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Bricks and Mortar

Helpful Masonry Tips


Recycled concrete- We try to go green whenever possible. Upon removal of existing concrete we use roll off companies that recycle concrete and in turn when we need gravel (which is all the time) we use recycled concrete gravel (it is similar in size to#57 gravel) 

Using Bricks as a Green Material - Using used brick on a construction project is an environmentally friendly building strategy. First and foremost you'll be using a recycled material, minimizing the need for new production and all the environmental hazards that come along with it. Add to these benefits the antique look and character that comes from building with used brick and it's clear why many homeowners are choosing salvaged brick for their building needs.  Typically these bricks are more than 100 years old.  They are from demolished buildings and paths.  The bricks are cleaned up and ready to use. 


You should power wash and seal your brick and flagstone flat work once a year.  Sealing in the Fall before Winter is best to seal up any areas and protect it from water getting in.  We recommend a product called Chemstop WB -  it is a water repellent sealer which can be sprayed or rolled on. Chemstop WB can be purchased at White Cap. They are located at 8090 Alban Road in Springfield VA 22150. You can call White Cap directly at 703-912-5900.


You should not use any form of de-icer products or kitty litter on masonry. Even the products that say "safe for masonry" are in fact not safe.  It will cause brick, flagstone, mortar and concrete to deteriorate.  We recommend using  brown sand to melt ice and snow from your masonry surfaces.   It can be purchased at any Hardware store. 


A source of water soluble salts. Water moving through the material to carry the salts to the surface. The  water evaporates and leaves the white powder behind. If this appears  you can attempt to wash down the surface with a mild detergent, but it is not guaranteed to completely remove it. 

efflorescence brick wall
brick layout example


  • Running BondSimple: Versatile, and ever popular, the running bond pattern is commonly used for both patios and paths.  It can be laid straight for a clean and orderly look, or set at slight angles to create a curve. Because of its simple design, running bond is well suited to covering small areas.

  • Basket Weave: For casual, cottage like design, try the basket-weave pattern. Instead of creating a "field," as with running bond, the bricks are laid horizontally and vertically in pairs, with each pair creating a "tile." Basket weave can be used by itself, or if space permits, easily incorporated into another pattern.

  • Herringbone: Of the various patterns, herringbone is one of the most formal and has been a staple in traditional paths and patios for centuries. Unlike basket weave, the herringbone pattern, with its zigs and zags, works well when it's used to cover irregular areas.


  • Stacked Bond: Sometimes called Jack-on-Jack, the stacked bond pattern features bricks stacked in even rows and columns. Its simple straight lines can make a smaller space seem more expansive. It also works well for contemporary designs.


  • Long Soldier Course: Rows of bricks can lure the eye forward, so long soldier courses work well for narrow paths. The courses can be bent into circles, angled, or set inside another pattern to create a narrow path within a wider one.

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