We recently redesigned the walkway through our garden to our back door. This involved lots of scaping of the land -- especially to change the waterflow away from the house. The new walkway ends with a small brick landing. The contractor just laid them down and glued them in place.

I asked when they would finish it with mortar or sand or something. they said they they were set tight enough and didn't need it.

Except when I step on it they move. And I live in Minnesota -- wont snow and ice get in there? Am I missing or something or will this landscaping element not hold up?

  • What did the bricks get laid onto eg Sub-base material, concrete slab? Can you please expand on "glued them in place"? Could you please post a photo of the area? If possible could you also please give more details on exactly what the contractor did? Regardless, those bricks should not move when you step on them...
    – Mike Perry
    Sep 16, 2011 at 2:51
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    They were placed with some type of adhesive onto a sub-base material -- a concrete slab that was there. I don't know more than that -- I was at work when the contractors were working. What should I be asking or challenging them on? I will post pictures Mike -- but I am fairly confident that they will be super non-informative and boring. Sep 16, 2011 at 2:55
  • @JosephBarisonzi I like photos :) Plus it could prove helpful to see the area, might make possible suggestions more meaningful to your particular situation. For starters ask them to explain why newly laid bricks are moving underfoot when you step on them, as there is no reason I can think of why properly installed bricks should behave like that (IMHO).
    – Mike Perry
    Sep 16, 2011 at 3:05
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    I don't want to provide an answer here because the people at DIY will definitely be more primed and experienced to answer this kind of question (there has been discussion about dropping the "landscaping" part of the G&L title since it's generally ignored anyway)... but I'm pretty sure you should sweep crusher dust (not sure what this is called outside Australia) into the cracks so they pavers/bricks stay firmly in place.
    – Lisa
    Sep 16, 2011 at 3:08
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    In Minnesota, brick walkway should not be cemented in with mortar. The 120ºF annual temperature variation causes trouble. Providing excellent drainage and allowing the individual bricks to move slightly is best. A flexible adhesive might be a new approach to this issue. I am not sure. Sep 16, 2011 at 3:12

1 Answer 1


I live in a climate similar to Minnesota and have never seen commercial landscapers gluing hard pavers down.
- you say "brick", most brick will flake and spall after a few seasons because it is only hardened to the elements on one side.
- Even interlock, which is cement, does not perform well in the long run when it is constantly moist. These are the conditions that are found when you have a non porous bed of cement with bricks on top that allow water through the cracks.
- The only places that I use adhesive on natural stone or on interlock is for cap stones on walls and treads for steps. In each case you must supply adequate drainage through the use of permeable materials behind the wall or under the base of the step such as a bed of 3/8" gravel.
- If there are gaps in the bricks I recommend you add polymeric sand. In the past I would never pay $25 for a bag of sand but this material is superb for filling joints, stays permeable and does not wash out.

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