Brick paths and walkways for your landscape.

Building brick paths and walkways.

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Building brick paths and walkways

 

If you’re looking for a warm, earthy material that lends an old world formality to your brick path, brick or brick pavers are your best choice. Most distributors stock a wide variety of sizes, colors, styles, and densities. And if you purchase a modular style meaning the dimensions are proportional design becomes virtually goof proof.

When shopping for materials, avoid common brick, face brick, and firebrick. These varieties of brick are not made for paving.

 

 

 

        Look for any of these types for your brick paths and walkways

 

Brick pavers or brick. It resists moisture and wear. Some types of brick have round or chamfered edges, which makes it easier to install in a sand base. Brick salvage from old building or streets. These may come with the mortar left on, many designers believe this adds to the charm of a cottage brick path way. Depending on its original use, used brick may be softer than paving brick and may not wear as well. Many homeowners find it worn appearance enhances its rustic look. You can approximate a used brick look with manufactured salvage brick.

                          Brick or brick paver design tips

 

You can use brick pavers or brick in a wide variety of designs. The illustrations on these pages show a few of the possibilities. Consider using brick pavers or brick for the front walk, for paths that wind through a kitchen garden or orchard, or for edging a flagstone walk that meanders toward a backyard bench. When you decided on a preliminary pattern for your brick path lay out a section and measure its width. Don’t forget to include the width of the mortar joints if you will set a mortared path. Adjust the actual width on your plan to the total width of the pattern.

Add interest to your brick design with alternating colors. Slight contrasts a red brown interspersed with dark red brick pavers, for example look more pleasing than sharply contrasting colors. Bricks set on edge offer unusual designs possibilities, but the smaller edge surface will require more bricks and a larger budget for your path way. Consider safety too when shopping for brick, don’t use brick pavers with slick surfaces.

Brick paths often look complicated because of their patterns, but they are no more difficult to build than any other hard surface path. They usually take more time to lay because the bricks are small and the patterns require some precision.

 

 

 

 

Brick layout patterns

 

When choosing brick patterns consider the aesthetic effect the relation of the path to its surrounding how long the pattern will take to lay and how many bricks you’ll have to cut.

The jack on jack pattern is the simplest to lay but is the least interesting. However if you lay out your brick path to conform exactly to the width of the pattern, you won’t have to cut any brick.

Patterns increase in appeal as they become more complex. You’ll have to cut bricks for some patterns. A running bond will hide any small variations in the sizes of the brick. The herringbone pattern looks best when it can spread out on walks at least 3 feet wide. Narrow paths make the pattern seem too busy. The basket weave and its half weave cousin are best set with modular brick.

 

Cutting brick

 

You may not have to cut any brick for patterns set in straight, formal lines. Curved brick paths and patterns such as the half basket weave will require cutting. Use a brick set and heavy hammer to score a line on all four sides of the brick, than center the brick set in the line and rap it sharply. The brick will cleave neatly along the line. If you have a lot of brick to cut rent a masonry saw.

 

                                  Tools needed to install brick path way

 

·         Stakes, mason’s line, 4 foot level

·         Wheelbarrow

·         Round and square nose shovels or spades.

·         Garden rake

·         Tamper

·         Saw, for cutting drain pipe

·         Scissors, for cutting landscape fabric.

·         Tape measure

·         Hammer

·         Garden hose.

 

 

 

 

       Installing brick paths and walkways

 

Like other materials, sand laid brick calls for solid base and a level sand bed.

 1. Build the base for your brick path

Lay out the brick path than excavate to a depth that will accommodate the materials and leave the paving about ½ inch above grade. Add ¼ inch if you plan to crown the surface to improve drainage. Add 4 to 6 inches of gravel, depending on drainage requirements for your soil and level and tamp the gravel. Cut landscape fabric and lay it on the gravel. Then set the edging on the fabric.

 

2. Setting the brick path

 Shovel in and spread about 2 inches of washed sand. Dampen the sand, screed it level and tamp it. Brick path has to be set precisely. Tie a mason’s line to a stake on either side of the path as a guide, or tie the line to bricks to make the line easier to move. Space the path bricks 1/8 inch apart and check each course with a straightedge before laying the next one. You can place 1/8 inch wooden spacers between the bricks, but make sure they are long enough to retrieve easily. Beginning in one corner push each brick straight down into the sand. Continue until you have laid about a 4 foot section, supporting your weight on 2 foot plywood squares. Check the section in several directions with a 4 foot level. Pull up bricks if necessary, digging out or adding sand. Set each brick by tapping it with a rubber mallet.

 

3. Fill the gaps in the bricks

You can fill all the joints when the brick path is complete or fill them in sections. If you have used spacers, fill the gaps in sections so you can reused the spacers. Shovel sand into the joints, and brush it with a push broom. When it nearly fills the joints, dampen it. Sweep in more sand from all directions leaving the sand about 1/8 inch below the surface or at the bottom of the chamfer for chamfered brick.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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