How to Split Pavers

Splitting a paver is necessary when a full-sized paver doesn't fit into a gap in a patio or pathway installation.

Use split pavers to fill in patio gaps or to create an individual design.Use split pavers to fill in patio gaps or to create an individual design.
The gap often occurs at the edges of the design where a paver abuts steps or needs to fit at outside corners of a property. Some patio designs use split pavers as the whole pattern and use cut pieces to provide a random configuration. It is important to know how to effectively split a paver in order to prevent time and material wastage when a paver breaks in the wrong place due to the inaccurate application of force.

Use a measuring tape to measure the space that requires a split paver. Subtract the width of joints needed between the edge of the paver and its neighboring paver.

Pour out a bed of sand onto the ground to cushion the paver and prevent it from bouncing when you split it. Use a sharp pencil and a straight edge and draw a line across the topside of the paver where you want the split, using the measurements taken in step 1.

Angle the line in at the side edges so that you remove slightly more of the paver than you need, as this helps to fit the paver more easily. Turn the paver over and join up the side lines across the paver back. Turn the paver over.

Position the paver-splitting chisel on the line at the right-hand side of the paver, and perpendicular to it. Hit the chisel butt with a 2-lb. lump hammer using low force to score the line. Move the chisel to the left-hand side of the paver aligning it with the line, and using the same force hit it with the lump hammer to score the line.

Work your way to the center of the paver by using alternative right and left side scoring of the line. Score the side edge lines next with one hit each on the paver-splitting chisel. Score the back last of all using the same method as the paver face.

Repeat the scoring procedure again applying equal force on each stroke of the hammer. Continue to go through the whole scoring procedure until the paver splits. Trim protruding pieces of paver from the split edge using the stone chisel and the lump hammer to nibble small pieces of paver away until the edge is smooth.

Things You Will Need

  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil
  • Straight edge
  • Sand
  • Paver-splitting chisel
  • 2-lb. lump hammer
  • Stone chisel
  • Safety glasses

Warning

  • Wear safety glasses when splitting a paver to avoid injury from paver scalpings.

About the Author

Residing in the coastal county of Devon, England, Jane Humphries has been writing since 2004. Writing for "British Mensa" nationally and regionally, Humphries has also held key roles within the High IQ Society. She received a Bachelor of Science, honors, in psychology with combined studies covering biology, statistics, economics, politics and sociology.