Tools & Materials
In this video, This Old House landscape contractor Roger Cook upgrades an old brick with bluestone slabs.
1. Use a brick chisel and 3-pound sledgehammer to loosen the old flagstone and mortar from the landing.
2. Cut down into the existing concrete with an electric rotary hammer fitted with a chisel bit. Finished height of the concrete must be 2 inches below the surrounding brick.
3. Clear away all the chipped-up concrete debris with a shovel and stiff-bristle brush.
4. Scrub the concrete’s surface clean with a wet sponge.
5. Remove any loose bricks from the landing.
6. Pour a bag of mortar into a wheelbarrow, add water and mix well with a shovel.
7. Brush bonding agent onto the underside of each bluestone slab.
8. Shovel some mortar onto the concrete landing, then spread it level with a pointed trowel.
9. Set the bluestone slab into place, then use a rubber mallet to tap it down even with the brick border.
10. Repeat Steps 8 and 9 to set the remaining bluestone slabs.
11. Mix up a new batch of mortar, only this time pour a little latex additive into the water.
12. Use two pointed trowels to pack the latex-fortified mortar into the joints around and in between the bluestone slabs.
13. Replace any bricks removed earlier using the same mortar.
14. Smooth and tool the mortar joints using a ½-inch jointing tool.
15. Clean off the bluestone and bricks with a wet sponge, making sure you don’t disturb the tooled mortar joints.