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Raising and Leveling Sunken Patio Pavers

Your uneven and sunken patio pavers will be smooth again with these simple easy to follow steps.

*This post is sponsored by The Home Depot.

Stone pavers are great options for patios. However, over time, pavers can sink and become uneven.  This is due to a whole host of reasons such as settlement or erosion.  Fixing and leveling sunken pavers and uneven stones can be achieved in little time with these simple steps.

Recently, I was assisting a friend with his backyard.  He wanted to install a pergola on his patio and spruce up the area.  Unfortunately, he had a lot of worn out pavers that were broken and or uneven.  So before we moved forward with installing and setting up the pergola we addressed the patio.  It was important that his patio maintained a slight slope as it moved away from the house so that the water wouldn’t settle in front of his back door.    Here’s what we did to fix and level the sunken pavers.

Here’s what you’ll need:

How to raise and level sunken patio pavers - ToolBox Divas Empire Level


1. Prep the area by setting a reference point

Using a spike and some string we placed the spice at the area that had the perfect elevation.

We then ran the string down the length of the tiles we wanted to level, ensuring that the string was level by using a binder clip with a mini level attached to it.  (This I will be honest was something we came up with on the fly.  I had an extra binder clip and a mini level on hand and came up with this mid air leveling hack.)

Running the string down the entire length of the pavers and patio area that we wanted to level provided a visual reference when applying the sand later in the process.  This preparation step is a way of streamlining the leveling process.

2. Remove sunken paver.

Using a prybar remove the sunken stone or paver.

I recommend wearing gloves during this process.  Also a 2nd pair of hands always helps because depending on the size of these pavers it can be heavy.  Also lift with your knees.

3. Apply sand to the area.

Apply sand to the area.  Sand can be purchased at your local home center in the concrete area or depending on the consistency of the dirty in your area it can be dug up from an area of your yard.  But the sand has to be a certain consistency to aid in leveling the pavers.  So if you are using sand dug up from your yard make sure it’s not your typical black dirt.  It has to truely be sand.

So to be on the safe side you can always purchase the sand you need for this process. Spread the sand out over the uneven area using a trowel, shovel and or your hands.

4. Level sand with a trowel and a straight piece of wood

Level the sand using a trowel and the straight end of a piece of wood.  We are using a 2×2 scrap wood because it happens to be the exact same thickness as the pavers we are leveling.

Running the piece of wood back and forth allows you to evenly distribute the sand in the area.  Also with this board being the same thickness, it provided a guide for how much sand should be applied.  When the height of the board reached the string we had in place we knew we were on target with the right amount of leveling sand.

This is where using a level is critical.  Using the Empire 16 in. True Blue Digital Box Level we were able to gauge how level the ground was and measure the degree of the slope as we extended down the patio.  The True Blue Digital Box Level has an audio indicator that would beep as we approached a level surface.

This tool makes make this task seamless and quick.


5. Reset paver

Once the ground is level reset the paver.  Remeber once again to lift with your knees.

6. Brush sand between the pavers to prevent movement

Set the pavers in place by using a push broom to sweep sand in between the cracks of the pavers.  This will eliminate it was moving and shifting.   



About The Empire 16 in. True Blue Digital Box Level


  • It is super accurate (It guarantees .0005 in. /in. accuracy)
  • Shows the degree of the slope which is great when trying to gradually slope a driveway or patio to allow water to stream away from entrances.
  • It has a power save mode which allows it to turn off when not in use.
  • The protective case is a life saver.  I can’t tell you how many times I dropped this level while working on this project.  The case is darn near indestructible to my butter fingers Hahaha.


  • The display screen does not operate well under extreme sun. So when working in temperatures that exceed 90 degrees outside, I recommend not leaving this out in the sun.  It will overheat and could damage the display screen.

How to raise and level sunken patio pavers - ToolBox Divas Empire Level

I acknowledge that The Home Depot is partnering with me to participate in the ProSpective 2018 Campaign. As a part of the Program, I am receiving compensation in the form of products and services, for the purpose of promoting The Home Depot. All expressed opinions and experiences are my own words. My post complies with the Word Of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA) Ethics Code and applicable Federal Trade Commission guidelines.

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  1. Looks like a very needed and do-able project. Wish you would have had more pictures of the “before” and “after”. Thanks for the motivation, maybe I will finally get my little brick walk project going.

    1. Hi Mary, Thank you so much! More before and after pictures will be out next week when I reveal the full patio makeover.

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