How Do I Lay a Brick Path?

Updated February 21, 2017

There are many factors to consider before laying a brick path. The path's width, whether to make it straight or curved and what type of bricks to use are three of the main considerations. A brick pathway is one of the simplest types of paths to lay. Bricks are easy to work with and come in a variety of colours. Take your time establishing the base for the bricks to lie on. This will keep them level and in place for years to come.

Mark the brick path's edges using garden hoses or spray paint. Complete this step about one week before starting the project. Walk along this path often to see if the width and shape work for you.

Remove the dirt inside the marked edges with a shovel. Dig down at least 8 inches. Lay a level across the path in different locations to verify that it is flat.

Spread a 3-inch layer of pack over the dugout path with a metal garden rake. Pack, which consists of 3/4-inch stones and ground stone dust, helps the path to maintain its shape. Tamp the pack down using a plate compactor. You can rent one at your local hardware store.

Determine the brick path's ideal height. Hammer wooden stakes into the ground at the path's start, centre and end. Tie a string around the stake in the path's start. Position the string to the path's desired height. Loop the string around the stake a few times, then run it to the centre stake. Loop the string around the centre stake at the path's desired height and run it to the stake at the path's end. Loop the string around the last stake at the path's desired height.

Place a brick next to each stake. Measure the gap between the brick's surface and the looped string. This measurement tells you how many inches of sand you need to raise the bricks to the proper height.

Lay sand in the pathway and spread it to the appropriate depth using a metal rake. Run the plate compactor over the sand. Place a brick next to each stake to check the height. Add sand as needed. Remove the stakes. Begin laying the bricks on the path. Set the bricks straight down onto the sand instead of dragging them. Lay the bricks perpendicular to each other or in another pattern that appeals to you.

Cut the bricks in half with a wet saw to create a flat edge on the path's ends. If your path curves, place two bricks end-to-end following the curve. Measure the gap between the bricks. Transfer this measurement onto the brick entering the curve. Draw a line from this mark to the brick's corner to create a triangle. Use the wet saw to cut the triangle off the brick. Set the brick in place. The brick should now fit tightly against the other brick while still starting the curve.

Lay edging tightly against the brick path's edges to hold the bricks in place. Use an edging that fits underneath the bricks and has holes you can pound stakes through. Insert one stake through each hole and hammer it all the way down.

Pour sand onto the brick path's surface. Use a broom to sweep the sand along the path. Leave a 1/2-inch layer of sand on the bricks. Run the plate compactor over the path to set the bricks. Sweep the remaining sand off the path.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden hose or spray paint
  • Shovel
  • Level
  • Metal garden rake
  • Pack
  • Plate compactor
  • Wooden stakes
  • Hammer
  • String
  • Tape measure
  • Sand
  • Wet saw
  • Edging
  • Broom
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