5 Steps for Laying a Brick Terrace
– Step 1: Prepare your brick decking project
– Step 2: Mark out the area and dig the foundation for your brick deck
– Step 3: Lay the gravel bed and geotextile felt
– Step 4: Make the edge of your patio
– Step 5: Lay the bricks according to the chosen pattern
– Step 6: Fill the joints with sand to complete your brick terrace
Brick, made of fired clay, is a natural material that offers many possibilities in the garden. Available in many colours, brick, because of its rectangular shape, can be used to create many different patterns. Simple to lay and easy to maintain, it is the ideal material to create an original and natural terrace.
Here is how to lay a brick terrace.
1. Prepare your brick decking project
Before laying your brick terrace:
– Take measurements in your garden to find the dimensions of your future terrace.
– Calculate the quantities required for the surface area: sand, gravel and bricks.
– Choose your border:
◦ by opting for autoclaved wooden beams, which allow you to delimit the terrace easily (the combination of wood and bricks is very aesthetic);
◦ or by placing the bricks on edge to make the borders.
– Design the layout of your terrace. You can choose between several patterns:
◦ aligned laying;
◦ laying with staggered joints;
◦ staggered laying;
◦ herringbone pattern;
◦ checkerboard pattern;
– You also have the choice of laying the bricks flat or on edge.
2. Mark out the area and dig the foundation for your brick terrace
Proceed as follows:
– Mark out the area of your terrace with garden ropes.
– Place the stakes at each corner of the terrace.
– Then, dig the foundations with a shovel to a depth of about 20 cm:
◦ the layer of gravel should be about 10 cm;
◦ the layer of sand should be about 5 cm;
◦ the thickness of the bricks depends on whether they are laid on edge or flat.
– Calculate the thickness of the foundations according to these parameters.
Important: the ground must be slightly sloping to facilitate rainwater drainage: 1 cm of unevenness per metre.
– Then check the levels over the entire surface of the terrace.
– Finally, tamp the ground with a manual or electric tamping machine.
3. Lay the gravel bed, and the geotextile felt
Laying the gravel bed
– Place the gravel bed on the ground to a depth of about 10 cm.
– Spread it out with a rake and then tamp it down, so it is perfectly level.
Install the geotextile felt
Lay the geotextile felt on the ground, bringing it up a few centimetres on the edges.
Note: this felt will prevent grass from growing.
Laying the sand bed
Here’s how to do it:
– Spread the sand on the ground with a rake to a thickness of about 5 cm.
– Level it with an aluminium ruler or a wooden strip, respecting the slope.
– Tamp the ground, always taking care to maintain the slope.
Attention: if you have chosen to make your borders with wooden beams, install them before laying the sand bed.
4. Make the edge of your terrace
Tip: it is best to lay the edging before the bricks.
Case 1: Make a border with wooden beams
If you want a wooden border:
– Install the 4 beams that will make up the border by wedging them against the edge of the foundations.
– Fix them together by nailing or screwing to ensure a good hold over time.
Case 2: Make a brick border
If you want a brick border:
– Make the border of your terrace by laying the bricks on edge or flat, depending on the desired effect.
– You can lay them edge to edge or leave a joint of a few mm between the bricks.
Note: cuts may be necessary at the end of the row. To do this, use a grinder equipped with a diamond disc.
5. Lay the bricks according to the chosen pattern
General method for all styles of brick decking
Proceed as follows:
– Lay long planks on the sand so that you can move around the surface without changing it.
– Start from a border and lay the bricks in the chosen pattern.
– Push each brick about 1 cm into the sand with a mallet, following the slope.
This is the easiest way to lay the bricks, but the result is rather rigid:
– The bricks follow each other on each row and the rows are aligned with each other.
– This type of laying is interesting if it is combined with another pattern, for example the herringbone pattern.
Staggered joint laying
The bricks are aligned with each other and the rows are staggered:
– To do this, it is necessary to make cuts.
– This is how you lay the bricks:
◦ Lay the 1st row following the general method.
◦ Start the next row with a ½ brick.
◦ Continue laying in the same way.
Staggered laying involves forming a pattern with 5 bricks – 1 in the centre and 4 bricks around:
– This pattern is repeated over the entire surface of the terrace.
– This type of laying involves cutting out the bricks for each pattern.
The herringbone pattern consists of placing 2 bricks at right angles to each other:
– The width of one of the bricks is placed against one of the ends of the other brick.
– This pattern requires cuts at a 45° angle to form the first rows against the edges.
The checkerboard pattern
The checkerboard pattern consists of laying the bricks in groups of 2:
– Each pair is perpendicular to the previous one.
– It is fairly simple to lay and does not require any cutting to form the pattern.
6. Fill the joints with sand to finalise your brick terrace
– Once your bricks are all laid, spread a layer of sand on the floor.
– Work the sand into the spaces between the bricks with a broom.
– Water the terrace sparingly, without flooding, so the sand penetrates well.
Materials needed to lay a brick terrace
Flat head nails
Diamond disc grinder
Paper + Pencil
Aluminium ruler 2 m