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Installing Your Own Walkway and Patio.

Before You Begin...

Brick is an attractive, durable, easy-to-handle paving material that actually looks better with age. if you carefully follow the simple steps outlined here, you'll have a walkway or patio you can be proud of for many years.

Because you will be using mortarless construction (sand instead of mortar or concrete) and because the sand base will go directly on the soil without gravel or other substrate, you need to be sure of one thing:


If you have no existing drainage problems in your yard, its natural slope is probably fine for the brickwork you want to do. I you have any doubts , the proper drainage formula is simple: insure you have at least 1/4" drainage (slope) per foot, away from your foundation, driveway, garage, etc.

If you expect drainage problems, discuss with your Carolina Ceramics distributor.


Naturally, you'll want to look over the universe of colors and textures available to select the ones that fit your design best. Remember, it's your design-pick as many different types you need to make it look the way you want.


Brick pavers are typically available in three thicknesses: 1-5/8" and 2-1/4". Each thickness is usually available in three sizes: 4"x8", or 3-3/4"x7-5/8". 4"x8" and 3-3/4"x7-1/2" pavers can be used in most designs, but others sizes should be limited to running bond construction (like that used in standard brickwork for homes, fireplaces, etc.)


Well-graded, washed concrete sand

Crushed Stone:

Well-graded, 3/4" crushed stone

Border or Edging Materials (of your choice):

  • Wood: 2x4 or 4x4 pressure-treated, or natural redwood.
  • Brick
  • PVC or metal specifically intended as edging material
  • For wood, metal, or PVC, anchor stakes that can be driven at least 8" into ground.

String and Wooden Stakes (for aligning brickwork)


  • Flat shovel
  • Wheelbarrow
  • Garden hose with fine spray nozzle
  • Hard garden rake
  • For fitting, brick can be cut with a broad-blade chisel; or rent a brick splitter or masonry saw at you Carolina Ceramics distributor.
  • Carpenter's level
  • Wood "screed" strips should be used to create a uniform sand bed depth. (see Step 4)
  • Electric drill and appropriate size bit (for wood edging only)
  • Trowel
  • Broom

Common Bond Patterns

Running Bond

Double Basketweave

Stack Bond

Running and Stack Bond

Single Basketweave



Step 1 - Determining How Much You'll Need

  • Determine the area length x width) you want to pave.
  • Estimate the number of pavers needed: - 4"x8" pavers, flat; 4.5 pavers = 1 sq. foot - 3-5/8"x7-5/8" pavers; 5.5 pavers = 1 sq. foot - 3-3/4"x7-1/2" pavers,. 5.5 pavers = 1 sq. foot Include a 5% allowance. Typically, you should also include an additional 1- 1 /2 bricks per bear foot of edge for cutting.
  • Measure the linear foot of open edges-those not up against a house, curb, driveway, etc. This is the number of feet of edging material you will need. If you plan to edge with brick standing on end (soldier position), calculate one brick for each 4" of edge.
  • For wood or PVC edging, plan on one stake or pin for each 3 to 4 feet of edge.
  • 15 lbs. of sand per sq. ft. of paved area will provide a 1- 1 /2 sand bed depth and jointing between brick pavers.
  • 50 Ibs. of crushed stone per sq. ft. of paved area will provide a 4" crushed stone base.

Step 2 - Preparing the Area

  • Check with your local utilities to determine the location of underground lines.
  • After you're sure the area you intend to pave has proper drainage (1 A` per foot slope away from foundations, driveways, or other permanent structures), outline the area with stakes and string, and be sure to include the width of your edging material.
  • Remove only enough sod or dirt to provide a flat, level surface about 5" deeper than the thickness of the brick you have chosen. It is important that dirt or excess sod that is removed and re-installed should be firmly compacted with a plate compactor for an even base.
  • Spread the crushed stone over the area and compact with the plate compactor. Add stone and compact until the stone base is 4" thick.

Step 3 - Framing the Borders

  • The border, or edging system, is necessary to insure that your brickwork remains firmly in place and stays beautiful for years. Begin by placing, but not anchoring your edging.
  • Experiment now with the pattern you've chosen by temporarily laying brick around the edge of the paving. Note that complex designs, like herringbone, may require cutting large numbers of brick.
  • Once you're satisfied with placement, anchor the edging by driving stakes or pins at least W into the stone base every 3 to 4 feet. For wood edging, drill holes and drive the stakes through the middle of the wood. For brick edging, dig a trench deep enough so that the top edge of the edging brick will be flush with the brick surface of your finished project.
  • One edge should remain unanchored until final brick installation to insure a tight fit. Now remove the bricks you temporarily installed.

Step 4 - Installing the Sand Bed

  • For a walkway or other fairly narrow project, cut two wood strips to the desired height of sand (1 - 1 /2 "). Place them on either side of the paving area. For a wider project like a patio, place the strips about 3 feet apart.
  • Now fill the area with sand. The sand can be dampened a fine mist of water prior to installation to eliminate voids.
  • After you pour the sand, use the wood strips as rails on which to run your "screed" board (a piece of 2x4 will do) to insure a uniform sand depth of 1-1/2" (Figure A). Be careful not to walk in or disturb the leveled sand.
  • Remove the screed rails and fill the indentations with loose sand. Level with a broom or trowel.

Step 5 - Laying the Paying Brick

  • Start at a corner-if possible, one that includes an edge such as a house, curb, sidewalk or other fixed edge. Lay one run of brick from the corner along the two adjacent borders (Figure B). Set the brick on the sand. Don't press or hammer them into place. They should fit snugly, with about 1/8" between each brick. As you work, be sure to work from the laid brick, not the sand. If you disturb the virgin sand, re-level it with a broom or trowel before laying more brick.
  • Continue to lay the brick in your pattern, working from your starting corner to the unanchored edge (Figure C). With the original perimeter brick as a reference, put a string line across the front of your laying edge (every 2 to 3 feet) to maintain alignment (Figure D). If the pattern wanders somewhat, a trowel, screwdriver, or wide-blade putty knife can be used to make small adjustments. Don't be concerned with small gaps between the paving brick-you'll fill them with sand.
  • Be sure to check the level and alignment of the brickwork frequently during installation.
  • Once all the full brick have been installed to as close as possible to the final, unanchored edger, cut or saw the remaining brick to complete the bond pattern -but insure that the final edge brick are no smaller than two inches in width.
  • Anchor the final border.

Step 6 - Finishing Up

  • inspect your work, making final adjustments in brick height and joint alignment. Then sweep dry sand into all the joints to lock the brick into place. To further set the brick, you may want to lay a board or plywood over the brick and gently tamp it down.
  • The sand you swept into the joints will gradually settle, and you should sweep additional sand into the joints as necessary over a few days until the bricks are fully stabilized.
  • A plate vibrator can be used to further set the brick in place. if a vibrator is used, spread a layer of sand over your pavers to prevent contact between the brick and the vibrator.
  • Step Back - and Enjoy

The six steps that led up to this one will all be worth it. You've completed a simple paving project you can use and enjoy for a long time to come. And every time you use it, you'll know I did it myself."