How to Lay Brick on a Slope

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Install a brick pathway on a slope to landscape your yard.
Install a brick pathway on a slope to landscape your yard. (Image: Jupiterimages/BananaStock/Getty Images)

Bricks are one of the preferred methods of building walkways in yards, along with pavers and stones. However, not all pathways are completely level, and while some people prefer steps in their walkways, others prefer their bricks to be laid on a slope. While this is possible, it does take time and effort, as well as a working knowledge of tools. While any do-it-yourselfer can accomplish this task, it is not for the faint of heart, as it requires significant manual labor and planning.

Things You'll Need

  • Vibrating compactor
  • Shovel
  • Excavator (optional)
  • Tape measure
  • Wood stakes
  • Spray paint
  • Work gloves
  • Rubber mallet
  • Bricks
  • Gravel
  • Rough sand
  • Spacers

Lay out your chosen pathway with the wooden stakes, placing them every 18 inches or so along what will be the outside edges of your pathway. Use a tape measure to keep the width of the walkway uniform. After you have finished laying out the walkway, use spray paint to mark the outer edges of the walkway and remove the stakes.

Dig down to allow for at least six inches of crushed stone beneath the brick across the entire walkway. You can go as deep as eight inches if you live in an area with hard freezes in the winter, but six inches is generally sufficient for most homes. Use a shovel, or rent a small excavator, to scoop out the dirt in the area of the pathway.

Pack the soil with the vibrating compactor machine. Add 2-3 inches of gravel and pack it across the entire length of the pathway. Repeat the process until you have added your necessary 6 or 8 inches of gravel, which serves as a base for the foundation and drainage for the bricks.

Add a two-inch layer of sand on top of the packed gravel and begin installing your bricks. Pound them in place with the rubber mallet. Use spacers in between the bricks if you want to retain joints, or install them tight against one another. Pour sand in between the joints and compact things with the rubber mallet. Continue this process until you have filled in your entire walkway.

Cover the entire surface with more sand. Use the compacting machine to ensure that all of the bricks are securely in place within the bed of sand and gravel. Make sure that you fill all the joints in between the bricks as fully as possible to keep movement from occurring over time.

Tips & Warnings

  • All of your supplies and tools can be purchased or rented at your local home improvement store.

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