Chicago pavers are one of the most popular options for driveways and walkways, and there’s a reason for it. They can be very durable if they are installed in the right way, and you can choose from various unique Chicago brick colors to ensure that everything looks beautiful.
If you plan to redo your driveway and are currently finding the right solution, we can help you. We’ll talk more about Chicago brick paving, why it can be a great option, and how to install it properly.
What Are Old Chicago Bricks?
Chicago brick driveways are so popular that you can see them in every street, and there are many beautiful examples all over many cities. But what exactly are these types of bricks, and why do we call them like that? Old Chicago bricks are called old because they are. These bricks are antique ones stripped from old buildings around the Chicago area. And that’s precisely what makes them so unique and beautiful.
There’s something about old things; they have a soul and stories behind them. These salvaged old Chicago bricks are often used for paving because a Chicago brick driveway looks better than with new bricks. And they bring you that classic and antiqued look.
Every driveway made out of Chicago pavers is unique because every brick is; two of them can be the same. Back in the days when they were manufactured, everything was done by hand. The production wasn’t like today, so you’ll find different sized and style bricks. They can vary in color and have layers of paint on them. Some of them can be broken, with residue, and a bit chipped, but they still look great. Some can be up to 130 years old, so you get a bit of history alongside them.
How to Make a Unique Driveway With Chicago Brick Paving
Making a Chicago brick driveway can be easy if you know what you are doing. If you have the experience, you can even do it yourself, but we’ll always recommend you to hire a professional. That way, you’ll ensure that the job will be done right, and you’ll end up with excellent results.
Make a Plan For Your Chicago Brick Driveway
Before doing any work, you need to have a good plan. Without a plan, you risk many things, as you can encounter many problems while making the Chicago brick paving. You’ll first have to lay out the area of your driveway. When planning, you need to consider many things like the electrical lines, the sprinklers, and other utilities. Something that’ll be necessary to use is masonry string lines and stakes to ensure an adequately outlined area. And you want to be sure to outline a bit larger area than what you’re planning to get paved.
Scoop Out the Soil
For a future hard-wearing driveway, you’ll scoop the right amount of the soil so the old Chicago bricks can be placed in that base. For driveways, the best depth is 6″ as it ensures you that your Chicago brick driveway will stay intact even after many years of use.
Place the Base Material
The base material is a crucial part of a durable driveway, and you have to do it right if you don’t want your pavement to sink over time.
The base material is added in layers and compacted to ensure the future durability of your Chicago brick driveway. It is done by compacting the soil with a particular machine, a plate compactor. The base material is added up until 3″, which is approximately half of the base.
A good addition is a weed barrier made out of polyester that will make your driveway prime and proper. The barrier blocks the sunlight so that the weed can’t grow while allowing the soil to be nourished by the water and other nutrients.
Add the Paver Sand
The next step is adding paver sand, and you’ll only need to add about 1″ of it on top of the base. It’s essential to adjust the proper height so that the old Chicago bricks can fit perfectly later.
Add the Edge Restraints
Chicago brick paving can only look good if it is done neatly, and to do it like that, you need to make sure something holds it in place. And that’s when edge restraints come into play. There are different types of materials you can use. There are pricier and budget-friendly options, so you don’t have to worry. The best choice is always something that’s good quality.
You should know that concrete can easily crack, so you should always reinforce them with rebars. The most traditional option is the concrete edge restraints, and they are installed after you lay all of your old Chicago bricks. And the other materials that are often used, like PVC or metal, are installed before that step.
Lay the Chicago Bricks
The most fun and hard-working part of the job is laying the bricks. You’ll have to lay brick by brick, creating a pattern and tapping every brick with a rubber gavel. It is an exciting process as you have to play with the bricks to combine them as most of them are not the same size. You can always add a bit of sand under a brick if you see it positioned lower than the other ones.
Filling the Brick Joints
Your project is almost over, and you just have to fill in the brick joints with some sand. You’ll want to use dry sand, as you’ll not be able to fill the joints if it is wet. This step is easy as you need to pour it all over Chicago brick paving and sweep it into the intersections with a broom. It is an easy step; however, you shouldn’t skip it, as it is essential for the longevity of your driveway. You’ll want to re-sand it every year or as needed.
The Final Chicago Brick Paving Step
The end is finally here, and you are about to have a fantastic driveway full of charming Chicago pavers. The final step is applying a sealant for clay bricks. It will help seal the sand in place and prevent the annoying weeds from growing. You should remember to re-seal the paving every year, as it wears out over time.
Numerous things can go wrong if you try to make pavement alone, without experience. To ensure the best possible job is done, you’ll want to hire a team of professionals to do your project. At Cricket Pavers, we provide top-quality service with a team of licensed professionals with years of experience. Our team is equipped with the best tools and knowledge to make your driveway look incredible. Call us today if you are looking for a respectable company to make your dreams and ideas come true.