brick step tread radius design


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Old 12-08-12, 07:10 PM
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brick step tread radius design

I am building brick steps in a radius or half circle. Laying two courses of brick each step will be about 14 inches wide. Although there is no overlap in the first row the second row of bricks will have some areas of overlap. Would the curve be handled in the same way as the soldier course for a brick sidewalk in that one side of the brick is cut to fit the curve. Then the next step level would cover the cut areas. In viewing pictures of this type of design with two rows brick it appears both are equal in size with no noticeable cut areas; just wondering how this would be done.
Thank you
 
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Old 12-09-12, 12:08 PM
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Not exactly sure what you're asking, as you intermingle "courses" and "width" in the same discussion. Tread width should be independent of the number of courses used for each step.

If the curve radius is large enough, no cutting of the bricks will be necessary. Just taper the mortar joints slightly.
 
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Old 12-10-12, 12:10 PM
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The half circle dimension is 62 inches and the radius is 30 1/2 inches. To clarify each step tread level will have two rows of brick the outer radius level and then a row on the inner radius. If I am getting a wagon wheel effect now with the inner level would this mean the radius should be lengthened. Similar to this design.

http://alvarezconstructionnj.com/bri...ter_1 copy.jpg


Thank you
 
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Old 12-10-12, 04:47 PM
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Thanx for the example pic. I suspect you'll have to taper-cut the long dimensions of the bricks in your upper step(s), if your geometry is close to that of the picture. Trying to make up the angular effect purely by varying the mortar thickness could look cumbersome. And since your tread pattern (rise-to-tread ratio) will not be close to the standard range, don't forget some form of handrail, probably a free-standing radial unit in the center. You don't want people falling because they're not accustomed to taking an awkward, extra step forward on each level, especially when moving in the downhill direction, in the dark.

I personally think an elliptical pattern would look far better than the circular one you've chosen, as it would not throw off the normal human perception that steps should be long and narrow vs. short and fat. Many years ago, I built an arched, elliptical brick stove surround, using a 60" radius, and didn't have to taper-cut any bricks--even in the tighter-radius "corners".
 
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Old 12-11-12, 12:18 PM
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Setting out for the cuts is the same as for an arch.
Draw out the semi circle full size on a board and then mark out the bricks on the circle. Draw the bricks in from the striking point and you can then make a template to use to mark out the bricks for cutting.
 
 

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