How to lay a brick patio in 10 easy steps

Learn how to lay a brick patio – a weekend project that will transform your backyard

A DIY brick patio with armchairs
(Image credit: Dori Turner)

Outdoor living space is all the rage and learning how to lay a brick patio is a great way to create additional living space for your family and for entertaining! When we finished building our greenhouse, we wanted to have a sitting area where we could enjoy the flower garden and watch our kids play. Hiring out a contractor to install a brick patio would have been pricey so we decided to tackle it ourselves and I’m so glad we did! 

We were able to finish the DIY brick patio in a weekend for a fraction of the cost. Instead of paying over $1,000+ we were able to install a brick patio for around $350. It’s a great DIY project, you just need the right tools and supplies to get it done.

And the end result? A cute area to set up our patio furniture in a shady spot.

How to lay a brick patio

Shopping list

1. Paver edging: we used this from The Home Depot
2. Nylon spikes: also at The Home Depot
3. Weed barrier: as above or order from Amazon
4. Paver sand: such as this
5. Paver base panels: case of 20 from The Home Depot
6. Brick pavers: ordered from The Home Depot
7. Wet tile saw: I used this one
8. Tools: shovel, leveler, broom

The time and cost will depend on the size of the space you are creating. We wanted a small spot to relax on, so it was big enough for a couple of chairs. 

Skill level: Intermediate
Time: one to two days
Cost: under $350/£300 (though note higher brick prices in UK)

1. Choose a shape

Brick patios can be all shapes and sizes depending on the amount of space you have to work with and what you’re wanting it to look like. We chose a rectangle which is a nice easy shape to work with and demanding of no tricky cuts.

Patio bricks in a stack in garden

(Image credit: Dori Turner)

2. Measure out the area

Measure the area you plan to install the brick patio in and stake out the shape with string or use a chalk line. Order supplies according to your measurements (for example, if it’s a rectangular patio, measure width and length and multiply the numbers to get the area). 

3. Dig out the plot

A plot dug up for laying a patio

(Image credit: Dori Turner)

Using a shovel, dig out the shape of your patio using the string or chalk line as a guide. 

TIP: Measure the width of your brick and add the width of your paver base to know what depth to dig to. 

4. Lay down a weed barrier

Paving edging with weed barrier

(Image credit: Dori Turner)

In order to prevent weeds from growing up in between the bricks you’ll want to lay down a weed barrier. This will save you time and will keep the patio looking great for several years! 

5. Install edging

Now you’re ready to install the edging to keep the shape of your patio. We used a paver edging we found at Home Depot and used nylon spikes to keep the edging in place. It can be shaped and molded to do straight or curved lines and installs right up against the dirt wall you created when you dug out the shape for your brick patio.

6. Layer the sand

A bag of paver sand

(Image credit: Dori Turner)

The next step is to layer about half an inch thick of paver sand and smooth it out using a leveler. This will help level out the ground and make your patio even. 

Levelling paver sand as part of laying a patio

(Image credit: Dori Turner)

7. Lay down the paver base

Laying a paver base for a patio

(Image credit: Dori Turner)

There are different options for this step and many choose to use a thick layer of leveling sand to further stabilize the base. We opted to use a paver base panel that we found at Home Depot for this step. It came in sheets of 20x36 inches that interlock for a smooth surface. It’s easy to cut if needed and works best for square or rectangle patios. It was cheaper and quicker to go this route than using the leveling sand.

A laid paver base

(Image credit: Dori Turner)

PRO TIP: A leveling agent of some kind is necessary to help the brick patio stay level even as the ground may shift beneath over the years. 

8. Lay the bricks

Laying brick patio

(Image credit: Dori Turner)

Now that you have a solid foundation, you are ready to lay your bricks! You may choose a simple or a more complex pattern depending on the look you’re going for and the level of confidence you have. Since this was our first time doing a project like this we opted for a more simple and traditional brick pattern.

Laying brick patio

(Image credit: Dori Turner)

We did end up needing to cut some of the bricks in half to work with the pattern so we used our wet tile saw to do this. You can rent or borrow a wet saw if you don't have one. We found ours at Harbor Freight

9. Finish off with an extra layer of sand

Final step of laying a brick patio

(Image credit: Dori Turner)

Once you’ve finished laying your bricks you’ll finish off your patio with another layer of paver sand. Using a broom, push the sand in between the bricks in the cracks and crevices to help hold the bricks in place and prevent movement.

10. Arrange your furniture

A DIY brick patio with armchairs

(Image credit: Dori Turner)

Add some chairs, a fire pit, or a patio set, and get ready to relax! There are tons of patio ideas out there to help you decide on the layout.

Your beautiful new DIY brick patio will be enjoyed for years to come and add value to your home. Family and friends will love being entertained in your fresh outdoor space.

Dori Turner

Dori Turner writes blog posts and feature articles on affordable design and DIY from her home in the heart of Oklahoma. She has a passion for teaching others how they can transform their home on a budget.