How to Build a Brick Sidewalk

Learning how to build a brick sidewalk truly is not rocket science, but it does go much easier by following these simple directions. Read on to find out more. Start by estimating the number of bricks you will need.

Allowing for five bricks per square foot, measure by multiplying the length by the width of the area of which you are planning to build the sidewalk and then multiplying that square footage by five.

Number of Bricks = (Length X Width) x 5


Stake the outline of the area
and stretch a mason's line between the stakes. Excavate the area allowing for the depth of the brick plus two inches of sand, which will be used for a base.

To keep the edges of your sidewalk
from wobbling or coming loose, install a permanent steel edging, bender board, or you can prepare a cement footer the same width as the brick to hold them with mortar.

Treat the excavated area with a soil fumigant such as Vapam to prevent the growth of weeds and grass. Alternatives to chemical soil treatment including laying landscape fabric along the entire surface of the excavated area.

Spread sand along the area to a depth of one inch, leveling as you go using a 2x4 laid across the width of the area you have dug out.

Using a garden hose, mist the sand until it is damp and then walk across it, tamping it down. You can also use a roller, a piece of equipment filled with water that you roll across an area to flatten. These can be found at big-box stores like Home Depot or Lowes that offer them for rent on a daily basis. Add another inch of sand and repeat the above procedure.

Using string stretched across the path and tied to the stakes as a guide, begin laying your bricks.

Start at one corner to work in your design. Some designs include the basket weave pattern (offshoots of this include the half-basket and the basket on edge), herringbone, and running bond patterns. Move your string down the path as you work to ensure even, accurate placement of the bricks. When finished, fill in the joints in your new brick walkway with fine-grit sand by pouring it on and then sweeping it into the gaps and spaces with a broom.

Voila! You have just completed a brick sidewalk you will be proud of for years to come.

See Also:

Flagstone Landscaping Ideas