Concrete, Brick & StoneConsumer Guides

Installing Masonry Flatwork

A patio at its most basic is an outdoor courtyard or paved open area such as a porch that’s attached to the home, which can be made with concrete, brick or many other materials.

When it comes to masonry choices, the three most popular are stone, new brick and manufactured used brick.

Brick is considered by many to be the ultimate exterior finish, and it does contain many advantages. It is beautiful, durable, won’t catch fire, rot or be eaten by termites. It’s readily available most everywhere and there are literally thousands of varieties to from which to choose. It is also expensive.

Stone is another attractive, durable and more expensive choice. Unfortunately, stone isn’t as available as brick, and not every stone works for masonry work. Some types are too soft, and others are too porous. However, there are alternatives to brick and stone that contain all the advantages at a lower cost.

Stone cold facts: Brick is a handy, hard, pre-manufactured, usually rectangular masonry unit. Made of moist clay hardened by heat, it gives a uniform look for your patio surface.

Limestone is a smooth rock that comes in varying shades of color; it blends easily into any landscaping patio plan.

Made of sand-like quartz, sandstone comes in a variety of colors.

Slate is a dense, porous, fine-grained rock that has a natural, generally gray-green color.

Cobblestone is a naturally rounded stone larger than a pebble and smaller than a boulder. If you have small children who will be playing or intend to walk barefoot, it’s not recommended for a patio.

The bricks of pre-formed interlocking concrete blocks are manufactured to interlock, creating a more uniform-looking surface. Don’t rely solely on mortar to hold them together like bricks.

Patterns: A length-wise pattern is created by placing masonry units end to end.

A herringbone pattern is made up of rows of parallel lines which in any two adjacent rows slope in opposite directions.

Parquet flooring consists of short pieces arranged in patterns. Although older floors may be designed of pieces that are individually laid, modern parquet floors are laid in six- to 12-inch units.

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