Mortar or No Mortar? Brick Patio Problems

msdaintyMarch 9, 2010

Help! I'm totally confused about how to install a brick patio.

We're trying to lay brick pavers over an existing concrete patio. Our handyman has told us that we do not need to "glue" the bricks to the concrete, except for the border. He said that we only need to sweep polymeric sand into the joints to glue the bricks to each other.

Well, I'm a bit skeptical about his advice. We laid the bricks out and tried to sweep the sand in. No matter how much sand we dump in, the joints are not filling up with sand. I presume this is because there is no mortar between the bricks and the concrete, and the sand is flowing into the space. Also, while sweeping, I could feel certain bricks are loose and shifting. Hmmm.

I've looked at many how-to's on the web. They only confuse me. Some say you need to use actual mortar. Some say you don't need anything. Others say you need to set the bricks in sand. What kind of sand? Is this the polymeric sand or just normal sand?

Please advise.

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I want to do the same thing to my porch -(To Scrape or Not to Scrape) but I would definitely use mortar. The sand sounds like the lazy man's way of doing it. Just MHO.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2010 at 2:41PM
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It's very acceptable to not use mortar on the bricks. We still have some segments of paver road in our community and they were all laid without mortar, 50-70 yrs old.

You have to use the sand till no more will sweep in. Depending on the spacing of the bricks hundreds of pounds may be required.

Here is a link that might be useful: polymeric sand

    Bookmark   March 12, 2010 at 8:21AM
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I've never been on this forum before, so it must have been my lucky day to find out this valued info! I want to use *either* brick or flagstone around an existing patio to increase the size, and kept wondering if sand would be ideal for the joints. Knowing what I know *now*, i'll definitely try the polymetric sand! Just goes to prove there's always something informative on almost any of these forums.

Thank you msdaisy for starting the thread, and hendricus for posting what could be my saving grace!! ;o)

    Bookmark   March 15, 2010 at 9:06PM
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