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Walkways Q's & A's

Sidewalks | Stone | Brick | Concrete
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Sidewalks

Concrete Sidewalk

I need to pour a concrete sidewalk. I am going to do it myself. I need to know the proper mixture (in parts) for the concrete.   Also, any suggestions concerning working the concrete would be appreciated.

To mix one cubic foot of concrete you need 24 lb. of portland 52 lb. of sand and 78 lb. of crushed rock or coarse aggregate. For a sidewalk I would use 3/4" rock. Most sidewalks get a broom finish and this should be done after floating the concrete the stiffness of the broom and pressure applied will determine the roughness of the finish. Also proper curing is important up to 50%more strength can be developed by proper curing. Plastic over the concrete as soon as possible after finishing or keeping the slab damp for at least six days will help also leaving the forms on helps.

Used Chicago brick walkway

I want to build a walkway in my garden, using used Chicago brick. I have no experience using this brick and would like to know where I should start and how much of a process it will be?

I personally do not like to use Chicago brick in situations where a large amount of moisture can be expected. They are a very porous/soft brick and soak water very quickly which is why they were originally used for backup brick inside the wall. If you want to make a walk way or path from them I recommend pouring concrete to keep them off the ground and pitching them to provide lots of drainage. I know that my not caring for the brick is because of the freeze thaw cycle in this area and they may work fine elsewhere.

 

INSTALLING A WALK

I am looking for info and or any diagrams on putting down a walk with pavers. I am trying to find how to make it with a curve leading to a front porch.

There are several home improvement books with diagrams for walks that you describe. Ortho's Home Improvement Encylopedia (problem solving from A to Z) is available on the internet by simply typing in the title the cost is around $30. I use a piece of 1/4" pressed board to form the radius and simply place the brick to the form. Another suggestion use a header course as a border to smooth the radius and simplify the cuts to turn the walk.

I would recommend visiting your local Home Depot or similar Hardware 'Mega-Stores'. They have the information you requested to set pavers for a walkway.

I am currently in the process of laying a walk-way and have the same challenge to find the best way to affect a bend in the walk. At this point, I see two primary options (of which there are many derivatives). First, you can run the pavers long-ways along the walkway and simply bend the angle of the pavers to match the arch or bend in the walkway. This will leave a (small) gap between the short-end of the bricks where you affect this bend that can be filled with sand. The other method is to cut the bricks at the point where your walk takes its bend to complete the transition between areas where the bricks can be laid in a standard pattern along the straight course of the walkway. In either case, prepare the ground and layout the bricks before you make cuts (and confirm your approach, etc.)

Again, I'd recommend a visit to the hardware store as they have layouts of different brick configurations / patters (e.g., herringbone, basketweave, running, etc.) along straight and winding walks.

 




Path

 Looking to build a loose gravel and slate path in my backyard by lifting some recently laid sod and pouring gravel. Also want to press it down to keep it in place?

Any ideas on materials, underlayments and how to would be appreciated

You should use some sort of border to keep the stones in place. Pressure treated 4x4's or 6x6's work well. Or you can pour a concrete curb. Or even use stones set in concrete. A suggestion here is to keep the final height of this at the height of your lawn so the mower can ride right on top of it to keep you from having to trim along it.

Under the gravel (and I assume you mean crushed stone?) you should put a landscaping cloth down. It is a black fine mesh that allows water to pass through but not weeds, grass etc.

Use a board to keep all the slates level... removing or adding material underneath to keep the tops of the slate even to prevent a tripping hazard.


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Stone

Flagstone

Is there anything out there that could be put over concrete that would look like flagstone.

Yes there are many styles of fake stone or even stone molds to make your own shapes available. Look in the yellow pages under concrete shapes or block suppliers to find one in your area.

 

Brick

Brick Pavers - sand blasting

I am looking for a company that is able to sandblast names etc. on brick pavers. I am aware of the engraved bricks, but am curious about other options.   Any ideas?

As you mentioned, you could have the pavers sandblasted while using a "stonecutter's tape" to mask off the area you don't want removed. You could also look for a company that does waterjet cutting. If you take two pavers of contrasting colors, they can be cut with tolerances that will allow the opposite color stone to be slipped inside the cutout area of the first paver. This process is used to produce intricate inlays of expensive marble or granite floor designs.

Brick Border

I want to lay a brick border down a portion of my property line to define the property line as well as to help water drainage. The brick would only have to rise about two inches above the ground. I've never done any of this kind of work. Any suggestions?

Brick set on end make a nice decorative border you can set them at an angle for a sawtooth effect or just stand them straight up. The most permanent way to place them is in concrete. They will stay fairly stable if like you say they only rise above the ground 2" just laid in the sod.

 

Brick Ribbon

I would like to know the way professionals deal with brick ribbon in walkways. Is the ribbon set in a footing and the slabs poured afterwards? I am looking for the "proper" sequence in doing ribbon with slabs.   Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Either way is acceptable I personally like to use Styrofoam to block out where the brick will be placed and lay the brick after the slab is poured. Thicken the slab where the blockout is to give the brick a footing. This will save cleaning the concrete splatter off the brick and you do not have to hurry with the brick placement.

 

Concrete

Stamped Concrete

I have a solid, stable concrete back patio that I would like to put a mortar or concrete overlay approximately 1/2" thick and use a stamping tool to create my design. Can I use either substance that thin and avoid cracks?


I would have to say no. All concrete has a natural tendency to crack. You could anticipate cracking along the pattern. If you increase the thickness of the concrete, rough up the existing slab and use a latex bonding agent painted onto the existing slab you may get away with reducing the amount of cracking. You should also seal the concrete with a clear sealant before the winter sets in. This will help prevent ice from expanding any micro cracks.





Click here for our Plans For A Brick Patio Or Walkway Article
Click here for our Solving Your Drainage Problems Article
Click here for our Hints For The Yard Article
Click here for our Making Concrete Walkways And Slabs Article




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