If it’s time to update your driveway, consider using brick pavers. Not only can you complete the upgrade yourself, but the finished product is as environmentally friendly as it is stylish.
With brick pavers, you’ll have a material that permits water drainage since the liquid can trickle down the gaps that are between the pavers and into the soil base. Driveways made from solid materials like cement gather pollutants, which make their way into storm drains when it rains. This contaminates waterways, and it may even cause flooding.
The bricks used for driveways are different from the ones used to complete the exterior of homes or make fences. Brick pavers are solid. They should not come with holes.
Brick pavers vary in size, so you can select them according to your preferences. Manufacturers also make them in different styles. To lay the driveway, you’ll need additional materials like:
- A broom
- Crushed stone
- A plate compactor
- Landscaping fabric
- Concrete or a hard plastic border
- A level
When you decide to use brick pavers to form your driveway, you’ll have the option of positioning them in your favorite style. You can lay them geometrically or diagonally. You can even develop a design that features different shapes or patterns.
To function as an effective driveway, you must lay the brick pavers properly.
The first step is to verify the location of your utilities to avoid damaging them. Also, consider completing a percolation test. The test will let you determine how quickly the soil on your property absorbs water.
If pavement or another material is currently forming your driveway, remove it.
Then, scoop out about 15 inches of soil from the area. If your soil’s percolation test comes back at a rate of less than .52 inches per hour, you’ll need to dig slightly deeper or install a drainage pipe.
Readying the Foundation
Cover the excavated area with 3/4 of an inch to 2-inch clean crushed stone. This foundational layer should measure about 6 inches thick. Select a stone type with sharp edges that weave together. Avoid river gravel because of its rounded contouring. Once you have the stones in place, use a plate compactor to flatten the layer.
Run the compactor over the layer sideways and along its length. Add another crushed stone layer. The second layer should measure about 4 inches thick. Also, be sure to use rock with a diameter of 1/4 of an inch to 1 1/2 inches. Compact the second layer using the same crushing technique that you used for the first one.
Use the level to confirm that the driveway is even.
Add a hard plastic border or concrete edging to keep the brick pavers in place.
Then, select a corner and position two separate steel pipes that measure 1 inch in diameter. Lay the pipes approximately 6 feet apart. The pipes should also be parallel along the compacted foundation. Cover the pipes with an additional coat of 1/4-inch stone. The next step is to add a 2×4-screed board to the area.
Remove the pipes, and plug the gaps. The pipes and the board allow you to form a flat base for the brick pavers. Repeat this process across the entire driveway.
Place the Brick Pavers
Before you start laying bricks, consider adding landscaping fabric to the area. This product will establish a barrier between the brick pavers and the sand. Landscaping fabric prevents weed growth. To secure the material, use a few of your paver bricks.
Once you’re ready to lay the bricks, start the process at your driveway’s lowest corner, and place them along the foundation layer. Be sure to lay the pavers close to the driveway’s edges and one another. You may need to use a rubber mallet to pack the bricks in place.
The brick edges will form drainage gaps within the driveway area. Every 6 to 10 feet, assess your work to verify that the brick pavers are laying square and level with the first row. Set the largest pieces and main sections into position first, and then, cut pieces to fill in the spaces that appear along the driveway’s edges.
After you’ve positioned the brick pavers, sprinkle sand across the surface, and sweep it into the spaces between the bricks with a large push broom.
Move the broom across the top of the pavers in a diagonal direction. This technique will prevent you from displacing stones that have already settled themselves within the joints.
Make sure that sand is swept into every crack. The next step is to spray down the entire driveway with water. This action will compress the sand into the joints to create stability and support. Let the area dry before moving on to the last few steps.
Sweep all debris from the surface of the driveway. Then, run the plate compactor across it. Operate the device diagonally to protect the bricks.
As you run the plate compactor, the machine vibrates, and this movement causes the pavers to settle firmly into the foundation to secure them in place.
You may need to repeat the sanding process if the driveway settles. Before using your new driveway, confirm that all of the joints are filled and compacted fully. If you maintain and sweep your brick paved driveway regularly, it should remain level and usable for many years.