How to Create a Brick Patio

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This project is a wonderful way to recycle used bricks purchased at a salvage store or saved from removing a wall. Layering landscaping fabric, gravel and sand in a level dug-out pit gives a solid base for a brick patio. Filling the spaces between the bricks with more sand, instead of setting in concrete, makes your patio a DIY-weekend project.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden hose
  • Spray paint
  • Shovel
  • Ruler
  • Level
  • 2x4 wood
  • Plate compactor
  • Level V gravel
  • Coarse washed sand
  • Bricks
  • Brush broom
  • Choose a place for your patio that gets good drainage and has the amount of shade you desire. Lay out the shape of your patio with the garden hose; then spray-paint a more permanent "outline" directly onto the grass.

  • Dig out your patio to a depth of 10 inches. Use the level and ruler to help ensure that your patio base is even throughout the entire area.

  • Lay landscape fabric in the bottom of the dug-out patio area, using more than one piece if necessary. The fabric should come up the sides of the patio space as well.

  • Fill the bottom of the pit with six inches of Level V gravel. One cubic yard of gravel will fill a 50-square-feet area to a depth of six inches. Run the plate compactor over the gravel to pack it and make it level. A plate compactor is a machine about the size of a lawn mower with a flat metal bottom that can be rented to run over the top of the bricks and tamp them into place.

  • Add a one-inch layer of sand on top of the gravel. Use the 2x4 to level it, making a smooth motion back and forth with the piece until it's completely smooth over the entire area.

  • Lay the bricks in the sand, setting each brick flush with the next. The easiest way to lay out a square patio is to set the bricks in rows, and edge with bricks set perpendicular to the rows. A masonry saw can be rented to cut edging bricks if necessary, or any inconsistencies can be hidden by landscaping.

  • Run the plate compactor over the bricks, leveling them with the soil around the patio. Use the broom to sweep sand into the cracks between the bricks. Tamp again with the compactor. Repeat until the spaces between the bricks are filled with sand. Soil can also be used to fill the spaces between the bricks to allow for planting thyme or other low-growing plants or herbs.

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References

  • Photo Credit Backyard Brickfest image by Epix from Fotolia.com
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