and raise the cost of replacement. Paver removing tongs are specialized adjustable tools that clamp onto the sides of the brick allowing you to pull it straight up and out.

Scrape the soil away from the edge of the pavers with a shovel to remove an edge paver or if you plan to remove all the brick pavers from a walkway or driveway. Lower the earth to the same level as the base of the pavers.

Hold the paver extracting tongs over the paver and pull out the pin so the clamps can be adjusted to the size of the paver. Replace the pin when the flat ends of the extracting tongs are resting along either side of the brick paver.

Stand above the brick paver with your knees bent and push the upper handles of the paver extractor tongs together to apply pressure to the side of the paver.

Lift straight up as you continue to squeeze the handles of the extractor tool together. Twist the paver extracting tongs from side to side as you lift to shimmy the brick paver free if it does not lift right up.

Release pressure on the tongs to relinquish the grip on the brick paver so it can be set aside. The extracting tool can also be used to lower a new paver into the position of one that was removed.


Things You Will Need

  • Shovel (optional)
  • Paver extracting tongs


  • Save extra brick pavers from a walkway or driveway build so that you have matching replacements if a few of them break.


  • Steel-toe boots protect toes when heavy objects like brick pavers are accidentally dropped during transport.

About the Author


Jeffrey Brian Airman is a writer, musician and food blogger. A 15-year veteran of the restaurant industry, Airman has used his experience to cover food, restaurants, cooking and do-it-yourself projects. Airman also studied nursing at San Diego State University.