Installing a Brick or Paver Walkway
How to Build a Brick Walkway using Brick
By: Mark J. Donovan
The use of Bricks or Pavers to create a
walkway or patio complements a home in a way that is unmatched. It adds a level
of quality and elegance to a home entrance that can not be achieved with either
concrete or asphalt. Brick and Pavers also come in many different colors and
shapes allowing for unique color schemes and patterns to be achieved. In
addition, installing a Brick walkway or Paver walkway does not
necessarily require a pro.
With some basic knowledge and a
relatively simple walkway plan, a homeowner is capable of undertaking such a
The key to installing a Brick Walkway or
Paver Walkway is to first properly prepare the area where the bricks / pavers
are to be installed. The area should be dug out at least a foot down, removing
all topsoil and clay soil.
In addition, string lines should be
strung on each side of the walkway. The string lines indicate the finished
height of the walkway.
Once the area has been dug down, 3/4" gravel stone should be laid in and tamped
down tightly. Then 2” of sand, or stone dust should be spread over the gravel.
Again the sand/stone dust should be tamped down. Stone dust is preferred. The
height between the tamped down sand and the string line should equal the
thickness of the brick or paver.
Now that you have a stable base, place a 1" pipe or ledger board the length of
the walkway on either side of the walkway. Then using a flat-edge, e.g. a 2"x4",
slide it over the two lengths of the pipe/ledger board. In doing this you will
create a level surface area to lay the bricks/pavers.
Now place on the level sand/stone dust strips of plastic brick borders. Install
a run on both sides of the prepared area. These strips will act as your walkway
border and help to maintain the integrity and shape of the walkway. You can get
these plastic strip borders at most Home Improvement stores. The strips should
be anchored down with 12" galvanized nails. You should sink these nails into the
ground and through the strips every foot.
Find a Pre-Screened Landscaping Contractor in Your Area
Once this is done, you can then begin to lay the bricks/pavers. There are many
patterns you can lay. I particularly like the Herring Bone pattern. The key to
laying the bricks/pavers is to ensure that they interlock with each other.
Always stagger adjacent rows of bricks by 1/2 of a brick to interlock them. This
will again help maintain the integrity of the walkway.
Inevitably bricks / pavers will need to be cut or split when building the walkway.
Unless you want to buy or rent an expensive wetsaw, I would suggest purchasing a
simple brick / paver splitter. It is basically a chisel with a wide end that is
the width of the bricks/pavers. To actually cut/split the brick / paver, lay it in
a bed of sand and place the chisel at a 75o angle over the spot where
you want to break the brick. Then using a hammer strike the butt end of the
chisel firmly. You may need to do this a couple of times. You may also want to
flip the brick / paver over and strike the other side of the brick using the
hammer and chisel. Within one or two strikes the brick / paver should break
cleanly. If your walkway has curves you will need to buy/rent a wetsaw.
After installing the bricks, build up the outside edges with additional sand,
and then shovel in the topsoil and pack down firmly.
Finally, spread stone dust over the new walkway and sweep into the cracks.
Repeat this process a couple of times to ensure the cracks are fully filled.
This will complete the interlocking of the bricks and help to eliminate any weed
growth. Just add grass seed to the outside edges and you should have a beautiful
entrance to your home within a couple of weeks.
Planning to have a Brick or Paver Walkway
by a Landscaping Contractor but not sure what questions to ask to ensure you
hire the right one? See HomeAdditionPlus.com's
Brick and Paver Walkway Bid Sheet. The
Brick and Paver Walkway Bid Sheet will help ensure that your walkway
project goes smoothly and you get the finished walkway you are looking for.
How to Finance your
New Home Project
Home Equity Loans
can help provide funds for your new home improvement project if
financing is required.
Additional Brick Paver Walkway Resources
Walkway Lighting and Key Walkway Installation
Tools from Amazon.com