How to Build a Brick Patio

A brick patio is a nice touch in almost any yard. So whatever type of yard you have — and whatever style you like — there’s a brick patio for you. For those of you who like to do things yourself, making a brick patio is easy enough.

All You Need

brick patio
  • Shovel
  • Rubber mallet
  • Level
  • Crushed stone
  • Water-permeable landscape fabric
  • Paving bricks
  • One long 2x4
  • Tamper
  • Mason's line
  • Plywood to kneel on
  • Broom
  • Garden hose


Time commitment: 2 days

Patterns and planning: To calculate how many bricks you need, multiply the length of your patio area by its width in feet. Then multiply that number by 5.2, which is the number of 4-inch by 8-inch bricks in a square foot.

There are a number of standard brick patterns you can use, or you can create one of your own. Herringbone and basketweave are two of the most popular patterns, with basketweave the simplest. In this pattern, eight bricks make up a square, alternating horizontal and vertical pairs.

Step by Step

  1. Pick a spot. If you plan to use your patio for outdoor grilling, dining and entertaining, put it close to your kitchen so there’s a natural flow from indoors to outdoors.
  2. Measure and mark the desired area of your patio with rope or bricks.
  3. With a shovel, dig out the marked area six to eight inches deep (two to three inches for the sand, three to four inches for the bricks and one inch for the crushed stone.) If the patio is near the house, slope the base slightly so water drains away from the foundation. Make the sides of the area straight.
  4. Starting at the middle, lay out the bricks in the pattern you’ve chosen to make sure everything fits as planned, leaving two extra inches around the perimeter of your patio for the framing bricks.
  5. To create a frame in the two-inch wide perimeter, stand bricks up on their narrow end, with the long narrow side facing out and use the rubber mallet to tap them an inch or two into the ground. The tops should be flush with the intended patio surface.
  6. Remove the bricks in the center of your frame — leaving the perimeter — and evenly spread crushed stone over the area bringing the depth up one inch.
  7. Lay landscape fabric over the stone and spread two to three inches of sand over the fabric. Tamp the sand firm, and then use a long 2x4 to level the sand two inches below the tops of the edging bricks.
  8. Lay the bricks in the sand according to your pattern, as close together as possible. Tap each brick with a rubber mallet to settle it into the sand. As you work, stretch a mason's line across the tops of the bricks, row by row, to ensure evenness.
  9. After laying the bricks evenly, spread sand over them and work it into the cracks with a broom.
  10. Spray the bricks with water to settle the sand. If any brick sinks too far, gently pry it loose and add more sand under it.


Your new brick patio is now complete — just add patio furniture and a grill.


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