How to Do Interlocking Bricks

Written by don davis
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How to Do Interlocking Bricks
Interlocking bricks can be used in courtyards like this but not to create this interlocking pattern. (Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

The most common "interlocking bricks" have a groove that runs the length of the brick on one side and a tongue that runs the length of the brick on the other. The tongue of one brick fits into the groove of the other. Interlocking bricks are made of concrete and they are usually used to pave driveways, sidewalks and courtyards. They are never used with mortar. You can lay these bricks on their sides in imitation of old-fashioned, rectangular, ceramic brick pavers. Because they can only be assembled one way, they are very difficult to assemble into interlocking patterns.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • Steel measuring tape
  • Shovel
  • Hand tamper
  • 1-by-4 inch boards
  • 1-by-2 inch wood strips
  • Circular saw
  • Hammer
  • Nails
  • Coarse gravel
  • Coarse sand
  • Masonry blade
  • Fine sand
  • Broom
  • Garden hose

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Measure the thickness of your interlocking bricks with a steel measuring tape. Standard bricks may be 2 1/4 to 2 3/4 inches thick. The thickness of your bricks may vary.

  2. 2

    Excavate the area you want to pave with a shovel. Sidewalks require an excavation at least 4 inches deeper than the thickness of your bricks. Driveways should be at least 6 inches deeper than the thickness of your brick. So if you are paving a driveway with 2 1/2-inch thick bricks, you need to dig a level hole that is 8 1/2 inches deep.

  3. 3

    Compact the bottom of your excavation with a hand tamper.

  4. 4

    Cut 1-by-4 inch boards using a circular saw into appropriate lengths to circumference your excavation. Cut 1-by-2 inch wood strips into 14-inch lengths with a circular saw.

  5. 5

    Sharpen one end of each wood strip into a stake using a circular saw. Nail the stakes to the 1-by-4 inch boards using a hammer and nails. Nail all the stakes on the same side of each board. Nail the stakes to the boards so all the flat ends of the stakes are flush with the top of each board.

  6. 6

    Drive the boards and stakes into the ground around the perimeter of your excavation using a hammer. The boards will provide a form for your bricks. The top of the boards should be flush with the top of your excavation. The stakes should be on the side of the boards away from the excavation.

  7. 7

    Fill all but the top 4 inches of your excavation with coarse gravel. Pour coarse sand on top of the gravel to a depth from the top of your excavation that is equal to the thickness of your interlocking bricks.

  8. 8

    Tamp the sand with a hand tamper. Recheck to ensure that the depth of your excavation matches the thickness of your bricks. Add more coarse sand as necessary.

  9. 9

    Lay your interlocking bricks on top of the sand so that the tongue of one brick fits into the groove of the brick next to it. Work from one end of the excavation to the other.

  10. 10

    Cut some bricks in half with a circular saw and a masonry blade. Start alternate courses, or rows, of bricks with a half brick.

  11. 11

    Pull the retaining boards and stakes from the ground. Spread fine sand over all the bricks.

  12. 12

    Work the sand into the cracks between the bricks and into the gaps left by the board retainers with a broom.

  13. 13

    Wash the surface with water from a garden hose. Spread more fine sand over the bricks after the water dries and work the sand into the array of bricks with a broom.

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