Securing loose paver steps

How can I secure loose steps once and for all time????

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Dave A.

LawnSite Member
Pittsburgh, PA
I hired a hardscape contractor in 2016 and agreed to a nearly $40K contract to install new retaining walls, three sets of steps,and a new concrete driveway at my residence. Within a few months of being paid, the steps started to come loose and “roll” when stepped on. I discovered a small bead (1/4”)of adhesive was used and assumed this was the issue among many other issues that started to appear such as spreading cracks, low spots that creates ponding water, settingly walls, etc.
When I started to undertake the repair of these issues myself, I initially removed the loose old adhesive, ground off the residue from tread and support stone, and installed new landscape adhesive to ample quantities to hold the steps in place. Over time, none of the adhesives I’ve purchased at HD, seem to hold or last. They seem to hold for a couple of months but seem to dissolve over time and loosenWe finally ended up in court with the contractor failed to recognize or remedy any of the problems and issues. We finally ended up in court with the contractor failed to recognize or remedy any of the problems and issues. . Can anyone tell what is the best adhesive to use for this application? Short of of removing the steps, drilling and pinning the support step or installing anchors through the step, I’m at a loss on how to repair this once and for all.

We finally ended up in court with the contractor failed to recognize or remedy any of the problems and issues.







LawnSite Silver Member
Long Island
What adhesive was used? Many adhesives are incompatible. If the contractor used silicone caulk for example, future adhesives will have trouble sticking.


LawnSite Fanatic
Contractors don’t make/manufacture product or materials, they simply install it.
You had the same experience he did, but still sued him?

I didn’t see photos of super bad work or sunken walls which leads me to believe you’re making a mountain out of a mole hill.

The concrete adhesive isn’t “ultimate binding perfection” it’s meant to keep the blocks from being casually knocked loose. If you want to apply enough pressure or leverage it will come off.

The 1/4” bead you’re describing is the right amount.

A couple reasons why it might not be working:
Was it applied when the blocks were wet? Recently rained?
Was it applied when the temperature was under 40 degrees?
Was it applied when the temperature was over 90?
Those conditions can result in less than desire able adhesion like you’re experiencing.

At this point, and giving the location of what you’re trying glue; I would abandon the concrete adhesive and use a coping mortar.
Chose one with a poly fiber bonding agent, care should be taken not to use too much and/or make sure everything is right and straight, because it won’t be coming off easily again.

The beauty to pavers over stamped concrete is they are modular and if something breaks or is stained, the pavers are removable and replaceable... once you do this... it will all be concreted together.