How to Install a Sandset Brick Patio Part 3 of 3
Brick pavers set in sand create a classic patio surface that’s more casual than mortared pavers. The inherent flexibility of the sandset finish allows for easy repair and maintenance or changes in the design over time. It also creates good drainage.
Traditional clay brick pavers set in sand make for one of the simplest yet most rewarding patio projects. The installation process is straightforward and, because there’s no mortar involved, you can complete the work at your own pace. The overall installation time depends on the patio’s design.
Square-edged patios require fewer cuts and thus less time than curved designs. But if you want something out of the ordinary, sandset brick is a good material to work with—the small units are perfect for making curves and custom features; even if you have a lot of cuts, you can make them quickly and accurately with a rented masonry saw.
To pave with any of the classic patterns, such as running bond or herringbone, you’ll start at one corner of your patio border or edging. To ensure accurate layout, check that the sides of the edging form a 90-degree angle at the starting corner. If you’re not using edging or any kind of formal border, set up mason’s strings to guide the brick placement.
If you go with clay brick without spacing lugs, use spacers cut from a sheet of 1⁄8"-thick hardboard to help set accurate sand-joint gaps as you lay the units.
More Paver Patterns
Basketweave patterns require bricks that are twice as long as they are wide. To avoid cuts (on square or rectangular patios), you can install edging on only one side and use it as a baseline for the paving. Install the remaining three sides of edging after all bricks are laid. Snap a chalk line down the center of the sand bed, making sure it is perpendicular (90°) to the baseline edging. Working from the centerline out for each section, lay bricks in a pyramid shape, setting 12 bricks total in the first row, 8 in the second row, and 4 in the third row. Complete the paving by adding to each row incrementally to maintain the pyramid shape. This ensures that every row stems from the centerline to keep the layout straight.
More Paver Patterns
Pinwheels allow you to avoid cuts (on square or rectangular patios) by installing edging on only two adjacent sides, starting from a precise 90° corner. Install the remaining edging after the paving is complete. Set each square pattern using four full bricks, as shown here, then fill the center cavity with a half-brick. For added accent, the centerpiece can be a unique color, but it must be the same thickness as the full bricks. Do not use a thinner brick for the center and compensate for the difference with additional sand; the brick will eventually sink and create an uneven surface.