Brick patio ideas are pretty much all about different brick laying patterns, also called brick bonds or brick cladding patterns. Professional contractors prefer to use the word ‘bonds’ and these bonds have names well recognized throughout the world. Let us go over some popular bonds you can use to create your DIY brick patio.
22 IDEAS for 9 BRICK LAYING PATTERNS
Please note: these ideas are for clay bricks, not concrete pavers. Though, you could use the same bonds for brick-like shaped pavers.
The most commonly used bond is a running bond which is sometimes called a stretcher bond. This bond is preferred because it’s straightforward to install since the bricks are simply placed in horizontal rows with each row being offset from the previous row by half a brick.
Stack or Stacked Bond
A stacked bond is sometimes called a Jack-on-Jack pattern and is the easiest bond to lay. You simply lay the bricks as though you’re stacking them one on top of the other.
This zig-zag pattern is classic, simple, and stunning to look at. You merely lay your bricks at 45-degree angles to one another to create the zig-zag look. Using the Herringbone bond requires a bit more labor as you will need to cut off sticking-out brick ends along the perimeter of your patio to create a uniform edge.
Double Basketweave Bond
A double basketweave bond has a beautiful design with each row being two bricks thick. You’ll lay two bricks one way then turn the next two bricks at a 90-degree angle to make a woven pattern.
Image credit: john shortland
A double basketweave alternates laying two bricks at 90-degree angles to each other. You can create a basketweave with more than two bricks like the one below that use 1o bricks per section.
You can make your basketweave even more dramatic by creating a boxed bond around each pair of bricks. Just add a border of bricks around each pair of bricks to create even more texture to the design.
Image credit: Field Outdoor Spaces
Triple Basketweave And Running Bond Combination
Another way to improve on a typical basketweave is to add a running bond. Adding a running bond around the border of the patio will give it a more finished look.
Image credit: Luis Tamayo
Circular and Running Bond Mixed
You can make your running bond more interesting by turning it into a circular bond pattern. This bond works exceptionally well if you plan on putting a fire pit at the center of your patio.
Running Bond With Herringbone Combination
Unlike a typical herringbone pattern, this bond uses a running bond to create large triangle-shaped areas within each section of your patio. Divide your patio into pie-shaped sections and fill in each section from the center with a running bond at a 45-degree angle on either side.
A Flemish bond will add strength and durability to your brick patio. It’s similar to a running bond except within each row you use alternating stretchers and headers.
Garden Wall Bond
A garden wall bond is similar to a Flemish bond with the exception of how many headers and stretchers are used. A garden wall bond alternates three stretchers with one header down the length of a row.
Radius Brick Pattern
A radius brick pattern (also known as a European Fan Bond) works well if you want a circular pattern in a space that isn’t a perfect circle. This pattern is a bit more artistic and uses a variety of circular patterns to seamlessly fill in a patio that isn’t entirely circular.
If you want to see more patterns then here’s the table. Source: oregonbrick.com
Brick Terminology: Bed, Header, and Stretcher
When working with bricks to build your patio, it’s important to understand some of the common brick terminologies. You’ll often see the terms ‘bed’, ‘header’, and ‘stretcher’ used when looking at brick patterns and designs.
These terms refer to how the brick is laid and its orientation relative to the face or visible side of the project. The face of your brick patio will be the surface you walk on.
The ‘bed’ of the brick is the largest side of the brick. When it comes to building a brick patio, the bed is the most commonly used side of the brick. It sometimes has a more finished looking-surface than the other sides of the brick which is why it’s often left showing.
The ‘header’ of a brick is the shortest and smallest side of a brick. It’s often also referred to as the width. In a brick patio design, a brick laid with the smallest side facing up is referred to as a ‘header’.
The ‘stretcher’ face of a brick is the longest but shortest side of the brick. It is referred to as the length as well. A brick laid with the long side facing up is called a stretcher.
Using stretchers and headers in your brick patio design will allow you to create a more unique design because it gives you more shapes and sizes to work with.
For example, you can create a narrow border around your brick patio with stretchers. It will make the design look more interesting and customized.
Choosing The Right Brick
Bricks are categorized based on the materials they are made from and how they are made. There are five common types of bricks you can use for your patio. Each has pros and cons so pick the brick that is best for your project.
Types Of Brick Materials
Burnt clay bricks are the most common type of brick you’ll find. They are made from clay which is pressed into a mold and then fired in a kiln.
Sand lime bricks (also known as calcium silicate bricks) are made from a mixture of sand, lime, and fly ash. The mixture is placed into a mold under high pressure. This causes a chemical reaction that holds the brick together rather than firing them in a kiln like burnt clay bricks.
Engineering bricks are another type of clay-based brick that has various other materials mixed with it depending on the final use of the brick. They are fired at extremely high temperatures which gives them a hardness similar to metal.
Fly ash clay Bricks are created using a mixture of clay and fly ash. The mixture is poured into molds and fired in a kiln.
Factors To Consider When Choosing A Brick
Burnt clay bricks are the most common type of brick available at big box stores. Using this type of brick will likely give you the widest variety of colors and textures to choose from.
Sand lime bricks tend to be more uniform in shape and texture. They are naturally gray in color but pigments can be added to change the color. So you’ll still likely have a few color options to choose from.
Engineered bricks are some of the strongest, most durable bricks you can use. However, they will cost a bit more than burnt clay bricks. These bricks are also less porous.
Fly ash clay bricks are durable and super fire resistant. However, they can expand when they get wet. These bricks can be great to go under a firepit but may cause leveling issues for your patio as they expand over time.
Color And Texture
Creating a custom-looking brick patio isn’t just about the brick laying pattern you choose. You can incorporate bricks with different colors and textures to elevate the design and make it look like a million bucks!
Using Different Colors Of Brick
Choosing the right color of brick for your patio is important. You want the bricks to complement your house and patio furniture.
There are tons of brick colors which can be overwhelming. You can quickly narrow them down by first deciding if you want cool colors or warm colors.
Common cool brick colors include grays, blacks, and whites. If your house is already one of those colors, using them on your patio will look great. Cool-colored patio bricks also work well if your house is a shade of blue, green, or purple.
Common warm brick colors include brown, cream, orange, and red. These colors work best if your house is any shade of brown, red, orange, or yellow.
Mixing Different Textures Of Brick
The texture of the bricks you use for your patio can influence the overall vibe of your space. Just like with color, it’s a good idea to consider the overall style of your house and landscaping when deciding on a brick texture.
Smooth bricks, as the name implies, have smooth surfaces. For some bricks, this can actually make the surface look somewhat reflective. Smooth bricks work well if your overall design theme is modern.
Matte bricks are the most common type of bricks used for patios. They have a subtle texture to them that is lightly pitted. Matte bricks work well with any type of house or landscaping style.
Antique textured bricks have random ridges across their surface which gives them a more worn look. The finished product almost has a tree bark appearance. Keep in mind if you use antique bricks that are made of the same material as other bricks, the antique texture will make the color darker.
Ruff textured bricks have deep ridges that make it look as though a comb has been dragged across the surface. This can create a unique overall look for your patio project.
Scratch textured bricks are similar to ruff bricks but the ridges are more subtle. The ridges aren’t as wide or cut as deep as they are with ruff textured bricks. If ruff bricks are a little too bold for you, consider using scratched bricks for a softer look.
Chipotle textured bricks have a stunning wavy look to them. The texture creates an almost scalloped appearance across the surface of the brick. The texture gives the brick more character without being as uniform as textures like ruff and scratch.
If you want your bricks to look like they’re a hundred years old, consider using bricks with a coated texture. The coated texture is created by applying a wet slurry to them before they go through their final firing process for hardening. This creates a unique texture and pattern that will give your patio an old-world charm.
Creating Patterns With Color And Texture
Use bricks with different colors and textures to turn a simple brick pattern into something more interesting and to create a more dynamic look. You can also use a different color or texture around the border only of your brick patio to make it really pop.
Tips and Tricks
Here are a few tips and tricks that will make installing your new DIY brick patio a breeze!
Preparing The Site
It’s important to make sure you remove any grass, weeds, plants, or other debris from the area to ensure your patio is stable and flat. Make sure you use a rake to make the ground level after removing debris.
Then, use a hand tamper to tamp down the soil. This will help you create a solid soil surface that won’t shift around under your new patio. Finally, lay down some landscaping fabric and use landscaping spikes to hold it in place.
Tip: If you’re laying your brick patio against another surface, like a walkway or house, you’ll probably need to remove some soil from the area. This will help the surfaces line up correctly after you create your new patio.
To determine how deep to dig, measure the height of your bricks and add three inches. This is how thick your finished brick patio will be in the end. Make sure you dig down deep enough to ensure any existing structures line up perfectly with the brick patio.
Installing A Solid Base
This is the most important step in the process of laying your new brick patio. A solid base will ensure your brick patio doesn’t shift and become uneven over time.
TIP: Use two steel pipes as screed rails to create a flat surface. Place the pipes 4-5 feet apart and make sure they are level with one another. Fill the area between the pipes with about 2 inches of stone dust. Place a 2×4 across the two pipes, on one end of the pipes, and then drag the 2×4 along the pipes (rails) to scrape the extra stone dust. This will create a level surface between your two pipes. Remove the rails and place them for the next 4-5 feet section. Fill in the depressions left by the pipes with more stone dust. Repeat this process until the entire patio base is flat.
Now, tamp down the stone dust to create a hard compact surface. You can use a hand tamp but it will be quicker and easier to use a plate compactor. Two inches of stone dust should compact down to about 1 inch.
Repeat this entire process two more times. In the end, you should have about three inches of stone dust that is well compacted. This will ensure you have a nice solid base to support your brick patio.
Properly Laying The Bricks
It may seem counterintuitive, but you should start laying bricks from the center of the patio. Create a center line across the solid base you created. You can drive a nail on either side of the patio’s center and run a piece of string between them to give yourself a center line to work from.
As you place each brick, gently tap it down into the stone dust layer beneath using a rubber mallet. Once all of your bricks are in place, run a plate compactor over the surface to make sure all of the bricks are level and set in place.
Tip: You may need to cut bricks around the edges of the patio to make everything fit together seamlessly. Mark the bricks with a thick pencil line where they need to be cut.
You can then cut the bricks using either a wet saw or grinder fitted with a diamond wheel. Cut the brick about halfway on either side of the brick. Then carefully tap the brick with a hammer to create a nice clean break.
Using Sand To Fill In The Gaps
You’ll want to fill in the tiny gaps between the bricks with stone dust. This will keep them from wiggling around when you walk on them.
Spread a thin layer of stone dust over the entire patio. Use a broom to sweep the dust into the cracks. You can repeat this process until the cracks are completely filled. You can then hose the patio down to remove any excess dust.
Sealing The Patio For Durability
You don’t have to seal your patio but sealing it will ensure it stays in place perfectly for years to come. A sealer can also help to protect your patio from the outdoor elements.
You can use either a water-based sealer or a solvent-based sealer. If you use a solvent-based sealer, make sure you use a metal pump sprayer to apply it. Solvent-based sealers will corrode plastic pump sprayers.
Add the sealer to the appropriate pump sprayer. Start at one side of the patio and spray an even layer of sealer over the entire patio. Go back and spray a second coat to ensure the patio is evenly covered with sealer.
You’ll need to stay off the patio until the sealer cures. Check the label on the product you use to see how long you need to wait before enjoying your new patio as usual.
Maintenance and Care
There are a few maintenance and care instructions you should follow to keep your brick patio looking beautiful. Here are a few things to keep in mind.
You’ll want to regularly clean your brick patio to keep it looking gorgeous. Avoid the temptation to use a pressure washer. A pressure washer can ruin your seal and even chip the corners of bricks.
Instead, use a regular hose and stiff-bristled push broom to clean the bricks. If you notice algae, mildew, or mold growing on your bricks, you may need to use a cleaner instead of plain water.
To make a cleaning solution for your brick patio, mix 4 cups of regular bleach with 1 gallon of water. Pour the solution onto your brick patio in small sections and scrub with your push broom. Rinse the area with water and move to the next section. Avoid letting the bleach solution dry on your bricks.
Repairing Cracked Or Broken Bricks
Sealing your brick patio as soon as it’s installed will help prevent bricks from cracking and breaking. However, you’ll likely eventually have a brick break and will need to repair it. Luckily the process isn’t too difficult or costly.
First, remove the broken brick and clean any debris from the surrounding area. Add a thin layer of sand into the hole where you removed the brick. Use a wooden float to press down the sand, ensuring you fill in all of the corners evenly.
Use a spirit level to make sure that the sand is completely level. Place the new brick into the hole and use something like a screwdriver to make sure it has an evenly spaced gap all the way around it. Pour sand or stone dust over the brick to fill in the gaps.
Now, gently tamp down on the brick with a rubber mallet until it is flush with the surrounding bricks. You’ll also want to add some sealant over the brick to help protect it.
Resealing The Patio As Needed
You’ll need to reseal your patio periodically to keep it protected. How often you need to reseal depends on what type of sealant you used.
If you used a water-based or acrylic-based sealant, you’ll need to reseal the patio every two to three years. If you used a polyurethane sealant, you won’t have to reseal your patio for 5 to 6 years.