Top 5 Materials Used in Patios



Brick has been a popular home construction material for hundreds of years. Yet bricks used for patios are a little different than the ones you would use on your home. They must be specially fired, so they're less porous. If you live in a location where it freezes, make sure to check that your bricks are of the correct grade for your type of environment.

While you may think that all brick patios must be red and very linear, brick patios can be different. Along with red, bricks also come in tan, black and other shades. A different color is not the only way to make brick patios more interesting. Think about creating a pattern with the bricks. Some popular patterns include herringbone, or alternating bricks on a 90-degree angle, as well as a pinwheel, which forms a square with four regular-sized bricks and a half brick in the middle.

Bricks can offer natural warmth along with a formal elegance, but there are some drawbacks. If installed on sand instead of mortar, you can have weeds popping up in between the bricks, yet these spaces also leave room for plants that might soften the look of the patio. If not properly installed, bricks can be more uneven than paved concrete or interlocking concrete pavers. This can also happen over time as bricks settle. Finally, brick is usually more expensive than concrete pavers.

Whether you add a patio of brick, stone or another material, it will give you added square footage perfect for entertaining or relaxing.

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More Great Links


  • Baker, Kermit PhD, Hon. AIA. "As Housing Market Weakens, Homes Are Getting Smaller." The American Institute of Architects. June 6, 2008. (May 26, 2009)
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  • City of Palo Alto, Public Works. "Permeable Pavement." (May 28, 2009)
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  • Editors of Sunset Books and Sunset Magazine. The Complete Patio Book. Lane Publishing Co. 1990.
  • Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute. "Permeable Pavements." (May 28, 2009)
  • Mosca, Peter L. Realty Times. "Popularity of Outdoor Living Spaces Increases." October 1, 2007. (June 3, 2009)
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  • Peters, Rick. Popular Mechanics moneysmart makeovers. Porches, decks & patios. Hearst Books. 2005.
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