Brick was in use as a building material as far back as the cradle of civilization. The ancient Mesopotamians used them, and why not? They were easy to make, hardy and readily available. They’re fire resistant, and they are pretty. However, they weren’t really used as pavers because they needed some tweaking in order to work as external flooring. People had to make them bigger and fire them at higher temperature so they would have a higher ‘crush strength.’
In 1870, Charleston, West Virginia paved one of its roads over with brick pavers, and this started a trend of using them for streets that lasted throughout the late 1800’s. Some of those roads are still lending charm to Midwestern cities. Some of those antique brick pavers were pulled up and are now for sale for you to use in your own landscaping. Again, the appeal is self-explanatory: they lend an old-world charm and historic feel to a place, and they are both lovely and tough. But what can you do with them if you want to include them in your yard? Learn what you can do with bricks below as we reveal some of our favorite antique brick paver ideas.
Patios: If you want an easy yet beautiful patio, antique brick pavers are ideal. You can lay them around backyard trees or ponds for a built-in picnic area, and you can create your own design with the colors and placement of the pavers. They are a remarkably simple DIY project. Lay landscape fabric on the area you want to cover with brick, pack an even layer of gravel and then sand over this and then just lay your brick. Make sure it is level and then add an edge resistant. Digging a 6 inch deep trench around your bricks and then troweling in concrete is your best bet. After this, you fill in cracks with sand and sealant.
Paths: If you prefer to preserve your lawn, antique brick pavers can provide a beautiful and inviting alternative to people tramping on your grass. It is far easier to lay out the brick pavers along a route that people will want to take to your front door than it is to constantly reseed the lawn. It looks prettier, too, truth be told.
You can make these walkways by clearing out the path you’ll use, then lay landscape fabric on the cleared ground. Spread crushed limestone evenly over the fabric to about 4 to 6 inches and then make sure this is level. Apply edging to the sides (the kits are widely available) and then top the limestone with an even layer of sand. Apply the pavers, tamping them down with a rubber mallet. Pour sand into the crevices.
Flooring For Sun Rooms And Green Houses: If you really want the feel of the outdoors in your sun room, or you are an avid gardener who wants a suitable floor for your green house, antique brick pavers may be your best bet. They can take the beating that your family will give it, and it will look beautiful. You can set them the pavers in a herringbone pattern that will create continuity with the backyard landscape and your inside decor, as well.
This type of flooring only requires that you lay 15 pound felt on the area you want to cover, lay the pavers in so that they fit tightly, and then sweep sand into the cracks. Seal and you have a lovely indoor/outdoor space for all your gardening needs.
Kitchen Floors: If you are ambitious and want a rustic French Country-type kitchen, brick pavers can be a very handy type of flooring. Your kitchen will look not just old-school, but old-world. this style of flooring was used occasionally in the 1920’s and 30’s in places such as New Orleans, but you don’t see it much anymore.
This is a shame, because if you plan ahead for transitions, use pavers with straight edges, and seal them properly, they can be kept lovely for a long time. They never look dirty and are easy to sweep up. You can install the floor without mortar by laying 15 pound felt on the ground, lay the pavers so that they are tightly abutted, and then sweep sand in the cracks. Make sure it is even and then seal everything for a beautiful finish.
Fire Pit: Nothing quite says old-fashioned good times like a fire pit in your backyard. It harkens back to cavemen and communal storytelling; it’s baked in to us. You can add to the historic feel by making your pit with antique brick pavers. Rough out a circle in your desired space, about 36 to 44 inches in diameter, then dig a hole about a foot deep in that circle. Pour sand in to the hole and level it off. Then layer your pavers around the hole until you have a wall around it that is about a foot tall.
Fill this with sand about 4 inches deep. There you are: a fire pit. (As a precautionary note, in many places you need a permit for a fire pit, so call your local municipality to check on the rules.)
If antique brick pavers sound like a great addition to your home, contact us. We can help you on your way to a lovely project.