How to use old bricks for patios & walkways

Written by cameron easey
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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.

Skill level:

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Things you need

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

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  1. 1

    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.

  2. 2

    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.

  3. 3

    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.

  4. 4

    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.

  5. 5

    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.

  6. 6

    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.

  7. 7

    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.

  8. 8

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

  9. 9

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

Tips and warnings

  • 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.

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