Designing Curved Brick Walkways
Whether for your front yard or your garden, brick walkways can instantly add charm and character to the space. Straight walkways may be simple enough, but what about curved brick walkways?
Step 1 – Design the Curved Brick Walkways
Attempting to make brick walkways involves a lot of planning, especially for curved walkways. Before you begin construction, sketch the curved brick walkways you want to create.
Step 2 – Prepare the Bed
Once you have your sketch, you can start preparing the bed for your brick walkway. First remove approximately 8 inches of dirt throughout the entire walkway. To that area you cut out, you want to add about 4 inches of gravel. Because stones have the tendency to be unevenly distributed, your work could benefit if you tamp everything down and level it. Tamp the gravel well enough that everything is compact. If not, the bricks in your walkway will have the tendency to move.
When you’re done adding gravel, you have to add concrete sand next. The reason why you should use only concrete sand is that it’s jagged and will prevent the bricks from moving around. Because the grains of beach sand are round and smooth, they can't lock the bricks together. To spread the sand evenly, place 1-inch pipes on the both sides of the tamped gravel walkway; then pour approximately 2 inches of sand all throughout the path. With the use of a straight-edged board, level the sand out by dragging the board on top of the pipes. When you are done with that, simply pull out the pipes and fill the gap with sand.
Step 3 – Lay the Bricks
You should have patterns in mind before you start laying out the bricks. Usually people choose separate patterns for the edges and the field area. You can use only one pattern all throughout the path, but a soldier pattern on the edges will make creating the curves easier. The soldier pattern is simply bricks laid out on top of each other horizontally. The beauty of this pattern is that you can easily cut bricks to form curves. To keep your edges straight, use a string as a guide. For curved edges, use lattices.
Step 4 – Make the Curves
To make curves, line the edges of the curved pathway with bricks placed one on top of the other. Once you complete the soldier pattern edges, continue filling in the middle part of the path. When you reach the part where you can’t fit the bricks anymore in the small gaps, you will cut the bricks to size. To do this, position each brick in the gaps and mark them. Using a wet brick saw, cut the bricks according to your markings so that they fit the gaps.
Step 5 – Fill the Gaps in Your Brick Walkways
When you’re done laying out all the bricks, use a broom to sweep sand into all the gaps. Add fill dirt under the straight edges and nail down plastic edging for the curves.