If you are looking for a beautiful way to enhance the look of your home, then you really need to consider a brick sidewalk. Especially when you are able to use reclaimed bricks for your project, you’ll have a functional sidewalk that will add character and history to your home. Of course, you first have to know how how to lay a brick sidewalk.
When you undertake a project like this, you need to understand three fundamental parts of the process: the base, the border, and the bricks. You want to be sure to have a good base put down in order to ensure that your bricks will be level and remain in place. Then of course, you have to think about the border, which will help to keep your bricks in place. And lastly, it’s crucial to find the perfect bricks for the job.
Start digging. Measure how wide you want your brick sidewalk to be, and then add about two inches. Try to purchase some of the bricks that you are planning on using early, which allows you to see what patterns or style you like for your sidewalk. It will also help you to better understand the size you’ll need.
Once you’ve measured the width, you can use spray paint, a piece of rope, or any other tool to draw your measurement marks. As long as the marks stay in place, the choice is yours. After that, you can start digging. A good rule of thumb is to dig until you’ve reached a new color of the soil.
After you’ve dug out the sidewalk area, it’s time for the right kind of base. You can put down treated wood to act as a border for the soil surrounding your project until you can get your bricks installed. This will help to guide you more cleanly through the process, and also keeps dirt and debris from falling into your excavated area.
Then, it’s a good idea to put down a weed barrier. Especially if you’ve had to remove grass, a weed barrier will help to prevent anything from growing up between your new brick sidewalk. Then, put down a layer of crushed limestone.
Crushed limestone will provide a stable foundation for your sidewalk. After you’ve placed this layer, tamp it down in order to ensure that it’s completely packed.
Next add sand. This will be your next and final layer, but taking your time with it is crucial. After you’ve placed the sand on the stone layer, take your time and level it.
Whether you use a piece of wood with a level overtop or you actually notch out a piece of wood to go over top your temporary edging, having level sand is crucial. Tamp it down to make sure that it’s tightly packed, and ready for your bricks.
Ideally, you should start installing your bricks from the edge. You can dig a little trench around the outside to place your bricks, and then use a rubber mallet to make sure they are secured.
Your desired pattern will affect how much work is required. For example, a herringbone pattern may require you to cut your bricks, and will need a lot more attention to detail to make sure it looks correct. Simply alternating bricks for a pattern, on the other hand, makes it a bit easier to complete the sidewalk project.
Install the rest of your bricks. Place them in their spot, and then use a rubber mallet to push them into the sand.
In this step, make sure that the bricks are level and even, and continue to double check periodically throughout the entire installation. The last thing you want is to have an uneven sidewalk that slopes towards the middle, because that means that water won’t properly drain, freezing and becoming dangerous in colder weather.
After finishing your sidewalk installation, take masonry sand or stone dust and cover your entire sidewalk. Then, take a broom and sweep the sand into all the cracks between the bricks.
It’s a good idea to wet the sand in order to help it settle into all the cracks. Once it’s wet, you can sweep in more sand. And of course, you should wait about a week before repeating the process once to make sure that there are no gaps.
If you’ve used an edger of wood, you can now remove it. Simply fill the area where it sat with dirt or any other material that matches your landscaping. You now have a finished brick sidewalk!
When you are creating your own brick sidewalk, you can use a variety of patterns thanks to a large selection of bricks. But no matter what, with some good work you’ll end up with a sidewalk that you can be proud of. To find the perfect bricks for your new sidewalk, please contact us.