Brick Pavers will always be the go-to favorite for any walkway, roads, private garden or patios for quite some time now - centuries in fact. They provide timeless and classic beauty that lasts for a very long time
What Are Brick Pavers?
The recipe for brick pavers isn’t a big secret. They are basically made from natural raw materials like clay and shale, molded into shape, then heat cured inside an oven. The place at which the clay soil came from greatly affects its color so manufacturers tend to source their materials from the same place.
In contrast to other paving materials like concrete which admittedly can be a tad bit more durable by a very small margin, classic clay bricks will last for a very long as well especially if its maintained and was installed properly. In terms of appearance though, concrete pavers can hardly match the elegance of clay bricks.
BRICK VS CONCRETE PAVERS
As mentioned above, concrete pavers can be a bit more durable but only by a small margin. Bricks are very tough in itself so harsh weather and heavy payload on top of it won’t be much of an issue. The main strong point of it is that it preserves its qualities better than concrete or other paving materials.
After a certain period of time, concrete pavers may become slippery on the surface and have a tendency to have its color stained by natural elements and dirt in particular. Clay bricks have their color ingrained into them which just gets tempered even more when heat cured. They have a natural rough texture too so they provide better friction for foot passengers. With their classic beauty, they tend to increase home values as well.
PROS AND CONS WHEN USING BRICK PAVERS
While being touted as one of the best materials, brick pavers have their own pros and cons too. The biggest obstacle is of course the cost because concrete pavers were essentially made in order to give consumers a more budget friendly solution. Here’s some of points to consider:
WHAT ARE THE BRICK PAVER DESIGNS THAT YOU CAN CHOOSE FROM?
There are several design options for brick pavers although they might vary from one manufacturer to another especially if they source their materials from different areas. Bricks are almost always going to be more attractive paving surfaces compared to concrete pavers but the design options are more limited. During installation, the bricks can be arranged in different patterns to give a more unique look but the sizes are all rectangular, and the colors are limited to shades of browns and reds. Here’s some of the most common patterns:
Your local supplier may not have all of the shapes available from here are some of the most widely used brick paver shapes that are sold commercially:
HOW MUCH DO BRICK PAVERS COST?
Depending on the place that you live in, prices may vary but the typical price should be about $5 per square foot. You will be charged extra if you request for any customization so keep that in mind too. Professional installation will be around $15 to $30 per square foot although it can increase if you want fancier designs. These are just some rough estimates but it should be good enough for you to have an idea of the typical cost. Just to give you an idea, concrete pavers or poured concrete can be around $6 to $10 per square foot.
BRICK PAVER INSTALLATION
As with any other driveway materials, the basis of a good brick paver surface lies in the preparation that you do before and during installation. This is where a professional like the GetPro Contractors with their years of experience comes into play. Keep in mind that cars or other heavy payloads will be using the paver surface so don’t skimp out on proper installation.
Here’s a simplified version of the steps involved when laying down brick pavers:
- Ground Preparation – clean the area and make sure its rubble free and levelled out before tamping down firmly with a mechanical compactor. This will also make it easier for you to outline the area you intend to pave using layout strings as markers.
- Sand Spreading – this is usually done with two runner boards with notches or markers to indicate a uniform level for you to follow. Loosely spread sand over the entire paving area using the notch or mark on the running boards to give you a rough levelled surface before measuring carefully with spirit levels.
- Laying Pavers – with your specific design in mind, start laying pavers in the pattern that you want. Carefully place each paver onto the sand and gently tap it into place using a rubber mallet. Make sure there’s around 2mm of gap in between each brick.
- Compacting Process – after laying the pavers, use a plate compactor to level the surface. Keep in mind that there are specific frequencies and area coverage used when using a plate compactor so we reiterate that having a professional contractor is the best way to have this done.
- Joint Filling & Clean Up – after finishing the section use a soft brush to remove excess materials or debris for the surface. Sweep white washed dry sand into all joints until they are filled evenly. The sand will act as a sealant for the joints ensuring that each brick is sealed and locked tightly with each other.
- Edge Barrier Installation – this step is crucial especially on the outermost bricks that don’t push against a solid surface. Edge restraint barriers can be installed using pre-mixed concrete which should even extend under the brick and not just the sides to ensure that the individual bricks don’t spread up and separate from each other under heavy load.
We do not recommend doing it yourself to save on labor cost because it’s really not practical to have it re-done by a contractor if you messed up on just 1 brick along the way. Here’s a simple guide to show you how it’s done.
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