Installing a Brick or Paver Walkway

The key to installing a Brick or Paver Walkway is to first
properly prepare the area where the bricks/pavers are to be
installed. The area should be dug out at least a foot down,
removing all topsoil and clay soil.

Once the area has been dug down, 3/4" gravel stone should be
laid in and tamped down tightly. Then sand, or stone dust
should be spread over the gravel. Again the sand/stone dust
should be tamped down. Stone dust is preferred.

Now that you have a stable base, place a 1" pipe or ledger
board the length of the walkway on either side of the
walkway. Then using a flatedge, e.g. a 2"x4" slide it over
the two lengths of the pipe/ledger board. In doing this you
will create a level surface area to lay the bricks/pavers.

Now place on the level sand/stone dust strips of plastic
brick borders. Install a run on both sides of the prepared
area. These strips will act as your walkway border and help
to maintain the integrity and shape of the walkway. You can
get these plastic strip borders at most Home Improvement
stores such as Home Depot or Lowes. The strips should be
anchored down with 12" galvinized nails. You should sink
these nails into the ground and through the strips every

Once this is done, you can then begin to lay the
bricks/pavers. There are many patterns you can lay. I
particularly like the Herring Bone pattern. The key to
laying the bricks/pavers is to ensure that they interlock
with each other. Always stagger adjacent rows of bricks by
1/2 of a brick to interlock them. This will again help
maintain the integrity of the walkway.

Inevitably bricks/pavers will need to be cut or split when
building the walkway. Unless you want to buy or rent an
expensive wetsaw, I would suggest purchasing a simple
brick/paver splitter. It is basically a chisel with a wide
end that is the width of the bricks/pavers. To actually
cut/split the brick/paver, lay it in a bed of sand and place
the chisel at a 75% angle over the spot where you want to
break the brick. Then using a hammer strike the butt end of
the chisel firmly. You may need to do this a couple of
times. You may also want to flip the brick/paver over and
strike the other side of the brick using the hammer and
chisle. Within one or two strikes the brick/paver should
break cleanly. If your walkway has curves you will need to
buy/rent a wetsaw.

After installing the bricks, build up the outside edges with
additional sand, and then shovel in the topsoil and pack
down firmly.

Finally, spread stone dust over the new walkway and sweep
into the cracks. Repeat this process a couple of times to
ensure the cracks are fully filled. This will complete the
interlocking of the bricks and help to eliminate any weed
growth. Just add grass seed to the outside edges and you
should have a beautiful entrance to your home within a
couple of weeks.

About the Author:

Over the past 20+ years Mr. Donovan has been involved with
building homes and additions to homes. His projects have
included: building a vacation home, building additions and
garages on to existing homes, and finishing unfinished
homes. Mr. Donovan's formal education and profession have
been as an Electrical Engineer and Marketing Manager. Email
Mr. Donovan at or visit either his
website or blog site




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