We have a relatively formal 2 story brick house and want to add an adjoining
patio, so we want it to be somewhat compatible. What are the pros and cons of
having a slab with set in mortar bricks and not. Sand set does seem to cost
less, but you do not want to make the wrong decision on that basis.
There actually 3 options that I aware of:
Sand set over a compacted base.
Mud set over a compacted base.
Mud set or dry laid over a slab.
I have done and lived with the first two options on two different projects
and houses. The darn ants tend to bring your sand up out of the cracks on a
sand set. They do that enough and stuff starts to shift. I have been much
more pleased with my second project where I created a compacted gravel base
and set the pavers into about 1" of mortar. Then I filled the cracks with
dry mortar mix add added gentle moisture to set the mix. I should add that I
was using the concrete brick look pavers for both of these projects which
are laid up touching each other and not with a wide mortar joint.
Depends on weather, moisture, temp, shade. All these things affect choice.
Pavers or brick on compacted base, such as 4-5 inch. hand-compacted coarse
angular gravel, overlain by several inches of tamped and wetted sharp sand
or crushed rock base, can make a durable and attractive surface. Drains
well, easy to re-level or replace stones. Downside, gophers/moles can
undermine sand layer, insects can move the sand around, and you will need a
sturdy plastic, metal, or wood edge/border to keep the patio in one place.
You also have to to major digging and dirt removal - as much or more than
with a slab.
With brick mortared to reinforced concrete, you have good permanence as
well, more surface stability, no gopher effects, and easy to clean with a
pressure washer. Downside: in some areas you can get frost heaving, and
slabs will often tip or crack as they settle, over time. And concrete slabs
can look industrial and un-aesthetic.
Suggest you go to a home center and peruse how-to books on paths, patios,
and masonry. There are many, and give you precise instructions on how to
either build , or supervise, such projects.
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