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Brick Pavers Review: Pros and Cons

Clay brick has been a standard building material for thousands of years, used both for building walls and as paving

surfaces for roads, pathways, and courtyards. There is nothing more elegant than a driveway, walkway, or patio paved with

brick. Although concrete pavers are somewhat harder and more durable than clay brick, classic brick can

still easily stand up to normal driveway usage, provided they are laid over a good base and maintained regularly. And clay

brick is arguably the most elegant of all paving surfaces and one that always adds value to your home.

Brick pavers are a manufactured product made of clay that is cast in forms, then heat cured, usually in the shape of a

rectangle. Cobblestones, on the other hand, are a natural stone cut into paver shapes; concrete pavers are cast

grey bricks made of Portland cement and

aggregate.

In contrast to clay brick used for wall construction, paver bricks are solid, smooth-surfaced clay without holes or

gaps. Most paver brick is clay-colored and rectangular. Depending

on your choice, you can create a driveway, patio, or walkway that looks like it's been around for 100 years or one that

fits right in with modern house and landscape designs. Should you someday wish to replace the surface, there is a good

market for recycled brick pavers.

Brick Paver Cost

You should be able to buy the materials needed for a brick paver driveway for about $5 per square foot. If you do the

job yourself, the labor will be free. Professional installation will probably start at about $10 to $20 per square foot,

although fancier designs and pricier bricks can drive that price higher. This makes brick pavers a fairly expensive paving

material when compared to poured concrete ($6 to $10 per square foot). Clay brick pavers are also slightly more expensive

than concrete pavers.

Maintenance and Repair

Clay pavers will gradually weather over time under the influence of moisture and ultraviolet rays from the sun. Proper

maintenance can greatly extend the life of your driveway to 25 years or more.

A glass brick paver driveway should be washed once or twice a

year with a pressure washer. Make sure to remove weeds and dirt from between bricks. After the surface dries for a day

or two, pack the joints with fresh sand if it is a loose-fit surface. If the pavers are mortared, repair any cracks with

fresh mortar and let dry fully.

To ensure a long life, the bricks should be sealed after each washing. If left unsealed,

clay brick can begin to flake and peel over time. A sealer

can be applied with a good pump sprayer or can be rolled or brushed over the surface. Seal the sand joints as well as the

surface of the brick, as this will help solidify the sand and prevent weeds and moss from appearing in the joints. 

When sealing a paver driveway, use a product designed for clay brick, such as a siloxane-based sealer, which will

protect without changing the appearance of the brick. Avoid gloss-finish sealers, which often result in a splotchy surface.

There are, however, "wet look" sealers that look shiny without actually producing a gloss. 

Design

Brick pavers make for a very attractive classic paving surface that can work well with almost any home style.

Permeable bricks paving is a far more attractive

paving surface than poured concrete, but when compared to concrete pavers, the design options are more limited. Brick

pavers can be arranged in different patterns, but the sizes are all rectangular, and colors are limited to browns and reds.

Concrete pavers, on the other hand, come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, giving you more flexibility.

Brick Paver Installation

Brick pavers can be set in a base of either paver sand or mortar. As with any driveway material, the key

to a good brick paver surface is a well-prepared base—especially when paving a driveway that must support a lot of weight.

Outline the area you intend to pave using layout strings, then remove the soil (or the existing paving) to a depth of at

least 12 inches. Add 8 to 12 inches of gravel to the excavated area, compacting the gravel periodically as you add layers.

Compacting the gravel again after each 2 to 4 inch layer is added. Then add a 1 1/2-inch layer of sand and level it. When

the base is ready, start laying bricks in whatever pattern you like.

Installation usually begins with the perimeter bricks, which are sometimes set in concrete to establish a solid edging

that will hold the field bricks in place. As the field hollow

bricks
are installed, they are periodically flattened and "set" by pounding with a mallet. Bricks can be

cut individually, but it can be much quicker to trim the edges all at once with a handheld circular saw or rented wet saw

fitted with a diamond blade.

Upon completion, the wall brick surface is flattened and leveled

with a heavy roller, then the cracks between bricks are filled with loose sand or mortar. Sand-setting is an

increasingly preferred method for environmental reasons since it allows rainwater to seep through into the ground.

What Are Roof Tiles?

Roof tiles are primarily made to keep water out of a home. However, they differ from traditional asphalt shingle roofs

in both their material composition as well as their looks. As far back as the 1600’s, slate tile roofs were being

used, and clay roofs can be traced back as far as 10,000 BC! Slate and clay were popular because they were locally

available materials but as we moved into the 19th century, concrete and metal tiles started to appear on a regular basis.

Why are Roof Tiles Preferred Over Shingle Roofs?

A shingle roof keeps the water out, and adds color to your home, including

bathroom tiles, kitchen tiles, etc., but roof tiles provide an unmatched variety of options that are simply not available with

asphalt shingles.

9 Types of Roof Tiles

Roof tiles are a great way to customize a home, but they vary in budget, durability, weight, and appearance. We break

down the 9 most popular types of roof tiles below so that you can get a clear understanding of what sets each material

apart.