Putting Bricks Over Existing Cement

I was pretty satisfied with the rendition of methods I posted in early 2009 on ways to improve the look of existing cement pads and patios by gluing brick pavers over the surfaces of cement. The bottom example in that post also gives us a glimpse at how we can manage the same task by simply building a paver patio over an existing cement pad by using more traditional methods and raising the entire thing.

Here it is: “Laying Pavers On Cement”

This post was issued in February 2009. I keep seeing search results streaming into this blog with a very steady – if not increasing – frequency. I choose to highlight this again owing to those many searches. I reached an assumption: Among the reasons I believe we see more interest in the technologies  involved with paving over existing facilities have be economic.

And, yes, it is even more possible to glue pavers onto existing cement. And Lord yes, it is also far more attractive. I’m sure we can agree that this – below – is more attractive (disregarding the unfortunate camerawork of yours truly as it ‘lists’ to the left):

(enlarge any image by left clicking)

I think it’s better than this:

Elevation Changes

The gluing effort raises the height of the edifice attached to, and figures hugely in the technical brain pans of the guys tasked to install them. But in the end the process is generally pretty straightforward. Adding 2.375 inches won’t affect Global Warming.  😉

Glue or Cement?

Other considerations which demand attention:

1. The possibility of using a grout/cement base mix. This is a terrific option and is especially pertinent when dealing with real, clay-fired brick – and not the compressed cement cement pavers I so often deal with. Here in Louisville, for example, the use of bricks as a building material of choice is widespread and really nice to look at. There are equally huge variations in colors. The “Used Brick” look has often just startled me with how gorgeous it looks.

Laying fired brick on a sand/rock base – for example used brick – for paving can be done, but the variations in sizes – not just width but everything – make it pretty tough to expeditiously lay on sand. It becomes a puzzle. Here’s a Louisville project we completed just last Fall:

That’s a pre-planting view, fresh after sealing. It had a remarkable amount of pain but the look was very nice and the client was quite happy. Below we can get at least some idea of the difficulties inherent in variations in sizes of the bricks. Enlarge this for an even better perspective

Here are a few examples of projects where we did indeed add pavers over existing concrete structures. The first one is from the, ahem, ’tilted picture’ above, just from 90 degrees. It also shows that we created a circular pattern at the doorway, which I thought might be cool and which the owner was beside himself over:

In the patio featured below, (from the same home), we also added lighting, running wire behind the pavers, for those who wonder what is possible:

Below, we added pavers to the steps, then worked outwards:

Here is one we actually laid on glue using fired-brick facing. It delivered a very nice “Used Brick” look and was nice and substantial:

This was an interesting project, adding a circular element to an existing rectangular one:

The sheer professionalism of the picture-taker needs some remarks. 😉

Wait. Nevermind.

Next post, we’ll deal with the application of glue and the conditions required for the best and most permanent adhesion. We will also enter the debate about water, glue and the expansion of the adhesive.

For now, seeing these examples of successful applications of bricks over cement structures, suffice it to say we can safely assume it is most do-able.

3 thoughts on “Putting Bricks Over Existing Cement

  1. Hey Steve, thanks for the tips…
    i’m thinking about putting 1 1/2 in thick brick over my concrete driveway. the driveway is generally structurally sound but has a few cracks in it. If I mortar the brick (actual clay fired brick, just thinner) can it just act as a veneer to the concrete? Is this a viable option?

  2. Yes, it is a viable option. It’s also a lot of work. You can, if you like, be like a tile setter – use something with protruding “fingers” for lack of a better term – to actually touch the subsurface as you spread your material below the bricks. Frankly, depending on what style/type of brick you use, I would try and make the material thick enough to be able to adjust to perfection the variations in the brick’s depth. Depending on what you use, and certainly in the case of cement grouting, a bit if thickness will assure a more durable layment.

  3. I haven’t tried putting bricks over existing cement since I only tried using tiles inside the house. But I just let the professionals do this kind of work to prevent disastrous result. I like the first picture because it looked very nice and very neat. The picture 036 seems nice too. Do you use glue or cement on this?
    .-= Stephan Hilson´s last blog ..Forfait mobile le moins cher =-.

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