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Replacing a broken stone

Stone pavers can become unstable or may crack due to poor installation technique, frost, or a fault introduced during manufacturing. In whichever case, the paver needs to be lifted and relaid. Laying pavers on a bed of sand is a more straightforward procedure than that shown here, where they have been laid on mortar.

Tools and materials

Gloves, goggles, pry bar, block of wood, lump hammer, chisel, trowel, mortar, new stone paver, level, rubber mallet


1 Use a pry bar to lift the old paver. If it is set in concrete, break it with a lump hammer and a chisel. Wear protective goggles and gloves.


2 Chip away the old mortar with a chisel 3 and lump hammer, and remove the debris from the bed.


3 Lay a new bed of mortar for the replacement paver, leveling it off with a trowel.


4 Position the paver, checking that it is level with those around it. Tap it in to place with the rubber mallet.


5 Repoint the new paver with mortar, or a dry mix as required, using a pointing trowel.


Maintaining paving

Paving, along with other exterior surfaces such as decking, can become covered in algae; this is slippery and potentially dangerous. Pressure washing these areas at least once or twice a year should keep the problem at bay. In some cases, particularly in damp or shaded areas, fungicidal washes may be useful to prevent algae from quickly regrowing.


 Using a lump hammer (2-pound hammer)

The lump hammer is the heaviest one-handed hammer. With a large striking face, it is commonly used with either a bolster chisel, or a cold chisel, to split bricks or pavers.


 Ready-mixed mortar

Mortar is a mixture of cement, sand, and sometimes lime, used as an adhesive for masonry and constructional members, such as fence posts. Ready-mixed mortar comes in bag sizes appropriate for small-scale repair jobs: mortar mix is a general purpose mortar; stone mix is generally used for laying paving; concrete mix is a general-purpose concrete mix, and post-mix is used for erecting fence posts.