Learn the steps for building a sand-set walk and the differences between building a walk and building a patio.
Brick or precast concrete paver walks (whether laid on a sand bed or mortared to a slab) employ many of the same techniques used to build a similar patio. They offer the same potential for a varied, handsome surface, only on a smaller scale.
You will notice one difference, however, between a mortared path and a mortared patio. When building a paver path, you don't have to start in the center and work outward. All pavered walks start their paving in a corner.
Be sure to lay the base materials in layers and compact one layer before the next one. This is especially important if your walk will be subject to hard use, such as the movement of garden equipment. Base materials that shift under a sand-set path create ripples. In addition, improperly tamped slab bases can crack.
20 to 40 hours to lay out and set a 4x25-foot walk, depending on your skill level
Layout and excavation tools, concrete tools for a mortared structure, wheelbarrow, tape measure, mason's line, cordless drill, circular saw, concrete mixer, mason's hoe, screed, broom, wet saw
Designing layout, form building, mixing, working with mortar
Prepare and excavate the site
Gravel, sand, 2-1/4-inch screws, 2x lumber, brick or precast pavers, rubber mallet, 1x6, mason's line, stakes
After completing a section, bed the pavers in the sand. Lay a 1x6 on the surface and tap it with a rubber mallet. Also check the slope of the section with a level or slope gauge. Lift out any low pavers, add sand, and reset. Tap down any high pavers. If this doesn't seat them properly, remove them, take out some sand, and reset them.
Before you level the concrete, consolidate it by working a 2x4 up and down in the mix. Work a shovel along the edges to release any air bubbles, and tap the corners and edges of the forms with a hammer to help release trapped air. Then cut a straight 2x4 about a foot or so longer than the width of the walk and pull it in a seesaw motion down the walk. Work out bumps in the concrete, fill in low spots, and screed again.