Learn how to lay a brick patio. Find out why you should begin with a base of mixed gravel to prevent weeds from growing between the bricks of your patio.
LESLIE: Listening in from Minnesota on KBRF, we’ve got Shane. How can we help you?
SHANE: Hi. Yeah, I’ve been fortunate enough to harvest lots of free brick from underneath an asphalt road that’s over, I would imagine, 100 years old.
TOM and LESLIE: OK.
SHANE: And I’m going to be laying a patio  with over 1,500 bricks that are all free. So it’s been a pretty good deal for me.
LESLIE: (chuckling) OK.
TOM: So far, so good.
SHANE: And my question is would there be any chemicals in the asphalt that would seep into the bricks that I would have to worry about my three-year-old going out on the patio?
TOM: Oh, interesting question. I don’t think so. You know, asphalt is oil-based and there could be some oil that got in there but it would probably evaporate fairly quickly. So I wouldn’t worry too much about that. What you might want to think about, James, when you build that patio, to make sure you do a really good job on the base because, otherwise, you’re going to get weeds and it’s not going to lay right. So you need to excavate it out about six inches down. You want to use a mixed gravel …
LESLIE: Like an aggregate of some sort.
TOM: An aggregate mix, right. And tamp it down really, really well. Put all of the effort on getting that base to be nice and flat and thick and solid. And then the …
LESLIE: And then you put sand on top of that.
TOM: Yep, and then the last thing you do is put the bricks on top of it.
SHANE: OK, great. Well, thank you for your help.
TOM: You’re welcome, Shane. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.