Brick paths are lovely additions to any landscaping job. They provide links between various lawn features, patios, structures and other implements that can accentuate your front or back yard. Creating a brick path doesn’t take much work and is easier than you might think; it usually takes about a day and requires very little skill. For our purposes, I will tell you how to create a brick path that is fifteen feet long and three feet wide.
Step One: Collect Materials
You don’t need many materials to create a brick path. First, you will need the bricks, which should be ordered in slight excess of what you think you will need. The standard brick is 8″ X 4″, so measure according to the length and width of your chosen path. You will also need masonry sand. You can get ¼ cubic yard for every fifteen feet of brick bath. In addition, purchase two four-foot 2X4s and one three-foot 2X4.
Step Two: Excavate the Ground
Using a shovel, you will need to excavate the ground on which your brick path will lie. Make sure that the ground is perfectly level so that the bricks will sit correctly, and try to make sure that the bricks will set at ground level once you have laid the sand and brick. Generally, you need to leave about four inches for this purpose. You will also need to leave room on the sides for edging if you prefer.
Step Three: Install Screed Rails
In order to create a flat base for your brick path with the masonry stand, you can screed your path. To do this, lay your four-foot 2X4s flat in three-foot sections along the start of your path. Lay the third 2X4 across the top to make sure they are level. Just make sure that the side rails are flat (2″ tall) rather than turned up-end (4″ tall).
Step Four: Pour Masonry Sand
The next step to create a brick path is to pour the sand at the head of your screeding rails. Then run the top 2X4 along the top of your screeding levels to flatten the masonry sand. If there are holes or divots in the sand, pour more and screed again to ensure that the entire surface is flat. Once you’ve got a flat surface, move the screeding rails to the next three-foot section of the brick path and repeat the process until the entire pathway is completed.
Step Five: Lay Your Bricks
It is now time to start your brick path. Starting at the head of your pathway, begin laying bricks side-by-side, moving from right to left or left to right. To ensure that they are fitted tightly into the masonry sand, use a hammer or the head of an ax to tap them into place. If you are concerned about the surface of the bricks, use a carpenter’s level to ensure they are straight.
Step Six: Fill Joints
After you have created your brick path, you’ll need to set the pathway by pouring sand into the joints. The easiest way to do this is to pour a large pile on top of the bricks, then sweep the masonry sand into the crevices. When you are finished, use a water hose to cement the masonry sand in place.
Once you finished laying your brick path, you can add borders or landscape edging with flowers or plants. You can also add on to the brick path at a later date if you decide you want to create additional landscaping features.
A brick path doesn’t require much maintenance, but make sure to re-fill the joints whenever necessary. Sweep it once or twice a month to remove debris, dead leaves and dirt, and spray it down with a water hose if you find caked mud on the surface.