Whether you’re creating a brick landing for a new set of steps or forming a small brick path, the trick is to get a nice sub surface to support the bricks. You’ll need a nice smooth surface but also one with a consistent depth, otherwise some bricks may be higher or lower than others creating a tripping hazard.

To make a smooth surface, create a screed (the same tool concrete finishers use to smooth out concrete). We used a section of 1×4 with a small strip of wood screwed to the back. The distance from the bottom of the strip of wood to the bottom of the screed is the thickness of the brick less about a 1/4″.

Your strip of wood should be long enough to extend over the edges of your form while the 1×4 should be short enough to fit inside the form. Run your screed board over the crushed stone/sand along the formwork edges to smooth the surface.

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Editorial Contributors
Joe Truini

Joe Truini

Radio Show Co-Host

Joe Truini is a contractor, author, and the host of “Simple Solutions” on Today’s Homeowner TV and the weekly Today’s Homeowner radio show. He has worked on both large commercial projects and residential remodeling, and has written for national publications such as This Old House and Popular Mechanics. He has also written eight books, including three best-selling shed-building books. Joe lives in Connecticut with his family and enjoys hiking, traveling, and baseball in his spare time.

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