How to Lay a Brick Sidewalk - Page 2

  • Step 4 : Place the sand

    Place the sand

    Fill the wheelbarrow with sand and wheel loads of it to fill the drain holes. When the drain holes are full of sand, roll out porous landscape fabric over the exposed dirt to stop weeds and keep the sand from mixing with the soil. Then fill the excavation with sand to within a brick thickness of the top of your edging or form. Spread the sand in the excavation with an iron rake.

    The easiest way to accurately level the sand is with a screed, which is a board notched at the ends so that the portion of the board between the notches extends down an amount equal to a brick thickness. Lay the screed across the walk with the notched ends resting on the edging for the form, then slide it back-and-forth as you move it along the walk to level the sand.

  • Step 5 : Compact the sand with a hand tamper

    Compact the sand with a hand tamper

    Use a hand tamper to thoroughly tamp the sand, first across and then along the length of the walk. Since a well-tamped bed is so important if the walk is to remain level, soak the sand with a lawn sprinkler for at least 5-6 hours. Then add more sand and tamp again as needed. Don't skip this - you will get a better walk, and this step gives you a convenient excuse to knock off work for the day!

  • Step 6 : Place the brick and cut it

    Place the brick and cut it

    You can lay bricks tight against each other in the desired pattern directly in the sand or onto plastic grids that you place on the sand. The grids assure the bricks will be straight and uniformly spaced. If cutting bricks is required, you can cut them by hand or rent a wet saw equipped with a diamond-grit blade. To cut brick by hand, score both sides of the brick on your cut line by repeatedly and lightly tapping a brickset chisel with a mini-sledge; then hold the brickset on the score line angled toward the waste portion of the brick and strike it sharply. Protect your knees with kneepads and wear safety glasses with side shields or goggles when cutting brick.

  • Step 7 : Fill the joints

    Fill joints

    To lock bricks firmly in place, brush sand into the joints and then spray water on the walk to settle it into the cracks. Repeat this procedure a couple times a day for a week or more until you can see all cracks remain full after watering.

  • Step 8 : Repair the edges

    Remove any temporary forms carefully. Then backfill the excavated area next to the walk or boarder with topsoil and sections of the sod you saved. Carefully tamp the sod in place and water it regularly for a least a few weeks to assure a successful transplant.

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