Patios and Sidewalks | Best Pick Reports

Walkways make getting around a property easier and safer, while patios are great for entertaining and for simply enjoying the outdoors. The most basic of these structures can be made of slab concrete, but many other popular materials are widely available to enhance the appearance of the property as well as provide durable functionality. Stone walkways and patios add a charming, old-world look to the landscape, while brick lends a formal, stately feel.

When incorporating brick, stone, or pavers into a patio, a few methods of construction are common. The first involves pouring a concrete foundation, allowing it to set, and then attaching bricks or stone to the concrete with mortar. The second method involves preparing a sand bed and placing bricks or interlocking pavers directly onto it with no mortar application.

Some contractors attempt a third, hybrid method: placing the bricks or stone on a sand bed and then mortaring between them. This method is not recommended because materials sitting on sand move slightly with normal use, and small amounts of movement are sufficient to break up the mortar joints and create a problem. If you would like mortar joints in your patio, then you should insist on a concrete foundation.