Updated: May 14, 2020
This project is one of my favorites. I spent the weekend crawling around my back patio laying brick pavers but it's probably one of the easier, large projects that I've done in a while so I wanted to share some pictures and details about the process. First I want to thank Steve, my husband, for carrying somewhere around 6,000 lbs of bricks to the backyard for me and for all the other ways he helped. Be sure to make it to the end of the post for my lessons learned.
Let's start with a list of materials needed (links below to the products I used):
- caulk gun (to fit the size of construction adhesive you select -- I used 28oz)
- string and stakes
- tape measure
- knee pads (highly recommended!)
- tape (we had this aluminum duct tape laying around from fixing a vent and it worked perfectly)
Skill level: Basic-Intermediate
Time: A weekend
Cost: (varies greatly based on square footage) less than $700 for approx 400 sqft
So around the new year, I had my back patio slab extended for my future patio plans. It turned out great, except for the fact that you could tell the difference between the original patio and the slab extension.
The difference in the two sections made me start thinking about what I was going to finish the slab with and then I saw that The Home Depot had a huge Spring Black Friday sale on the brick pavers I had been looking at. So, I jumped on them.
The first thing you need to do is to figure out the square footage of the area you are working with. Since my area isn't a plain square or rectangle area, I broke up the area into two measurements to find my square footage. In order to figure out square footage, you use the following equation:
length x width
If you have an even 8ft x 10ft, then your square footage is a simple 80 square feet. For me, I had two lengths and widths so I multiplied them both and added them together to get my square footage which came out to just below 400 square feet. Then, I took my square footage and divided it by 0.22 (which is how much square footage each of the bricks I used takes up). Finally, multiply that by 1.1 in order to get 10% more than you need for cuts and mistakes. If you'd like a better visual of those calculations, look under "product overview" in the link for the bricks.
length x width = A * 0.22 = B * 1.1 = total amount of bricks needed
I ordered the amount of bricks I needed online and had them delivered to my house on three pallets (totally worth the extra delivery fee). The only real "prep work" that was done was to clean the concrete. It's still a new house and the slab extension that was added is also very new so there was minimal cleaning to be done but the purpose of cleaning the slab is to get off any excess residue that could prevent the adhesive to stick properly or to make the surface uneven. Since my area is simply a level slab that I'm covering, there was no need for any leveling sand or anything under the bricks. So, let's jump right into it.
You should have a plan for the pattern you would like to do. I drew up a rough sketch with the closest thing to me (which was a green highlighter) to show the look I had in my head. I'm really glad I drew it out because even though I had it pretty clear in my head, I realized when I drew this that I wanted the double line of straight bricks to be up a little further so it continues seamlessly around the side of the patio.
Now, let's lay some bricks!
I didn't take many pictures throughout the process because I was recording the time-lapse of the project which you can enjoy below.
The first thing you want to make sure to do is to dry lay all of your bricks so that you can ensure you like the pattern and that everything fits according to plan. I started with the boarder of the first area I was working on (because I did a couple different patterns), laid the 3 sides and stopped where I anticipated the next pattern to start. Then I started filling in the center. My first pattern was a running bond off-set by 1/3 instead of 1/2. All I did to measure this was to roughly take divide the length of the brick into thirds, set down the first brick flush with the border and lay the rest off of that brick.
Then I laid 2 rows of stack bond pattern to divide my first pattern and my second pattern on the large area of the patio which is a herringbone pattern but before I started the herringbone pattern, I laid the rest of the border for the entire area so that I was just filling in the center. The majority of the time in this project was actually laying the brick in the pattern I wanted.