Brick can be used in numerous ways in and around your home – walls , fireplaces, walkways and steps to name a few. All add beauty and value to a home. One of the most popular uses of brick in landscaping is the patio. The popularity of brick patio derives from its durability, good looks and relative ease of installation. A simple, mortarless patio laid with 4-by-8-inch brick pavers can provide years of enjoyment and hard use.
The first step in building a brick patio is to calculate the amount of material needed. The patio will be laid over a well compacted base and about 1 inch of sand or quarry screenings. An optional layer of weather resistant membrane over the compacted base can reduce the growth of vegetation. For a patio 10-by-15 feet, 150 sq. ft., using 4.5 standard pavers laid flat per 1 sq. ft. you will need 675 4-by-8-inch brick pavers.
The amount of pavers can vary depending on the bond pattern you may choose. The sand can be calculated using 9 lbs. per sq ft. 1 inch deep. This comes out to 1,350 lbs. of sand (3/4 ton). The area should be leveled at slope of a quarter inch to the foot, with the slope running away from the house or any walls for correct drainage. Because the pavers will be laid without mortar, the edge of the excavation must serve to keep the bricks from shifting.
This is done by creating a perimeter for the brick patio by attaching stakes to 1×4 inch or 2×4 inch treated lumber and driving them into the ground. Once the edging is installed and the sand base laid down, it is time to begin laying the brick.
Using brick gives you a great deal of flexibility in your design. The 4×8 inch size of the pavers allows you to use a variety of bonding patterns for a distinctive and personalized look for your brick patio. The different shades and textures of brick available add to the effects that you can achieve. It is a good idea to sketch the pattern that you want before hand so you can get a visual feel for how the patio will look and be able to figure how many brick you will need. Once the brick has been laid it is necessary to sweep sand into the joints between the brick. This will tighten the bond and keep the bricks from shifting. Properly designed and installed patios will provide years of nearly carefree service.
Because of the mortarless design of the patio, bricks may be easily removed if alterations to the patio become necessary or if access to underground utilities is needed.