How do I do a brick edge on a concrete patio?

by Aneta Downey
(Missouri)

I am in rural Missouri and would like to do a patio of concrete but with some old bricks set into it (the bricks were salvaged from an old building). I have researched quite a bit but can't seem to find the best method of doing this. I have a concrete contractor who will work with me, but he is not sure of the method to use either. I am wanting to use bricks around the outside edge and between the joints of the sections. Can you give us any advice as to the best way to do this?


Thank you,
Aneta Downey

Dear Aneta,

A brick edge on a driveway is done like any other brick edge, it is on a 4 inch thick concrete slab with a setting bed of mortar and a mortar joint. The tricky thing about doing a concrete driveway with a brick edge and expansion joints at intervals throughout the driveway is to recess the concrete driveway the depth of the brick and setting bed where the brick is to be installed. This keeps the base one piece which keeps the brick work from separating and settling differently from the driveway. This makes the concrete driveway approximately 6 inches thick. Brick cannot be set into the concrete, but must be installed on the concrete slab. The best looking jobs are done by an experienced mason working in conjunction with your concrete contractor. Also be sure that your salvaged brick is a paver not a building brick. Building bricks are not made to be installed on the ground. I am sure you've seen brick walks that have crumbled? This is because they were built with a building brick not a brick paver.
I hope you can understand my description of the brick installation. I wish it was as easy as installing them into the concrete. You sometimes see this method of installation done with irregular slate or bluestone, but it can not be done with bricks.
Thanks for submitting your question.

Nancy

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