Thought to be used to pave roads in ancient cultures, bricks have been popular for years. Today, many homeowners want brick patios installed on their property. Brick patios have a distinctive look that is unmatched by any other material. A brick patio is a great choice for homes that already have brick integrated into their exterior design. Continuing the same material will make the indoors and outdoors feel connected.
Brick patios have a timeless appeal that complements traditional architecture, yet they can also be adapted to suit more modern home styles. “You can lay bricks to look traditional or get a very contemporary look going,” says Margie Grace of Grace Design Associates in Santa Barbara, CA. To modernize brick, Kyle Ritchey of Milieu Design in Wheeling, IL creates oversized brick steppers with grass bands between them as opposed to a more traditional continuous surface.
Benefits of Brick Patios:
- Color integrity - never fades
- Easy repairs - for dry laid brick
- Authentic - quality look
- Durable - will last for years
- Customizable - many pattern options
In the hands of a skilled mason a brick patio can be turned into a work of art. Whether your patio is laid over a bed of sand and gravel, or over a concrete slab, brick can be arranged in many unique patterns. Additionally, brick patios have a rich color that never fades.
Brick Patio IdeasA brick patio can be designed in just about any shape. Common shapes include squares, rectangles, circles and freeform curves. The more complicated the shape of your patio the more difficult the installation will be, making the process take more time and cost more money.
Depending on the shape of your patio and the brick pattern you select you can make your patio appear formal or casual. A formal brick patio has straight edges and a simple pattern such as the traditional running bond or herringbone. A casual brick patio has a freeform shape and a pattern such as basket weave.
Brick can be used in conjunction with other paving materials to create a unique patio. Brick looks especially nice as bands or borders around a concrete or stone patio. A popular combination is cut bluestone with a brick border.
Brick Patio CostMaterials for a brick patio are very affordable. Expect to pay $2-3 per square foot for the bricks. The real cost of a brick patio comes in paying for installation. Get a few estimates from local masonry contractors to ensure that you are receiving a fair price. Depending on the type of brick you select and the pattern used to lay it, the overall cost for materials and labor should fall between $12 and $25 per square foot.
Use this formula to get a rough estimate of what a mid-range brick patio will cost:
- Length x width x $15 = patio cost estimate
Laying a Brick PatioThere are two installation methods for a brick patio: dry laid and mortared. A dry laid patio is supported by a base of compacted gravel and sand, while a mortared patio is set on a concrete slab (compare these methods of brick installation). Keep in mind that for a patio, it is important that the bricks be laid level. If they are uneven, furniture will rock and wobble. A skilled brick layer will carefully check the level of the bricks as he lays them.