In my landscaping adventures I love it when one idea leads to another. The renovation of a country yard keeps developing. One of the first things we did, back in August, was to install a garden that I called “Country Formal.” The garden came out very nice and then we noticed that the porch landing floor was ugly concrete. We decided to build a small deck over it and extended it out for an intimate sitting area. The next problem, which had to be addressed before building the steps to the deck, was a walkway made of ugly concrete.
There are a lot of ways to deal with ugly concrete, but considering the use of brick in the house and the garden, we decided that brick pavers would be the best material for this particular situation. I made my measurements and headed to the other side of Floyd County to visit Plainville Brick. I like going Plainville because I get to see the old kilns where they used to make the brick. It takes me back in time. Now they just freight the bricks in on the same railroad line that runs through the fictional town of Durwin. Here’s a picture of the old kilns:
There are two different sizes of pavers, depending on whether you want to leave a mortar joint or not. I decided on the 4”x8” pavers because my level of expertise is not high enough to do a good job with the mortar joints. Here is what the pavers look like.
I had measured carefully, and we decided to lay a test pattern without mortar to make sure everything would work properly. A 2×4 was staked to the outer edge of the project to give us a square edge to follow. We used water and scrub brushes to clean the concrete so that the mortar would make a good bond.
We use a “type S” cement mix. For a small project, I use the mix with the sand already included. It’s much easier and cheaper in the long run
A bonding agent will be added to the mortar mix to make it stick better and to increase the weather resistance.
And the technique is to mix the bonding agent with the water that is used to wet the mortar. The mortar needs to be mixed to the consistency of cake icing because we’re going to spread it in the same manner.
The proper trowel for the job is a notched trowel that is made to use for tile installation. It leaves little lines in the mortar which help to form a “suction cup” type adhesion and also make leveling easier. Here’s what the mortar should look like when spread:
A rubber mallet is used to gently tap the pavers into place. If we take our time, use care and good sense, and get lucky, the job will turn out well.
Here’s the almost finished picture of the project. The brick are laid and the steps to the deck built. No more ugly comcrete.
If you would like to see my article on the building of the garden I called “Country Formal,” Click Here
As usual, I would just love for you click here to go to Amazon and purchase the ebook edition of my wonderful book, Requiem for a Redneck to go on your Kindle. I have also noticed that Amazon now has a free Kindle app for iphones and tablets. Is that cool or what?
If you want a consultation in your yard in N.W. Georgia, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org