Home landscaping is a home improvement project that not only enhances the owner’s personal enjoyment of the property but the value of the home and property as well. Hardscaping (Hardscape, is the practice of landscaping, refers to the paved areas like streets & sidewalks, large), using brick pavers for sidewalks and patios, for example, adds interest and beauty to a landscaping design project. In fact, adding hardscape is the optimum place to begin forming the foundation for plantings at a later time.
It is important, however, that the installation of walkways and patios be done correctly using proper installation techniques. Many homeowners think that using interlocking brick pavers to lay a sidewalk or patio should be a simple process. But they soon discover that when done improperly the results are disappointing at best. And a year or so down the road, things are even worse and they realize the project must be done over.
Brick installation must be done properly or it will detract from appearance of a home’s landscape and can even decrease the value of a home or require fixing prior to putting the home on the market. There are a few very important aspects to installing brick pavers that will produce the professional results most homeowners are looking for.
Interlocking concrete pavers have become very popular in recent years. They are a good alternative to traditional brick or concrete. Most homeowners assume that interlocking pavers fit together like a puzzle, but this is not the case. When properly interlocked, one paver cannot move without the other and as a result they all stay in place.
In order to create a situation where the interlocking pavers are truly “interlocked” the brick installation must achieve vertical, rotational and horizontal interlock. That essentially means everything is locked in from all directions. Here is how to ensure this when installing brick pavers.
- A thick brick paver, 3 ½ in (80 mm), will have a greater interlock than a thinner brick paver, such as a 2 3/8 in (60 mm) brick paver.
- Laying your brick paver in a herringbone pattern has the greatest interlocking results. There are many types of herringbone patterns to choose from so you can select one that you find most attractive.
- It is important to keep consistent joint widths and between 1/16 in. to 3/16 in. (2 mm – 4 mm) range. Wider, sand filled joints are not as effective.
- The presence of a crown will decrease the stability of the interlocking pavers. For water drainage purposes, a slope is preferred to a crown for stability.
- Stationary edge restraints are essential to holding the brick pavers tightly in place.
- Any brick paver that allows the above interlocking properties to exist will be effective.