I plan to sand lay a brick patio, walkway and some other areas. About
The town where I live is demolishing some old brick buildings, I can get
some of the rubble. One of the buildings is built with cored bricks,
not sure of the other.
1. Any reason I couldn't lay cored bricks on the side rather than
2. Anyone have any knowledge of how hard it is to chip off old lime
mortar vs cement mortar?
3. Will I still be chipping mortar from old bricks in 2050?
Not overly difficult. I've seen a few brick yards where they paid people by
the brick to clean them. Mostly, they sat on a low bench or on the gund
next tot he pile anc chipped away. I think it is one of those things that
by the time you'd done 20 or 50, you know just how and where to hit the
mortar to free it.
I had that job once. When I was a young teenager, a friend's dad was a
builder. He was building some apartments when a windstorm came through and
blew over several large walls he'd just built. We spent many weekends
chipping off brand new mortar, he paid us a nickel a brick or something like
that. Your're right, eventually you figure out how to hit it to make it
come off in almost one whack. The small bits were the hardest.
I hope I don't have to do that job again!
Well, not quite that quick, but by the end of the first hour at least. They
sell hammers sized and shaped for the purpose. On the occasional big clump
of brick, a big wide cold chisel helps split the clump like a diamond.
Nah, it'll just feel like it.
No, I didn't do it for a living, but on a couple seperate occasions as a
kid, my old man paid me piecework rather than the usual hourly when stuff
like this came up. In hindsight, I think he was trying to teach me
something. Probably did 10,000 or so. 3 cents a brick, as I recall- decent
money for a 14 year old, back then, as long as you kept up a good pace.
(small-town construction companies could still get away with breeding their
own help, back then.)
Note, wall brick and pavers are not the same thing: pavers will stand up
to the job far longer than some bricks. Your job may not last very long
using recycled brick.
Yep, this is exactly what I've seen done. the surface eventually spalled
off all the bricks in this application, possibly from repeated
freeze/thaw. In any case, sure you can do it tha way, the only reason
bricks are generally laid flat is that maximizes the surface a given brick
covers: you could put them on end if you've got the patience. The
finished patio will be thicker than average, but that's not a bad thing.
The old lime mortar is easier to remove or so I've been told. I've read a
repeort of someone who got a summer job doing that and generally they
picked up two bricks with mortar and clapped them together and the mortar
You shouldn't. The one problem I had with stubborn mortar resulted in
higher brick breakage, but that was with portland based mortar. Buy extra
Remove the dead poet to e-mail, tho CC'd posts are unwelcome.
Mean People Suck - It takes two devitations to get cool.
THe previous owner of my house made a patio out of new bricks. 10 years
later they are all broken. Every Spring a little more of the bricks surface
turns to chips. Looks like heck. I wouldnt recommend using bricks.
Some old bricks were well fired and last even for pavers, some are junk
and in a few years will look bad, some old mortar can be a nightmare to
remove some is easy. I would try to find someone knowledgable with
bricks to test one before spending alot of time with soft junk. Nothing
worse that having your work fail because of the wrong product.
These will be in Florida, no freeze/thaw cycles.
Bricks - in one form or another - have been used for 1000s of years.
Many still survive. Don't know when bricks in the current form came
into useage but my grandmother's family's house was built (in Indiana)
in 1830. Has brick walls close to three feet thick, still survives.
Tens of thousands of miles of American streets were paved with brick.
Again, I don't know when that started but certainly there are many well
over 100 years old. And they are still in great shape...except where
utility companies dig up a section to get to their wires and pipes and
didn't put them back well. Unfortunately, most heve been asphalted
I would much prefer to use nice Brazil or Purrington brick pavers...they
are made from a different mix, fired harder, are thicker, smoother and
most have rounded edges. However, they ain't cheap and the common
bricks I have access to are (free). They will do fine in Florida...as I
said, no freeze/thaw and there will be light use. Plus, I'm almost 72
so I don't care a whole lot if they don't last to the next century :)
Thanks to all who replied, you have been helpful.
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There are different kinds of bricks for different uses. Bricks that
work fine on a wall, may or may not work well as a paver. Man has knows
about bricks for a long time and even in ancient times they used different
bricks for different uses.
It will take a lot more bricks that way, but you can have some
interesting patterns and a nice solid result. There are two problems
however. First, those are construction brick and are not fired the same as
paving brick. They are generally not very suitable for paving and you may
find the surface deteriorating in short order. They also may not allow for
as many variations of placement as they are not likely to be a nice even
(X:1) ratio of length to width.
Having done it, I can tell you it varies. Some are easy some are almost
impossible. It can be mean nasty work.
Not to knock my previous home owner again but he used 3 hole bricks for lawn
edging. They too turned to rock chips.
He didn't do too many things right in this house. The only bricks not
turning to rock chips are the left over pallet of bricks he left me. I guess
because they are not in contact with the ground.
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