Q. It’s time to replace our sidewalk, and I’m leaning toward brick pavers. Before I invest this money, I’d like to know the pros and cons of this building material. Should I use clay brick pavers? I’m also interested in different designs and ideas. What kind of pavers would you use and why?
Photo/Tim CarterThis brick paver sidewalk has endured severe frost heave, snow, ice and heavy traffic. It can take lots of punishment.
A. I’ve installed my fair share of brick paver sidewalks. I’ve also used brick pavers with great success on large patios and steps. At my last home, every person who saw our front sidewalk and our two patios — all paved with brick — commented on how gorgeous they were.
Brick pavers make a great sidewalk because they are so distinctive. The color, texture and sheen of the brick are so unlike concrete. Natural stone can also create a unique sidewalk look, but it’s often the most expensive paving option.
There are two primary types of brick pavers in my opinion: clay brick and concrete brick. Decades ago, the rage was to install colored concrete brick pavers that required no mortar. They interlocked with one another and could withstand all that Mother Nature could dish out if they were made correctly.
This paving product is maturing, and the designs, colors and shapes of concrete brick continue to expand. One advantage of this material is that you can have a new sidewalk installed and completed in hours, not days. That might be a major consideration for you.