Building a brick walkway often seems like an intimidating task, due to the time and attention to detail necessary to piece the walkway together. This task seems more intimidating when you make the decision to build a curved brick walkway. Building a brick walk that includes sharp or gentle curves requires additional steps to cut the bricks to fit the space before installing or laying the bricks into the walkway's space. Laying a curved brick walkway may take more than a week to accomplish.
Things You'll Need
- Yard stakes
- Tape measure
- Mechanical soil-tamper
- Crushed stone
- Masonry sand
- Brick pavers or patio brick
- Expansion joints or joint spacer tools
- Brick saw or striking tool
- Shop broom
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Choose a layout for the brick walkway and place yard stakes to mark the lay and direction of the walk. Place the stakes every 2 to 3 feet to outline the edges of the walkway more definitively. Tie ribbon between the stakes to show the walkway's curves.
Excavate the area inside the yard stakes down to a depth of 6 inches, using a regular gardening spade. Set displaced sod and soil aside for use in another landscaping project or dispose of them.
Use a tape measure to measure the walkway's width. Move along the edges of the walkway, measuring every 6 inches to ensure it stays approximately the same width throughout the entire distance. This ensures your walkway looks professionally constructed, instead of sloppily laid together. Remove additional sod and soil from the edges as needed to produce a neat and trim base.
Compact the soil inside the excavated walkway area using a mechanical soil-tamper. Turn the tamper on and walk it across the site. Depending on the variety you use, the tamper may vibrate to compact the earth, or press the soil with a large roller or flathead. However it operates, continue to pull the device over the area until the soil is firmly compacted and as hard as rock.
Fill the inside of the trench with 4 inches of crushed stone. Place a single 2-inch layer at a time and use the compactor between each application to make the crushed stone layers hard and resistant to shifting under your weight as you walk across the area.
Place a final 2-inch layer of sand over the crushed stone layers. Compact the sand layer using the same methods described in previous steps. Once compacted, the top of the sand should sit approximately 1 inch below the surrounding ground.
Start at the top center of the walkway and begin laying the bricks into place. Lay the bricks in whatever pattern you choose, working outward from the center. Use an expansion joint or spacer tool to equally space each brick approximately 1/4 to 1/2 inch apart.
Cut the bricks down to fit inside the walkway space, as needed, on the walkway's outer edges. To cut the bricks you'll need to measure the brick into the space, then use a brick saw or striker to mark and cut the brick into the necessary size and shape to fit between the other bricks and the edge of the trench.
Set all the bricks into place inside the excavated area. Cut bricks as necessary to fit into the edges.
Dump small loads of masonry sand over the walkway. Use a shop broom to sweep the sand into the small joints between the bricks. Apply more sand as necessary to make the sand joints flush with the top of the brick pavers or patio bricks.