How to Create Proper Brick Patio Drainage

A brick patio can be a lovely addition to any back yard until it floods and shifts. What you need is to know how to create proper brick patio drainage before you even lay your first brick. Without the proper drainage your patio could look like a roller coaster with the first thaw. This guide will show you how to install proper brick patio drainage before you put in the patio.

You will need:

  • Sand
  • Gravel
  • Limestone
  • Brick pavers
  • Rubber mallet
  • Shovel 

Step 1 - Placement

Decide where you want to put your new patio. If you are planning to place your patio near the house you will want to make sure that it slopes slightly away from the house. A good rule to follow is for a ½-inch slope per 9 feet of patio area. That means that if your patio is 9 feet long it will need to be ½ inch lower on the side away from the house.  If you choose to build further away from the house and the land is flat you will still need to add that slight slope away from the house to the patio.

Step 2 - Measure out and mark the Location of Patio

You can use wood stakes and string to make a rough mark of where you will be putting the patio. This will also help you to visualize what it will look like in the spot you have chosen when it is done.

Step 3 - Shop

To create the proper drainage for your brick patio you will need to purchase more then just bricks. You will need silicon sand. Silicon sand comes in 55-pound bags and each bag will cover 125 cubic feet.

Gravel is usually purchased by the cubic yard so you will need to multiply the size of your patio by .037 to get enough gravel.

Limestone comes in a 55-pound bag like the sand so you will need an equal amount to the sand.

Pavers simply divide the square footage of your new patio by the size of one stone.

Step 4 - Preparation

You will need to start by excavating the area you wish to place your patio in about 4 inches. Make sure to slope the land as you dig it out. Once it has been dug and leveled add the gravel and use a rake to smooth it out and level it. The gravel will allow the water to seep down to the ground for drainage. After the gravel you will add the limestone and smooth it out so that it is even over the gravel. Once the limestone is even, add the sand and smooth it out also. Limestone and sand help to stabilize the patio and will also prevent weeds.

Step 5 - Lay the Brick

You will want the bricks to fit nice and snug together so you will need to use the rubber mallet to tap them in so they are tight.

Step 6 - Finish up

Once all the bricks are laid you will need to sprinkle more sand into the cracks and crevices and, using a broom, sweep it all over so it settles into any holes left between the pavers.