How to Install a Sandset Brick Patio Part 2 of 3

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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.

 

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Time to Complete:
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Continue to Step 1

Overview

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.

What You'll Need

Tools:

Tape measure
Circular saw
Drill
Excavation tools
Mason’s string
Stakes
Line level
Plate compactor (available for rent)
Hand tamp
4-ft. level
Rubber mallet
Push broom
Brick paver units
Lumber (2 x 2, 2 x 4)
21⁄2" drywall screws
Compactable gravel
Work gloves
Professional-grade landscape fabric
U-shaped wire stakes (optional)
Rigid paver edging
1"-dia. pipe
Coarse sand
Straight 2 x4
1⁄8" hardboard
Plywood scrap
Paver joint sand
Rake
Trowel
Masonry saw
Eye and ear protection
Maul
Galvanized spikes (for edging)

Materials:

Tape measure
Circular saw
Drill
Excavation tools
Mason’s string
Stakes
Line level
Plate compactor (available for rent)
Hand tamp
4-ft. level
Rubber mallet
Push broom
Brick paver units
Lumber (2 x 2, 2 x 4)
21⁄2" drywall screws
Compactable gravel
Work gloves
Professional-grade landscape fabric
U-shaped wire stakes (optional)
Rigid paver edging
1"-dia. pipe
Coarse sand
Straight 2 x4
1⁄8" hardboard
Plywood scrap
Paver joint sand
Rake
Trowel
Masonry saw
Eye and ear protection
Maul
Galvanized spikes (for edging)

 

Step 1

How to Install a Sandset Brick Patio - Step 1

Set the first course of field brick. These bricks should be centered over the sand joints of the completed border row. Use a mason’s string tied between two bricks to align the leading edges of the first-course bricks. After setting several bricks, tap them with a rubber mallet to bed them into the sand layer. Complete the first field course, and then add some border units along the edge.


Step 2

How to Install a Sandset Brick Patio - Step 2

Snug a piece of edging against the installed brick and anchor it in place. Note: Install the remaining edging as the paving progresses. Continue setting the brick using the mason’s string and spacers for consistent spacing and alignment.


Step 3

Cutting Pavers & Bricks - Step 3

If your design requires cuts, use a masonry saw (tub saw). These water-lubricated cutting tools are available for rent at most building centers and stone yards.


Step 4

How to Install a Sandset Brick Patio - Step 4

Check each 4-ft. section for level to make sure the bricks are even across the top. Remove low or high bricks and add or remove sand beneath to bring them flush with the surrounding bricks. Work atop a plywood platform to prevent displacing the bricks. Complete the paving.


Step 5

Variation

If your patio design includes curves or rounded corners, mark bricks for cutting curves by holding each brick in position and marking the desired cutting line onto the top face, then make the cuts with a masonry saw. For complex curves, it might be easier to leave off the border bricks and run the field brick long at the edges, then mark the curved cuts onto the field brick.


Step 6

How to Install a Sandset Brick Patio - Step 6

Spread sand over the surface, then sweep the sand to fill the joints. Sweep the surface clean, and then tamp the surface with the plate compactor to settle the sand in the joints and lock the bricks in place.


Step 7

How to Install a Sandset Brick Patio - Step 7

Fill and tamp the sand joints one or more times until the joints are completely filled after compaction. Sweep up any loose sand.


Step 8

How to Install a Sandset Brick Patio - Step 8

Soak the surface with water and let it dry. If necessary, fill and tamp again, then hose off the surface and let it dry.


Step 9

More Paver Patterns

90° herringbone patterns require bricks that are twice as long as they are wide. Start the pattern with two bricks set in the corner of your edging (edging must form a precise 90° angle). Add half-bricks next to the ends of the first two bricks. Complete the next row, zigzagging full bricks following the first row. Repeat the zigzag pattern for the remaining field bricks, adding half-bricks at the ends of rows as needed.


Step 10

More Paver Patterns

45° herringbone patterns require bricks that are twice as long as they are wide. Starting from a precise 90° corner, set the first row with two right-angle half-bricks. Complete the second row with two right-angle half-bricks flanking a full brick. Begin each remaining field row zig-zagging full bricks and finishing with right-angle half-bricks or trimmed bricks beveled at 45°.


 
 

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