MasterBuild Africa

Steps in Laying a Brick Path

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When laying a brick path, make sure you keep the path 3 feets away from trees with extensive root systems that could push the bricks up. The following steps will guide you when laying bricks:
Tools: Spade, hand saw, 4-foot level, hand tamper, drill/driver, dead-blow mallet, push broom
Materials needed: bricks, graded base, masonry sand, 1×4 composite lumber, wooden stakes, 1¼ inch deck screws, 2×4 lumber
1. Excavate the soil: Add 2 inches to the desired width of the path. Mark out the positioning of the path using a rope or spray paint and dig out the space between the space to remove the top layer of the soil.
Keep the path at least 2 to 3 feet away from trees with extensive root systems that could push the bricks up.
filling pathway with graded base
2. Fill with graded base: Pour in 1 – 2 inches of graded base and spray with water to keep dust down when tamping.
using a hand tamper to compress
3. Compress and heat: Use a hand tamper to pound the layer of base to compress it. Add more graded base and tamp, continue process until tamped layer reaches 3 ½ below grade.
excavating soil to build a brick walkway
4. Add sand layer: Using a handsaw, cut down a 2×4 so it is 6 inches longer than the finished width of your path. Then cut notches at either end that are 3¼ inches wide and as high as one of your bricks laid flat. Create narrow trenches along the edges of the graded base to fit lengths of 1×4 composite lumber turned on edge. Position the 1x4s along both sides of the walkway, then space them evenly by wedging the notched screed between them.
add the sand layer to make a brick path
Pound the 1x4s in until they are level with the existing grade using a dead-blow mallet, drive wooden stakes about a foot into the ground against the outside of the rails every 3 feet to hold the rails in place.
5.Grade the path: Cut a small scrap of wood to a thickness of 1/8 inch for every foot of the path’s width to grade a path for drainage. Tape the scrap to the end of a 4-foot level. Rest the level across the two rails, with the scrap wood positioned on top of the rail on the lower side of the path. Using a mallet, tap the rail into the ground until the bubble reads level. Pour about 2 inches of masonry sand or stone dust into the space between the rails. Tamp the sand. Position the screed between the rails and pull it across the sand to even out the surface and fill in the low spots.
adding sand layer
6. Lay the brick edging: Make shallow trenches about 2 ½ inches deep inside both sides of the guide rails. Lay a brick on edge inside the trench and level it with the top of the guide rail using a dead-blow mallet. Continue setting bricks along the edge until the entire path is edged on both sides.
7. Fill in the field: Widen the notches on either side of the screed so it fits between the edge bricks. Make room for wiggling on both sides. Lay the pattern between the edging and use a mallet to tap the brick. Continue laying bricks, hitting each to set it until the path is filled in.
filling in the field to build a brick path
8. Fill the joints: Shovel a thin layer of masonry sand or stone dust over the top of the bricks. Use a large push broom to sweep the sand into the joints between the bricks. Wet the path to settle the sand, then brush more wet sand into the cracks until they are packed tightly and filled to the surface. After another week, unscrew the stakes and remove the guide rails.








Source: ThisOldHouse

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