Should You Pour a Concrete Slab Under a Brick Patio?

Designing and creating an outdoor living space is a thrilling endeavor that allows homeowners to extend their living area seamlessly into nature. One crucial decision during this process is determining whether to pour a concrete slab under a brick patio. While there are varying opinions on this matter, it’s essential to evaluate the pros and cons to make an informed choice. Supporters argue that a concrete base offers stability, durability, and longevity to the patio, ensuring it’s longevity and withstanding the challenges of nature over time. On the other hand, opponents suggest that not pouring concrete beneath the brick patio allows for flexibility, cost-savings, and a more natural feel by enabling water drainage and accommodating ground movement. Careful consideration of these factors will lead to a well-informed decision that enhances the beauty and functionality of the outdoor space for years to come.

How Thick Should an Outdoor Patio Slab Be?

When it comes to determining the thickness of an outdoor patio slab, there are a few factors to consider. The minimum thickness for a concrete patio is typically four inches. This thickness is suitable for patios that will experience light foot traffic and minimal weight-bearing requirements. However, if your patio will be supporting additional structures such as a gazebo or hot tub, it’s recommended to increase the thickness to six to eight inches.

The reason for the increased thickness is to provide adequate support and durability. The added weight of these structures, coupled with potential stress from heavy foot traffic or moving furniture, calls for a stronger foundation. By increasing the thickness, you can ensure that your patio will withstand the additional load and remain structurally sound over time.

If you live in an area with freezing temperatures or expansive soils, it’s advisable to increase the thickness of the slab to minimize the risk of cracking or heaving. This is particularly important to prevent damage during freeze-thaw cycles or when the ground expands due to moisture absorption.

They’ll take into account factors such as the intended use, expected load, and local soil conditions to provide tailored recommendations. By investing in a properly thick patio slab, you can ensure it’s longevity and enjoy a sturdy outdoor space for years to come.

When considering a brick paving project, one option is to lay the bricks directly on top of an existing concrete slab or asphalt surface. However, it’s important to ensure that the current foundation is in good condition before proceeding. Conducting a thorough inspection and making any necessary repairs will help provide a suitable and stable base for the brick installation.

Can You Lay Brick on Top of Concrete Slab?

Brick paving has the versatility to be laid on top of an existing concrete slab or asphalt surface, given that the base is in decent condition. The first step to ensure a suitable foundation for the brick is to thoroughly inspect the existing concrete or asphalt. Any cracks, potholes, or significant damage should be repaired before proceeding with the brick installation. This inspection and repair process guarantees a stable and long-lasting brick pavement.

When laying brick over the existing concrete or asphalt, it’s crucial to ensure proper adhesion. This involves preparing the base by thoroughly cleaning it to remove any loose debris or contaminants. Additionally, a bonding agent may be applied to enhance the adhesion between the base and the brick. This step plays a vital role in preventing the brick pavers from shifting or becoming dislodged over time.

Furthermore, before the brick installation begins, it’s essential to plan the layout and design of the paving carefully. This allows for a visually appealing and structurally sound end result. Adequate drainage should also be considered during the planning process to prevent water accumulation and potential damage to the brick surface.

Attention must be given to address any significant damage or deterioration. By taking these necessary precautions, one can achieve a durable and visually appealing brick pavement that enhances the overall aesthetic and functionality of the area.

Benefits and Drawbacks of Laying Brick on Top of a Concrete Slab

Laying brick on top of a concrete slab offers various benefits and drawbacks. One benefit is enhanced stability as the concrete base provides a solid foundation for the brickwork. Additionally, this construction method can help prevent moisture absorption, reducing the risk of damage to the bricks. However, there are certain drawbacks to consider. First, it can be time-consuming and labor-intensive to lay the bricks on top of the slab. Furthermore, if the concrete slab develops cracks or shifts, it can lead to damage to the brickwork. Lastly, this method may limit the accessibility to the underlying utilities, making repairs or modifications more challenging.

These sleepers will create a buffer between the concrete and the decking material, allowing for proper water drainage and preventing any potential expansion and contraction issues. With the right preparation and materials, building a deck over existing concrete can be a straightforward and efficient project.

Can You Build a Deck Over Existing Concrete?

When it comes to building a deck, having an existing concrete patio can certainly make the installation process much simpler and quicker. Fortunately, it’s absolutely possible to build a deck over existing concrete. In fact, doing so can offer you several advantages and save you from the hassle of starting from scratch.

To ensure a successful installation, there are a few key factors that you need to consider. One important factor is water drainage. Without proper drainage, water can accumulate on the concrete surface and cause damage to both the concrete and the deck. To prevent this, it’s essential to create a slope on the deck surface, allowing water to drain away from the structure and into designated areas.

Another crucial consideration is material expansion and contraction. Different materials, such as wood and concrete, have different rates of expansion and contraction due to temperature and moisture changes. This can lead to structural issues if not properly addressed. To mitigate this problem, it’s recommended to install boards called sleepers between the concrete and the deck. These sleepers provide a buffer zone between the two surfaces and allow for the necessary movement without compromising stability.

When building a deck over existing concrete, it’s crucial to choose the right materials and construction techniques. Opt for materials that are designed for this purpose, such as composite decking or pressure-treated lumber.

Lastly, it’s important to consider any local building codes and regulations before proceeding with the deck installation. Building codes may dictate specific requirements for deck construction, such as railing height or spacing between boards. By adhering to these regulations, you can ensure that your deck isn’t only aesthetically pleasing but also safe and compliant with local standards.

However, it’s crucial to address factors such as water drainage and material expansion/contraction. By using sleepers under the deck, choosing the right materials, and following local building codes, you can create a beautiful and functional outdoor space that seamlessly integrates with your existing concrete patio.

Source: How Do I Cover an Old Concrete Patio?

Once the first layer of bedding sand is in place, the patio bricks can be carefully arranged on top. However, it’s worth mentioning that prior to laying the bricks, it’s crucial to ensure a strong foundation. In the absence of crushed stone or gravel, the bedding sand serves as the primary foundation for the patio.

What Is Under the Patio Brick Floor?

Under the patio brick floor, there lies a carefully thought-out construction. The first layer, known as the bedding sand, forms the base just below the bricks. It’s purpose is twofold: providing a level surface for the bricks to rest on and allowing for proper drainage. This layer is meticulously leveled to create a stable foundation for the patio.

In addition to the bedding sand, the gaps between the bricks are filled with a material called polymeric joint sand. This specialized sand serves a vital role in locking the bricks into place and preventing shifting or movement. When properly installed, it solidifies and hardens, creating a sturdy and durable patio surface.

Furthermore, if crushed stone or gravel isn’t used as a separate foundation layer, the bedding sand takes on an even more crucial role as the foundation of the patio. It provides stability and support, ensuring that the patio remains level and structurally sound. This layer acts as a barrier, protecting the bricks from shifting due to external forces or settling.

Factors to Consider When Choosing the Right Type and Thickness of Bedding Sand for a Patio Brick Floor

  • Climate conditions
  • Drainage requirements
  • Patio usage
  • Type of bricks
  • Installation method
  • Availability and cost
  • Level of maintenance
  • Intended aesthetic appeal
  • Potential settling or shifting
  • Compatibility with edging materials

However, if you’re looking to enhance the aesthetic appeal of your outdoor space, adding pavers on top of your existing concrete surface can be a great alternative. By doing so, you can create a visually appealing patio, driveway, or walkway that’s both durable and stylish. Let’s explore the advantages of this method and some key considerations to keep in mind.

Can You Build a Patio on Top of Concrete?

Patio construction on top of concrete is a viable option that offers ease and efficiency. By adding pavers, you can transform your existing concrete slab into a stunning outdoor space. Pavers are versatile and come in various shapes, colors, and textures, allowing you to create a personalized look for your patio.

To begin the process, you first need to ensure that your concrete surface is level and in good condition. Any cracks or unevenness should be addressed before proceeding. Once the surface is prepared, you can lay a thin layer of sand or gravel as a base for the pavers. This will help with drainage and stability.

Next, arrange the pavers according to your desired pattern, leaving small gaps between each paver for jointing sand. These gaps will be filled later and provide stability to the patio.

Firstly, it eliminates the need for the removal of the existing concrete slab, saving time and money. Pavers also have a longer lifespan compared to concrete and are more resistant to cracking and damage.

However, it’s important to note that pouring concrete directly onto the existing concrete is an option but may not be visually appealing. It’s also worth considering that building a patio on top of concrete may slightly increase the height, so take this into account when planning for any potential changes in access or step levels.

It offers versatility, durability, and the opportunity to create a unique design. When executed properly, this method can provide a stunning and functional patio that enhances the overall value and enjoyment of your home.

Steps to Prepare the Concrete Surface for Patio Construction

  • Clear the area of any vegetation or debris
  • Use a power washer to thoroughly clean the surface
  • Repair any cracks or damaged areas
  • Apply a concrete cleaner and scrub the surface
  • Rinse off the cleaner with water
  • Allow the surface to dry completely
  • Apply a concrete bonding agent
  • Spread a layer of concrete resurfacer
  • Smooth out the resurfacer with a trowel
  • Let the resurfacer dry and cure according to the instructions
  • Apply a concrete sealer for added protection

This traditional method, known as dry-laid brick paving, offers a charming and rustic aesthetic while also providing the flexibility to easily change, repair, or expand the layout. Without the need for mortar or cement, this approach allows for better water drainage and requires minimal labor and specialized tools. Before embarking on your dry-laid brick paving project, let’s explore it’s advantages, steps, and how to maintain it’s longevity.

Can You Lay Bricks Without Mortar?

When it comes to creating a paved walk or patio, laying bricks without mortar can be a fantastic option. This method involves placing the bricks on a bed of sand, rather than using traditional mortar or cement. Not only is it a simpler approach, but it also adds a touch of rustic charm to the overall design.

Bricks laid without mortar allow for a more flexible and natural feel in the final result. The sand acts as a cushion, allowing the bricks to settle over time and adapt to the surrounding environment. This flexibility is particularly useful when dealing with uneven terrain, as it reduces the risk of cracking or breaking.

Installing bricks without mortar also presents several advantages in terms of maintenance. If any brick becomes damaged, it can be easily replaced without disrupting the entire structure. Moreover, it’s often easier to fix any underlying issues, such as drainage problems, as the bricks can be lifted and repositioned as needed.

Another benefit of using sand instead of mortar is the enhanced drainage capabilities. Rainwater can easily permeate through the spaces between the bricks and into the underlying layers, preventing water accumulation and potential damage. This can contribute to the overall longevity and durability of the paved area.

It offers flexibility, easy maintenance, and adequate drainage capabilities. However, it’s crucial to assess the specific needs and conditions of the area to determine whether this method is the most appropriate choice.

Design Considerations for Laying Bricks Without Mortar Offer Tips and Ideas for Creating Different Patterns and Designs Using Bricks on Sand, Such as Herringbone or Basket Weave.

  • Consider using bricks without mortar for a unique and rustic look.
  • Try creating different patterns and designs with bricks on sand.
  • Explore the herringbone pattern, which involves placing bricks at a 45-degree angle.
  • Experiment with the basket weave pattern, where bricks are placed horizontally and vertically in an alternating manner.
  • Take into account the thickness and size of the bricks to ensure stability and durability.
  • Consult a professional or research reliable sources for detailed instructions on laying bricks without mortar.
  • Consider using sand as a base instead of mortar, which can enhance drainage and prevent cracking.
  • Remember to properly compact the sand and ensure a level surface before laying the bricks.
  • Take your time during the process to ensure precision and accuracy in the pattern and design.
  • Consider adding a protective sealant or coating to the finished brickwork to enhance it’s longevity and appearance.


While there are potential benefits such as increased stability and longevity, it’s important to consider factors such as cost, drainage, and personal aesthetic preferences. Consulting with professionals and evaluating the specific requirements of your patio project can help determine the most suitable and effective approach.

Scroll to Top