Choosy homeowners choose real brick to pave their patios for its rugged beauty and resilience.
With the dry-laid method, you’ll put compressed bricks known as pavers directly over a sand or crushed stone foundation. The more involved mortar-set method involves pressing brick pavers into a mortar foundation atop a concrete slab with crushed stone underneath.
Beyond the construction considerations for a brick patio build, including location, size, and shape, the fun part is deciding on the design: the pattern and color of the patio brickwork and what, if any, surrounding structures and materials will best complement it.
Then, once you get the results you hoped for, you’ll want to keep your brick patio looking its best. Ahead, all the tips you need to design and maintain the perfect brick patio for your backyard.
Keep it simple with the straight set brick pattern
For timeless elegance and an easy install, this pattern consists of rows of horizontally oriented bricks stacked on top of each other and side by side in a grid.
Because the joints of each brick align with those of the brick above and below with no offset, installation usually involves simple measurements and no need for cutting individual bricks before placement.
If you like a minimalist motif and your patio is on the small side, enlarge its appearance with a vertical straight set. In this pattern, bricks are laid vertically instead of horizontally, and the long, striped effect makes a petite patio look pretty impressive.
Offset the ordinary with the running bond pattern
Versatile and visually varied, offset brick patterns work in classic or contemporary brick patios. For traditional appeal, opt for a 50 percent offset consisting of rows of brick laid horizontally so that each brick joint lines up with the center of the brick above and below it.
To modernize the pattern, choose the more striking one-third offset pattern whereby each brick joint is offset by 33 percent of the length of the brick below it to evoke diagonal lines across the patio.
In both designs, partial bricks help fill in spots where full bricks won’t fit, which means you’ll have to cut the bricks before placement, preferably with an angle grinder (a handheld grinding tool) affixed with a diamond blade.
Evoke movement with a herringbone pattern
A millennia-old motif, this pattern consists of bricks laid in a repeating L-shaped arrangement so that the end of one vertical brick meets the side of a horizontal brick at a right angle.
The resulting design, resembling a fish’s skeleton, adds an energizing sense of movement to the surface.
The interlocking arrangement of bricks also makes it one of the strongest and most impact-resistant patio designs, capable of withstanding even the heavy weight of lawn equipment with less risk of the bricks buckling underneath.
Give it a whorl
The patterns described above can be installed in a square, rectangular, round, or freeform patio. But if you have a round patio, consider a whorled pattern to accentuate the contours and draw attention to a focal point at the center of the patio, such as a dining table or fire pit.
The circular pattern consists of concentric rings of vertically or horizontally oriented bricks laid side by side. Gaps within rings are usually filled with individual slivers of brick, which is why the pattern demands more measuring and cutting than any of the patterns above.