I'm going to be prepared when i do a brick sidewalk.

There's an existing walk but it is unevenly laid. I believe it was set in place without a foundation. What should I do now ?

  7 answers
  • GrandmasHouseDIY GrandmasHouseDIY on Mar 13, 2018
    Hi Charlie, sounds like your best course of action would be to remove it entirely and replace it.
  • Kim Kim on Mar 13, 2018
    Dig out the existing walk. Dig your new walk 6” deep and fill with 2” crushed concrete. Compact down and add 2” sand. Run a scree to make sand level before laying brick. Once brick is laid, you will want to install edging and then sweep polymeric sand into the cracks.
  • Mindshift Mindshift on Mar 13, 2018
    If you are wanting to redo this sidewalk, start by pulling up a few bricks along one edge. The type of foundation you need depends on whether the ground freezes where you live. If frost heave is common where you live you need a deep, firm foundation. Another consideration is how close the walkway is to trees. Even concrete will crack and move due to roots beneath. If you already have concrete beneath the bricks you can fix the unevenness by laying sand over the concrete and relaying the brick. Edging will help hold the sand in place. Broken or tilted concrete due to tree roots is not easily fixed and you may need to consult a professional. If you want to change or add to the existing walkway and will need new brick, you should take about 4 of the old bricks with you to compare. It can be impossible to exactly match old bricks to new ones, even when they are locally made, so you will be looking for bricks that will blend in, both in size and color. You will want to mix the new and old bricks when laying them so the new bricks don't stand out.

    A formal walkway should be at least 3 ft wide, but is best matched to the width of any steps at the entry. Installation is easier if your brick fits evenly within this width, so lay out some of your chosen brick and measure it. For a new walk remove about 6 inches of soil and lay down 4 inches of crushed rock as a base. If frost heave is common you may need to dig deeper and use more rock or a concrete base. Crushed rock has sharp edges that mesh together when tamped down, and you should tamp this down. Add edging to either side of the walkway. Place a layer of landscape fabric over the gravel, then lay a couple inches of coarse sand on top. Smooth and level the sand with a screed and you are ready to start laying the brick. Fill in the spaces between the laid brick with very fine sand. Rain and irrigation will settle this sand so you may need to add more after a few weeks.

    I'm sure I've left out something so do a search for articles on brick and concrete sidewalks, especially if you are doing the work yourself. The more articles you read, the more details you will glean.
  • Shoshana Shoshana on Mar 14, 2018
    You definitely want to make sure you are working with an even surface before you start laying a brick walkway
  • 2dogal 2dogal on Mar 14, 2018
    Remove the brick. Clean and stack it. Lay and pack sand level then replace the brick.
  • Redcatcec Redcatcec on Mar 14, 2018
    All great advice!
    I have this same project looming in my future, our sidewalk has sunk in where we get in and out of the car, the joining driveway is brick too. One complication we have is crab grass has embedded in the grassy area
    in-between the bricks, a dense tough growth that will not make this project any easier. Actually I would love to remove the whole driveway and sidewalk areas and replace with something less troublesome. Whoever laid this in place many years ago did not do it right, sand and weeds keep coming through the spaces between the bricks and tracking into our rancher, always a freeze/thaw annually and bricks do not hold up.
  • Charlie Charlie on Mar 14, 2018
    Sounds like you've done this before. Your attention to details make it good advice and I appreciate it. I'll be starting soon, so maybe I can send photos of the finished project. Thanxs, charlie in Muskogee, ok USA