How To Build a Brick Patio or Walkway

A Hard Path Doesn't Have to be Difficult

White wooden house, flowers blooming around front porch, brick walkway is an inviting entrance
A Brick Walkway Makes an Inviting Entrance. Photo by Phillip Spears/Digital Vision/Getty Images (cropped)

Forget the boring slabs of gray concrete. You can do better than a city sidewalk. You may not want a "yellow brick road" to your house, but a brick patio or walkway in the pattern of your choice will enhance the overall beauty of your home. But, how to prevent the pavement from buckling? The secret is in what lies beneath. For the perfect brick entryway or patio, follow these easy steps.

Basic Steps to Building a Brick Walkway or Patio:

  1. Dig Deep. Begin with a six-inch deep excavation. Make sure that the excavation slopes gently away from your house, so puddles won't pool on your finished patio.
  1. Pack the Soil. Edge the hole with rigid plastic or rot-resistant wood, and then add four-inches of crushed stone. To help prevent settling, be sure to pack the soil and stone tightly.
  2. Keep out the Weeds. Overlapping strips of landscape fabric will keep out pesky weeds. Then, top the stone and the fabric with an inch or two of hard-packed stone dust.
  3. Choose a Better Brick. Always use a hard baked brick designed for paving. To check your brick, tap it with a hammer. A paving brick will let out a high, metallic sound; a softer ornamental brick will thud like a block of wood.
  4. Pick your Pattern. Be creative: Lay your bricks in a beautiful herringbone or basket weave designs. Landscaping Paving Patterns are often found on commercial Websites. What catches your eye? Sometimes the angle is just right.
  5. Butt the Bricks. No mortar is necessary if you butt the bricks tightly together. After the bricks are laid, a light sweeping of stone dust will fill in any cracks.

    The Rest of the Story: Tips from Experts

    1. Start with a very small project until you get the hang of it. Learn from your mistakes. With a small project, you can always pull up the bricks and stones and start again.
    2. Make sure to buy plenty of bricks. The color may not match if you have to buy more from a different batch.
    1. Start at the center and lay whole bricks first.
    2. Use a brick-set to cut partial bricks.
    3. Remember that basket weave patterns will leave small openings at the center of each cluster.
    4. Also remember this: bricks are heavy! Be careful.

    Get More Ideas:

    • Patios and Walkways 1-2-3: Design and Build Beautiful Outdoor Living Spaces by The Home Depot
      Buy on Amazon
    • Patios, Driveways, and Plazas: The Pattern Language of Concrete Pavers
      Buy on Amazon
    • Making Paths & Walkways by Paige Gilchrist Blomgren, 2001
      Buy on Amazon