How to Inlay Brick Into Concrete

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Brick inlay defines the edges of a concrete walkway and adds design apeal.
Brick inlay defines the edges of a concrete walkway and adds design apeal. (Image: Photos.com/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Concrete walkways and driveways are more than convenient paths to your home. They are aesthetic elements that create an atmosphere. Brick inlays break the monotony of a solid concrete surface and provide design appeal. A wide variety of geometric or flowing lines can be created with brick inlays, but planning is essential to the process. Designs can be drawn out on graph paper or information can be plugged into a landscape design software program for specifications and materials lists.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden hose
  • Spray paint
  • Shovel
  • Wheelbarrow
  • Garden rake
  • Gravel
  • Wooden stakes
  • 1-by-4 lumber
  • Hammer
  • Screws
  • Level
  • Concrete
  • Trowel
  • Screed board
  • Clay bricks
  • Mortar

Design

Measure precisely and write down dimensions of the area to be paved. Use a garden hose to mark off the perimeter and perfect the shape. Use spray paint to mark the perimeter when the garden hose is removed to provide an excavation map.

Transfer your design to graph paper or input information into a landscape design software program.

Order building materials according to specifications of your site design. A software program will provide you with a list of materials needed after you finalize your design. Otherwise, work with your building materials supplier to determine the required amounts of product for your project.

Forming Up

Remove all sod and other material to a depth of 8 inches. Rake the surface smooth. Place gravel in the excavated site to a depth of 4 inches. Level it with your garden rake.

A level walkway depends upon building a level concrete form.
A level walkway depends upon building a level concrete form. (Image: Ryan McVay/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

Add an inch to the measurement of the length of one brick and use this number as your guide for placing stakes. Measure from the outer edge of the excavation toward the inside. Pound a stake into the ground. Keeping the same distance from the outer perimeter, place stakes every 4 feet or as needed to construct a curve. Top of stakes must be no more than 3.5 inches out of the ground.

Screw 1-by-4 boards to the stakes, making certain the tops of the boards are level across the expanse and from corner to corner. If your level is not long enough, select the straightest board you have and lay it across the form boards. Put the level on the long board and check for evenness.

Install Inlays

Wet the excavated area, including form boards. Pour concrete inside the formed-up area to the tops of the boards. Pour approximately 1 to 1.5 inches of concrete outside the forms to the excavated perimeter. Using a screed board, smooth the concrete. Using a trowel, smooth the concrete outside the forms. Remove the forms when the concrete is set but not hard.

Use paving-grade bricks for durability.
Use paving-grade bricks for durability. (Image: Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images)

Prepare the mortar mix. Lay down the mortar so that the top of an inlay brick set in the mortar is level with the top of the concrete.

Mortar clay brick inlays into place by placing 1 inch of mortar grout on the end of the brick that touches the concrete and half an inch of mortar grout on the side of the brick. Continue laying bricks in this fashion until the brick inlay design is complete. Use the tip of the trowel to remove excess mortar grout between bricks and in the joint between concrete and brick inlays.

Tips & Warnings

  • The proper use of pervious concrete is a recognized best management practice by the U.S. Department Environmental Protection Agency for providing first-flush pollution control and stormwater management, according to the National Ready-Mix Concrete Association.
  • Check with your local building inspector for building codes in your locality. Contact utilities companies before beginning a building project to make certain it is safe to dig in the proposed area and to avoid digging into cables or pipes.

References

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