One of the beautiful but sometimes forgotten materials used in hardscape installation is brick. It is used extensively in the eastern part of the country, less so here in California, as natural stone and stamped concrete seem to be more popular choices.
At Details Landscape Art, we design and install gorgeous patios and walkways all over the North Bay, from Santa Rosa, Healdsburg, Petaluma, Windsor, Sonoma, Cotati, Penngrove, San Rafael, Novato, Terra Linda, Corte Madera and Larkspur. Brick is an excellent choice of materials, especially when the home already features brick in construction construction or as an accent.
Brick patios and walkways can be either sand-set or mortar-set; at Details Landscape Art we only mortar-set, since the sand-set construction style is less permanent and subject to shifts in the ground, and the mortar-set will withstand high foot traffic and entertaining furniture for many many years without failing. Yes, it is a more expensive method, since it is a two-step process. First the concrete base is poured in the shape as designed, and then the bricks are laid over the hardened concrete and mortared and grouted. Brick steps are almost always mortar-set.
Standard bricks can be arranged in several different patterns, including running bond, herringbone and basket weave, circular or radial, and an unlimited variety of custom designs and patterns within patterns. Curved patios and walkways will require more cut at the perimeter.
Brick is also useful as an accent or as a border. We love seeing an exposed aggregate step with a brick edge, or a herringbone brick walkway with a straight brick border. Curved patios and walkways will require more cut at the perimeter – the brick border hides the cut pieces around the curves.
Bricks are sold in a variety of colors. One of our local brick sources, McNear Brick and Block, has an informative website that shows the dozens of brick styles and colors that are available.