Brick pavers can be used to create an elegant look for your patio or walkways. Brick is versatile, durable, and comes in a number of shapes, patterns and colors, making brick an attractive option for paving outdoor surfaces. Concrete pavers have self-spacing lugs, making them easier to install and the preferred choice over traditional clay bricks. The best way to lay brick pavers is to use a sand or concrete base, then densely pack the joints with fine sand. Sand allows the pavers to shift when the ground freezes and thaws, but keeps them firmly in place through the transition.
Things You'll Need
- Crushed limestone
- Fine sand
- Landscape fabric
- Garden rake
- Whisk broom
- Rubber mallet
Prepare the Base
Excavate the area you want to pave to the depth of the brick, plus 1 inch for sand, plus 6 to 9 inches for the gravel base. Alternatively, you can lay the brick on pre-poured concrete, omitting the gravel base and 1-inch layer of sand. In this case, sweep the area free of debris to obtain a completely flat surface.
Pour crushed limestone into the excavated area, then tamp the limestone down with a tamp, the designated tool for tamping limestone, or some other flat, heavy object. You can also rent a power tamper to accomplish this task.
Grade the limestone base, using a rake, to achieve a completely flat, relatively smooth surface. Pour limestone in the low areas and rake away limestone from high areas. Re-tamp the graded areas to assure the base is firm and will not erode.
Lay landscape fabric over the compacted gravel. Cut the fabric to fit the excavated area. This prevents weed growth and creates a smoother surface for pouring the sand.
Pour a 1-inch layer of fine sand over the compacted gravel and landscape fabric.
Lay the Brick
Lay each brick onto the sand and gravel base. If there are no self-spacing lugs, leave at least 1/2-inch space between each brick for even spacing and to allow sand to be poured between the joints. Or use concrete bricks with self-spacing lugs to take the guess-work out of spacing and achieve an evenly-spaced patio or walkway.
Adjust the bricks with a rubber mallet so they are evenly spaced after you have laid all the bricks.
Pour fine sand in the space between each brick. Further adjust the bricks with a rubber mallet if necessary. Using a stiff-bristled whisk broom, sweep the sand over the bricks so each space is filled with sand, then pour a thin layer of sand over the entire surface of pavers. Let the sand settle overnight.
Spray the surface lightly with water to further compact the sand, or wait until it rains, then sweep off the excess sand.
- The Complete Guide to Flooring: Design, Planning & Installation for All Types of Flooring; Creative Publishing International; 2003
- Photo Credit Backyard Brickfest image by Epix from Fotolia.com
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