Old salvaged Chicago bricks

Old 04-08-16, 07:11 PM
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Location: Florida
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Old salvaged Chicago bricks

I have a question about real salvaged Chicago bricks.

I am considering putting down a clay brick walkway (6' wide about 60' long) along one side of the property.

I was getting bids and most of the new bricks are standard size 4"X8" but you can get different thicknesses from 1.5" to 2" to 2.25". The 4X8 size makes it easy to work with because the length is twice the width. You can do patterns like:


However, one of the paver company told me they have a left over lot of 200SF of salvaged Chicago bricks that works out to be about what I need (I need 170SF + 10% extra). I looked at it and found that some of the bricks are not the same size. The lengths are fairly consistent around 8", but the width can be 3.5", 3.75" but mostly 3.5". Some of the bricks are chipped a little, and some have left over mortar on it. I know the weathered and distressed look is what's appealing about salvaged bricks, but I am wondering, with a smaller width like 3.5", how do you keep a consistent pattern? Do you have a allow a 1" wide joint for a pair of bricks to make up for the variation? That is a pretty wide joint? I am guessing the install is going to be much more complicated if I use these old bricks?
Old 04-08-16, 07:27 PM
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Not all bricks are suitable for use as pavers, but in FL you don't really have to worry about freeze/thaw cycles.

Some patterns are more forgiving of size than others. You could do a soldier course on each side with the bricks' short side to the edge and the variation in width wouldn't matter at all for that. Then you could do a running bond pattern inside, and while you would have the occasional wide joint that's part of the charm of old brick.
Old 04-08-16, 08:39 PM
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Caveat not a brick layer but bricks are easy to cut with a diamond blade on a circular saw. Maybe pick a middle ground size for your pattern and trim any too large.

Tip: I have a table mount for a circular saw (mounts it like a table saw). Using a guide wold make it easy. You will have to flip the brick and cut from both sides to get full depth.

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