Advice Needed on Brick Walkways

Old 05-20-09, 03:28 PM
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: Texas
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Red face Advice Needed on Brick Walkways

I am interested in doing a series of brick paths and borders in my yard. I cannot decide which is best to use, a sand/gravel bed or a concrete slab.

I live in Texas, south of Dallas. The ground is pretty unstable here (shifts a lot). The other problem is that the ground gets very, very dry here in the summer and large cracks open in the ground. If I had a sand/gravel bed, it would probably disappear in 2 or 3 years (my husband can't keep sand in his horseshoe pits). Also, we have a large problem with fire ants. So, if I went with the sand/gravel bed, would it help if I put some kind of barrier down first? Would that work? Is this even feasible?

If I did put down concrete first, where my paths and what not would be, would it help if I made it really thick, and reinforced with rebar? Could I then lay my bricks on top of that?

Or should I just forget the whole idea? We have a beautiful, park-like area off of our deck that leads down to our pond, it's got a lot of trees in it, and I just love the idea of having some brick paths and flower beds in there, and then some benches, some bird baths and fountains.

Any suggestions would be very much appreciated.

Venus, Texas
Old 05-22-09, 07:50 PM
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I've seen it done both ways, with a concrete bed & without, using gravel & sand on top. People who are against the concrete bed, say that it slows drainage. People who like a concrete bed say that the concrete will crack anyway & the water will drain. They also say it's stronger.

The only reason I would go with the concrete is the shifting problem you mentioned. Frame the width of the walk with 2x4s, compact the dirt as best you can & pour the concrete. Then put some sand on top, about a 1/2 inch. Use some copper pipes & a 2x4 to level it. Set the bricks with a rubber mallet. Another area where people disagree is mixing portland cement with the sand. It's would say use the portland. 3 sand to one portland, dry mix & a wet mix on the borders.

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