How to Remove Flagstone

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Things You'll Need

  • Cold chisel

  • Screwdriver

  • Pry bar

  • Hammer

  • Sledgehammer

  • Jackhammer

  • Nail ripper


Wear safety glasses and gloves when removing flagstone.

Removing flagstones from patios and houses can take some muscle.

Flagstone is a natural stone cut into flat pieces. It is a popular choice among homeowners for patios, sidewalks, garden walls and roofs, along with many other construction projects. Flagstone is available in a variety of colors ranging from blue-gray to brown. Flagstone is durable and long lasting. Generally, removal is necessary only when a homeowner no longer wants the structure, rather than because it has worn. Removal methods vary depending on the original installation.

Laid in Sand

Step 1

Place a cold chisel or long screwdriver into the space between flagstones.

Step 2

Tap the chisel with a hammer 1 to 2 inches into the space.

Step 3

Wedge the chisel or screwdriver under the flagstone and pry the stone up.

Step 4

Move to the next stone, wedge a pry bar under the stone and lift to remove. Continue to pry the flagstones up until no flagstones remain.

Salvaging Mortared Flagstone

Step 1

Place a cold chisel on the grout line and strike with a hammer to crack the grout. Move the chisel around the grout line, striking with a hammer and breaking the grout.

Step 2

Remove the broken grout and place the chisel at a 45-degree angle with the tip under the stone.

Step 3

Strike the chisel forcefully with a hammer to break the mortar bond.

Step 4

Move the chisel around the stone, strike with a hammer to chip away at the mortar underneath. Continue to move around the stone until the stone lifts out. Begin chipping away at the next stone and continue on the remainder of the stones.

Breaking Mortared Flagstone

Step 1

Strike the flagstone with a heavyweight sledgehammer or rent a jackhammer to break the flagstone.

Step 2

Remove broken pieces of flagstone.

Step 3

Move the jackhammer or sledgehammer around the surface and continue to break the stones. Only use this method if the flagstones lie on the ground and you do not care about the substrate or salvaging the stones.

Roofs and Siding

Step 1

Slide a nail ripper under the top edge of the stone shingle and grab the nail. A nail ripper is a flat metal tool with a slot-like cutout that will grab onto the nail under a shingle.

Step 2

Strike the free end of the nail ripper with a hammer to loosen and pop the nail.

Step 3

Remove the stone shingle. Continue to slide the nail ripper under each shingle, strike with a hammer and remove until flagstones no longer cover the roof or siding.

Sal Marco

Sal Marco began writing professionally in 2009. He has written many online home improvement articles based on his more than 20 years of experience in the home improvement and building industries. He has worked as both part of a team and as a site supervisor. Marco has a Bachelor of Science in management science from Kean University.