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How to Make a Paved or Brick Path
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Pavers or bricks make very attractive paths, they can be matched to other features and then laid in a variety of patterns, such as basketweave or herringbone. All pavers are suitable for paths but it is vital to get frost-resistant bricks for outdoor garden use, normal house bricks will disintegrate. You will also need an edging either side of the path to hold the pavers or bricks in place. The simplest edging is to lay bricks or pavers on their sides. Ideally a path should have a slight slope (1 in 100) along it's length to allow water to drain away. Paths are often dry-laid. This means there is no mortar between the bricks (except the edging bricks), they are laid on sand and then compacted down by machine. You can get away without using any hardcore unless your soil is badly drained, then a 7-8cm deep layer is worth putting down before the sand layer.
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you will need
Bricks or pavers; cement; sharp sand; pegs and string; a shovel; a bucket; a sheet of wood to mix mortar on; a spirit level; a stiff brush; a garden rake. A club hammer and batten will level small areas, but hiring a plate vibrator is worth it for levelling large areas. Polypropylene membrane to keep out weeds is optional but will save on path maintenance for years after.
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step1
Mark out the position of the path with pegs and string if you want straight lines. Make the path a generous width, that is enough for two people to pass each other, if space allows. Adjust the width to fit the size of bricks or pavers to save having to do any unnecessary cutting.
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step2
Use a sharp spade to excavate approx. 15 cm down, work out the precise depth depending on depth of your bricks or pavers and sand. Level the ground with the back of a rake. Apply a liquid weedkiller or lay down Polypropylene membrane (cut it wide enough so that the edges can enclose the other layers).
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step3
For a ‘brick on edge’ edging, put down a 5 cm deep layer of damp mortar. Lay the bricks down both sides of the path and check that they are level by using a spirit level. Hold in place with a staked board (this is just a temporary measure until the mortar sets). Wait until the mortar has set before doing the rest of the path.
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step4
Add 7 - 8 cm deep layer of sand, this layer must be even and compacted with a wooden board.
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step5
Lay the bricks or paving without any gaps between them. Use a lump hammer on a piece of wood to get them level. For large areas use a plate vibrator to bed the path down. Fine joint filling sand can then be brushed over the surface.
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Lay edging bricks in mortar and leave to dry.
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Work along path laying bricks onto sand.
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Brush kiln dried sand into joints to finish path.

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