Follow our brick patio design ideas and suggestions to guarantee a great result with whatever you decide to build in brick. On this page we show you how to build a patio with step-by-step photos.
Sourcing brick for your patio design
One option is to buy your brick from a reputable supplier. The next question to ask yourself is how many? This is easy if your proposed patio is a regular shape. But what if your patio design is circular or irregular? With the price of bricks today, you don’t want to overshoot too much. We come to that question later. For now, I’m talking about using recycling brick.
In the patio design featured on this page I was fortunate in having more than enough brick. In fact, the idea of a brick patio arose out of the surprise discovery that we had a huge pile of bricks to ‘lose’ and building a brick patio was a good way to lose them and save the cost of transporting them off site.
Having discovered the used bricks dumped in a nine foot deep hole at the bottom of the garden they had to dug out. Not so easy after previous garden owners had emptied their rubbish in the hole on top of the bricks!
Left: Eventually, around over 2,300 usable bricks will be dug out of here beneath the assorted rubble and debris.
It took a while unearthing the best of the bricks. In total we had 2,343 good quality usable bricks. It took an even longer ‘while’ to scrape off the cement from each brick and pile the washed bricks beside the job.
With a finite number of bricks I had provided a self-imposed problem, since any additional bricks to complete the patio design would never match the 120 year-old originals, I had to make the patio design match the quantity of bricks. Not so easy with my proposed circular brick patio design that had a curved brick footpath encircling it. Not only that. But the design required the path to reach the edge of the pergola, which meant the brick path could not taper off when the bricks ran out!
I wasn’t interested in calculating to the last brick, simply avoiding an overshoot. The patio was sketched out on paper as a series of concentric circles to scale, like a bullseye, with a scaled down measurement of a brick length PLUS a 12mm brick joint apart. This is slightly larger than the standard wall joint and will provide the additional flexibility required when mapping out with the real article.
If you know the sums just continue reading after the bullet points. The other thing to remember is – it ain’t no maths test, all you’re try to get is a ‘ball park’ figure, better to go under than over.
- On paper, measure the diameter of each ring.
- Multiply the result by 3.14 to get the circumference of each ring.
- Obtain the measurement of the end of each brick – usually it’s 65mm. Or 0.065 of a metre.
- Don’t allow for the joint, since the ends of the ‘inner end’ of each ring of bricks will touch their neighbours.
- Divide the totals obtained in 2 by the total obtained in 4 to establish how many bricks will be needed within each ring.
- Total up the ring totals for your final brick count for a circular brick patio.
No matter what your required total is. It’s better to give yourself some room to allow for any bricks that get damaged or which are not good enough to use. In my own example I gave myself 300 bricks to play with, but in the end I had just 58 bricks remaining.
Once the outer circular dimensions are found you can peg out your idea as I did in the picture above. Because no matter what it looks like on paper, if it don’t look right on the ground, it’s time for a rethink.
were f have your patio dimensions you also have the outer edge or perimeter of your curvingcircunference of your ad given mBut we Unearthing the original Victorian bricks dumped by the previous owners. Once unearthed, the bricks had to be painstakingly cleaned of all cement. Step-by-step details on how to build a circular brick patio using reclaimed Victorian bricks. The idea of a brick patio circle developed as we unearthed more and more bricks from a variety of locations around the garden, the bulk of them coming from the gable ends of the number two boiler house knocked down by the previous owners. Only it wasn’t that simple because the bricks originally fell to the original floor 7ft below ground level and then all manner of rubbish piled on top over several years.
Unfortunately, the bricks had first to be dug up from amongst old refrigerator parts, vehicle parts and general ‘gunge’ as can be seen from the first sequence of photographs. The best of the surviving bricks had to then be individually separated and the cement removed from each brick. An arduous task to say the least which took about 300 man hours. The final tally came to 2,133 good quality Victorian enginnering bricks, each brick weighing about 9.5llbs, about 30% heavier than their modern equivalent.
Marking out the circular perimeter during the spring of 2000. Tamping down the concrete inside the ring beam. showing the concrete formwork for the ring beam.
Creating the ring beam for the surrounding brick footpath. For reasons of economy and of being able to match brick faces it was decided only to plan with the bricks we had and not to purchase any further bricks. The trickiest part came next as we decided on the diameter of the circle because each ring to the circle added an increasingly larger number of bricks. If that wasn’t enough we decided to make the design more interesting. By wrapping part of the patio with a winding brick footpath down to the Pergola. However, with a finite number of bricks we did not want to discover until it was too late that the patio was either too big or too small.
The completed ring beams. The completed base awaiting the brickwork. The concrete ring beam provided the best foundation for the perimeter bricks, securing their position as well as protecting the patio edge from water run off and from any future root damage. Note the newly planted Pittosporum hedge adjacent to the right of the pathway. Aileen laying the final brick!
The completed brick patio before grouting. Aileen weeding during late spring 2000 beside the newly completed circular brick patio. The completed circular brick patio during the summer of 2000. The completed brick patio immediately prior to grouting in spring 2000. This picture is more momentous than it first suggests. Up to this point we seemed to have spent our first eight months in our new home clearing up and burning rubbish – all very disheartening when its a daily occurance without respite. However, this picture marked a definite upturn as we began to really truct the garden rather than destruct the overgrowth of the previous one.
The winding brick path during 2003. The winding brick path illustrating the abundant growth in just three years (August 2003) shows why visitors to this garden are awed by the progress made in such a short time and come back each year to see the incredible progress.