How to Lay a Brick Decorative Wall

Written by marsanne petty
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How to Lay a Brick Decorative Wall
Stagger bricks when building walls to make them appear more decorative. (brick wall image by Alison Bowden from

Decorative brick walls are a striking addition to a garden. You can also lay a decorative brick wall along a walkway, around a raised garden bed or even along the edge of your porch. Typically, brick decorative walls are laid in the same pattern throughout the whole wall in order to create a pleasing design.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Trowel
  • Bricks
  • Cement
  • White sand
  • Cement plasticiser
  • Putty knife
  • Chisel
  • Hammer

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  1. 1

    Mark the area for your brick decorative wall. Dig a small trench with a trowel; make it the width of the side of the brick and run it along the area where you want the decorative wall to be.

  2. 2

    Determine how many bricks you will need by laying the bricks along the trench on their side. Leave a small gap between each brick, about ¼ inch, so that there will be room for the mortar. Begin the bottom layer with the brick at the very end of the line, but begin the second line with the first brick at the centre of the first brick on the bottom line, so they will be staggered. When you have the bricks laid out like you want, take them back down so that you can apply the mortar.

  3. 3

    Mix one part of cement with five parts of white sand. Add enough water to the mixture to bring it to the consistency of peanut butter. If you have a large amount of mortar to work with, add a plasticiser to the mortar mixture to make it easier to work with. Different plasticisers call for different amounts when working with mortar, so be sure to follow the directions on the plasticiser package.

  4. 4

    Spread a layer of mortar on the end of the first brick and set it into the trench. Place the second brick up against it, pressing firmly to embed the two bricks together into the mortar. Continue spreading mortar on the end of the bricks and pressing them together until you reach the end of your wall area.

  5. 5

    Lay the second layer of bricks. Spread mortar on the ends of the bricks, and on top of the first layer of bricks. Use the putty knife to spread a layer of mortar all the way along the top of the first layer of bricks. Gently press the brick down, staggering the first brick halfway, then spread mortar on the end of that first brick. Set the second brick down, pressing it against both the first brick and the top of the bottom brick.

  6. 6

    Continue laying bricks in this manner until you have completed your wall. If there are pieces of mortar that are not within the cracks, use a small chisel and hammer to remove them. Simply place the chisel against the errant mortar and tap it with the hammer, causing the mortar to break free.

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