When experimenting with your options for brick design, it is best if you physically lay out a small amount of bricks in the allotted area to give yourself an idea of how the design will take shape. By far the strongest way to pave with bricks is to mortar between the joints. This is not always necessary, though. A flattened foundation consisting of pea gravel and sand covered with an interlocking brick design and contained by edging can be quite strong. It really depends upon the weight you will place upon the bricks. Paving a brick driveway may require mortared joints given the weight of one or more vehicles. On the other hand, a patio or walkway, when done right, is strong enough without mortar. That decision aside, the purpose of this article is to inform you of some of the most popular brick design concepts.
Brick Design Concepts
There are several attractive brick designs, each of which possesses a different degree of formality and style. Depending on what look you’re going for, one design may be more suitable than the others. Covered here are 5 common brick designs found on patios, walkways and driveways. They are the running bond, stacked bond, the long soldier course, herringbone and basket weave.
The running bond design is the most commonly-found pattern used for brick walls, but it is an attractive ground design as well. It consists of horizontally-laid bricks, side by side, with each successive row staggered over the last. In other words, the middle of each brick overlaps the joint on the preceding row.
With the stacked bond, bricks are placed horizontally side by side in rows much like the running bond, only the rows are not staggered. Bricks are positioned directly above the one below, creating straight, consistent joints between each column of bricks. This design is also called the Jack-on-Jack and creates the illusion of a bigger space than it actually is.
Long Soldier Course
Much like the stacked bond, the long soldier course does not stagger each row of bricks. Instead of being placed side by side horizontally, though, in a long soldier course they are placed vertically side by side. Thus, the rows seem narrower. One benefit to this design is that the rows may be curved, angled or combined with other patterns to create a different effect.
Perhaps the most formal and elegant of brick designs is the herringbone pattern. With the 45° herringbone, rows of brick zigzag across in a horizontal manner, each zigzagged row stacked onto the one before it. Depending on how you begin the pattern, it creates a series of Ls with the bricks. It is called 45° herringbone because the L is set at a 45° angle to the bottom edge of the area. There is also a 90° herringbone design in which the Ls are set perpendicular to the bottom edging of patio or path.
This design creates the appearance of brick tiles with a pair of vertically-placed bricks next to a pair of horizontally-placed bricks one after the next in rows. With each successive row the placement is staggered, although the joints between each pair are uniformly straight.
Laying out brick designs can be fun. Trying different patterns and even combining them in places can lead to an original brick design. Beginning with these basic designs, you have the ability to create a pattern unique and attractive.