- How to Clean a Red Brick Patio
- How to Clean & Seal the Bricks Around a Swimming Pool
- How to Do Scalloped Brick Garden Edging
- How to Build a Round Brick Patio
- How to Landscape Around Trees With Bricks
- How to Use a Brick Hammer
- What Is the Difference Between a Brick & a Paver?
- How to Repair Fire Bricks
- How to Install Brick Veneer
- How to Install a Semicircular Brick Patio
- How to Make Brick & Stone Look Good Together
Brick patios are exposed to weather as well as to insects, birds and other wildlife. Naturally, brick patios become dirty quickly. There are many products for cleaning brick, some of which are caustic; in order to protect your flowers and lawn, an environmentally safe brick cleaner may be more suitable. In addition, these cleaners are generally much safer to handle--no protective equipment should be necessary (although you do want to avoid getting any in your eyes or on your skin).
Pull out any weeds or grass growing in between the bricks. Brush off all debris with a stiff-bristle push broom.
Wet the brick patio down with a water hose. You can put the water hose on high pressure to clean off much of the dirt.
Mix water and cleaner in a clean plastic bucket, according to product directions (for instance, if using Simple Green regular formula, you should mix one part of the product to 10 parts water).
Wet a mop in the cleaning solution. Use the mop to scrub the patio. For extra dirty or stained areas, scrub with the stiff-bristle broom.
Rinse the bricks well with a garden hose.
Rinse the bricks surrounding your pool with water from a garden hose. Direct the stream away from the pool, to keep dirt out of the water.
Mix a solution of 1 part bleach to 4 parts water in a bucket. Dip your scrub brush in the solution and scrub the bricks, a small area at a time. Rinse the area after you've finished scrubbing, and move onto the next area. Continue until you clean all the bricks.
Let the bricks dry thoroughly.
Pour brick sealant into a pump sprayer and apply an even layer over the clean, dry bricks. Let the bricks dry before walking on them.
Lay the path of the garden edge with the cord. Avoid sharp corners and tight curves. Manufacturers provide information on the bricks to show how tight of a radius you can make.
Spray paint along the line to mark where you will dig. Remove the cord.
Dig a trench along the path with the flat-bladed shovel. The depth is determined by the manufacturer's directions plus an additional inch, and the width is just a little wider than the brick. Remove the dirt from the trench with the hand trowel.
Line the trench with the landscape fabric, in a U-shape.
Fill the bottom inch of the trench with sand. Smooth it out with the trowel.
Place the left-most brick in the side of the trench, and tap it a few times with the rubber maul on the top and the right side to seat it firmly. Place the bubble level on the top of the brick, and ensure that the bubble is centered between the marks.
Continue to place bricks in a row, and tap them on the side and top to keep them properly seated. As you seat the bricks, fill in the back of the trench with fill dirt to hold the bricks firmly into place. Measure the bricks as you go along to keep them on the level.
Remove any landscaping fabric that is visible above the trench, and put grass seed on the soil around the bricks.
Choose a location for the brick patio.
Perform a dry run with the bricks. Start with the center half bricks and work your way outwards in a circular pattern. After a few rows of laying half bricks, you should be able to lay full sized bricks for the rest of the patio. Mark with a string or spray paint where the patio needs to be excavated.
Use a sod cutter to excavate the grass from the marked patio area. Once the grass is removed, use a shovel to remove the rest of the dirt. The circular patio area should be seven to nine inches deep when excavated. Tamp the area down with a rented plate compactor.
Lay down five inches of crushed gravel into the patio area and compact it with a plate compactor.
Install a flexible landscape edging. The edging can be metal or plastic, as long as it is pliable enough to encircle the circular patio. Install along the patio edges, according to the manufacturer directions.
Lay down one inch of sand into the patio area and compact it with a plate compactor. Level the sand with a 2x4 board or a rake.
Install the bricks, starting at the center with ½ bricks and gradually moving outwards to the edge of the circular patio. Firmly press each brick into place on the sand.
Use a broom to fill the joints between the bricks with sand.
Place a circle around the tree with marking paint to set the inner boundary of the brick edging. Place a second circle around the first circle to mark the outer limit of the edging. The distance between the two circles must equal the thickness of the bricks.
Place several stakes into the hole and place a string onto the posts. Use a line level to ensure the string remains level. This will serve as the top of your edging.
Excavate the space between the circles with a shovel approximately half as deep as the bricks are long.
Fill the trench approximately half way full with cement and level it out with a trowel.
Place the first brick into the trench long way and position it at a 45-degree angle to the ground. Set it deep enough that the tip of the brick's corner touches the string, Pack cement on the side the brick leans to prevent the brick from falling.
Position the second brick next to the first brick and then install each additional brick until you complete the circle around the tree. Once completed, remove the stakes and string. Allow 24 hours for the cement to dry.
Backfill the trench with as much dirt as possible. Tamp the dirt with a tamper to compact it in the ground.
Use the blunt side of the brick hammer to break apart large brick pieces. This side can also be used to split brick layers in half or crush brick into rock.
Use the blunt side of the hammer on concrete and cement as well. When necessary, it can be used to drive stakes and to split cutting lines.
Use the chisel-end of the brick hammer for delicate hammering jobs, such as chipping small brick pieces. Simply strike the large brick gently with the chisel-end until brick chips break off.
Use the chisel-end to trim and smooth brick faces. Strike the brick face with soft and even hits. Work from one end of the brick face to the other until the brick is smooth.
Use the chisel-end to separate cemented brick pieces. Strike the cement between the brick pieces until a small amount of cement dust forms. Use the chisel to scrape away cement dust. Strike the cement again until the brick pieces separate.
The natural color in brick does not fade. A wide selection of colors is available, ranging from gray to red. Molding and tumbling bricks during manufacture can add textural interest. Brick requires little maintenance other than occasional washing, but it may be more vulnerable to damage by vehicles, according to Stonehenge Brick Paving & Landscaping.
Concrete pavers can be dyed, but the color will fade or even change dramatically over time if the concrete is not sealed from time to time, according to Masonry Magazine. Otherwise, removal or replacement of the pavers may be necessary.
In general, brick pavers cost about 15 percent more than concrete pavers, according to Stonehenge Brick Paving & Landscaping. But over time, the maintenance costs of concrete can be significant.
Clean any soot, grease or dust from the fire brick that is to be repaired. Allow the brick to dry before beginning the repair.
Apply fire cement to the area that is being repaired, using the trowel. If the brick has broken into more than one piece, apply a layer of cement along one edge of the break and push the pieces firmly back together. Wipe any excess cement from the brick. If repairing a crack, work the cement well into the area, again removing any excess.
Apply heat to the fire brick, gradually increasing the temperature over a three- to four-hour period.
Allow the brick to cool, and check for any further cracks. If cracks are found, repeat steps 1 through 3.
Begin installing your brick veneer at the corners and edges of your wall. Lay a full brick on the top corner edge, and then a half brick underneath. Follow this pattern from the ceiling to the floor.
Put a bead of construction adhesive on the back of a brick 1/4 inch from the edges. Place it on the wall applying firm pressure for about five seconds.
Continue placing the brick veneer until the entire area is covered. Leave a 1/2 inch gap between bricks on all four sides.
Pour a bag of mason's mortar mix into a bucket. Add water and stir.
Scoop up mortar mix with a brick trowel. Press the mortar into the joints between the brick veneer using a pointed trowel. Fill all the gaps between bricks with mortar.
Take a very large mason's sponge soaked in water and completely wash the bricks until all the excess mortar is off and the grout area is level and smooth. Dip your sponge in water as often as needed.
Measure the area for the brick patio. Create a layout for your semicircular brick patio design using gardening spray paint or chalk to mark the area as appropriate. You may need a compass to assist in marking a perfect semicircle.
Place edging along the circumference of the semicircular line. Till the soil and flatten the soil with a flat surface board to create a level area for the bricks. You may want to consider purchasing sand or a lining to help with even placement of the bricks during the installation phase.
Purchase bricks meant for semicircular patterns for simplicity. This will limit the amount of cutting necessary at the center of the patio.
Lay each brick down, beginning from the outside of the circle, placing bricks close together. Continue this for several layers, regularly pushing the bricks together to maintain the shape. Place the cut bricks in the center of the patio design.
Pour additional sand over the patio to fill the tiny cracks between the bricks. Sweep away excess sand and spray off the patio with a garden hose. Secure the outside layer of bricks by the surrounding soil.
Coordinate your coloring. Brick and stone won't look good together if they are completely different colors. If you are using grey stone for the siding on your house, select grey brick for your pathway or patio. If you have a red brick house, use red or orange flagstones for the pathway or patio. Combining brick red stones with grey or blue ones can be jarring.
Coordinate sizes. If you are building a patio out of brick and stone, select bricks and stones that are similar in shape or size. For example, if you would like to create a brick patio that is surrounded by stones, select cobblestones for the trim rather than large flagstones. This will prevent the patio from looking unplanned or unbalanced.
Vary textures. If you are creating a pattern for your patio by alternating brick and stone, selecting stones and bricks with vastly different textures can give the overall look an artistic appeal. Smooth, rounded cobblestones or smooth stone tiles paired with straight and coarse bricks can give your patio an interesting design.