How to use old bricks for patios & walkways

Updated February 21, 2017

Using old bricks for patios and walkways is similar to laying new brick pavers. Reusing old bricks is a good way to recycle materials and save money. You can obtain old bricks from a neighbour or a family member who may be doing a remodel. You can use old bricks for a patio or walkway by first determining how much of an area you want to cover with the bricks.

Measure the total area that you want to use for the patio or walkway. Take a measurement of the length and width with a tape measure. Multiply them together to determine the total square footage.

Insert wooden stakes into the ground to mark the outline for the patio or walkway. Place string around the stakes to create an outline of the area.

Dig out all of the grass and dirt from within the outline. Dig down to a depth of about 10 inches to allow for all of the base material.

Run a plate compactor over the ground to compact all of the loose dirt. Plate compactors can be rented at your local hardware store or home improvement store.

Lay an initial base of crushed gravel about 4 inches deep. Spread it around and then use the plate compactor to press it down. Add another 2 inches of gravel and compact it with the plate compactor.

Put down a 1-inch layer of sand to use as the final base for the bricks. Place sections of 2x4 boards so they are laid 6 to 8 feet apart. Add sand between the boards and drag a 2x4 across the top of the boards to level the sand.

Select a pattern for the patio or walkway and begin laying the bricks. Start in a corner area and move outward while keeping the joints straight. Leave about 1/8 of an inch or so between the bricks. This gap will be filled in with sand.

Spread masonry sand over the bricks with a broom so the sand fills in at the joints.

Spray water over the bricks with a garden hose to compact the sand.


Slope the bricks away form buildings so water will drain away properly Spray the gravel lightly with water so it will compact easier.


Joints that are not straight will cause the pattern to look crooked.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • Shovel
  • Gravel
  • Sand
  • Plate compactor
  • 2x4 boards
  • Garden hose
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About the Author

Cameron Easey has over 15 years customer service experience, with eight of those years in the insurance industry. He has earned various designations from organizations like the Insurance Institute of America and LOMA. Easey earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in political science and history from Western Michigan University.