How to Build a Brick Bench

Written by lisa east hunter
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How to Build a Brick Bench
Why buy a bench when you could build one out of brick? (edge of bench image by jimcox40 from

A brick bench in your garden can be a great way to add seating while still keeping the aesthetic of the space. If you already have brick accents on your patio or in your yard, the brick will blend right in and look perfectly natural. The greatest thing about brick is that the design can be as creative or as simple as you like. Try to pick a design that fits your space and style. Start with a simple bench with a tile top and easily expand on those techniques and get really creative.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Bricks
  • Mortar
  • Level
  • Trowel
  • Shovel
  • Concrete
  • Tile

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  1. 1

    Draw a detailed sketch of your bench. In general, a bench should be about 16 to 24 inches high and 16 to 18 inches deep. A typical brick is 4 inches wide and 8 inches long. You'll need four rows of brick to make a bench 16 inches deep. Make the bench any length you like, depending on how many people you would like to seat. Consider whether you will want to put a cushion on top of it and plan your dimension accordingly.

  2. 2

    Dig a trench for the foundation. The foundation should be about 12 inches deep to accommodate 6 inches of concrete and two courses of brick underground. Dig about 2 inches wider than the bench dimensions.

  3. 3

    Pour the concrete. Use a trowel to smooth the concrete, pressing firmly to remove air pockets. Allow the foundation to set completely.

  4. 4

    Set the first row of the first course of brick according to the dimension of your bench. Apply ½ inch of mortar to the foundation and set the brick firmly into the foundation. Check your bricks with a level. Use a bolster hammer to tap bricks into place and remove mortar if the bricks are not level.

  5. 5

    Set half bricks at the end of the second row of the first course of bricks. To cut the brick, set it in the grass. Use a chisel to score the brick. Set the chisel point at the scored line and tap on the chisel with a bolster hammer to cut the brick.

  6. 6

    Set rows of brick until you have set enough to match the depth of your drawing. Repeat this process to set the remaining courses of brick until you get the bench to the correct height based on your design.

  7. 7

    Smooth mortar across the top of the bench. Set the tiles into place in the mortar. Choose a tile that is the same width as your bench to avoid having to cut tiles. Allow the mortar to set overnight.

Tips and warnings

  • You don't have to finish the top of your bench with tile. If you are planning to set a cushion on the bench, slide hooks into the mortar while it is still wet. Tie the cushion ties to the hooks to keep them secured.

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