Working on a plan for installing pavers for a small patio and drive way (sand over compacted gravel). Found local source for really cheap masonry bricks (bricks with voids). What issues would I run into down the line if I used these as patio and/or driveway pavers?

I think that they may not hold up to the load for a driveway, but they may work for the patio. Any thoughts on this would be appreciated. I can't find anything on this online, which makes me think this is a dumb idea.

  • 1
    Masonry bricks are stronger in almost any way than 98% of pavers made.
    – DMoore
    Mar 14, 2019 at 17:52
  • @DMoore, you think that's true if they are laying on their sides? I doubt OP would like the holes in the bricks to be visible.
    – JPhi1618
    Mar 14, 2019 at 18:04
  • @JPhi1618 - they are all made a bit different but yes given that they are filled. It sounds like a terrible install though.
    – DMoore
    Mar 14, 2019 at 18:08
  • @JPhi1618 so lay downside up...
    – Solar Mike
    Mar 14, 2019 at 18:09
  • I'm thinking about bricks like these with the holes, and wasn't sure of their strength when laid sideways. I know a hammer makes quick work out of them when the side are hit. Question says "bricks with voids".
    – JPhi1618
    Mar 14, 2019 at 18:11

2 Answers 2


If your base is solid the bricks will be fine in both places. With that said I have done this and after several years of parking my heavy work van in the same area there was a noticeable indent along the tire path. I had ~4" of crushed rock or shale and then maybe 1/2" of sand, I put the holes up and seeded with drought resistant grass in them (I saw the idea in a magazine for more green spaces). I thought it looked nice but in the summer I had to water my driveway to keep it green.


Brick pavers have several advantages over plain bricks when used as pavers: 1) often sealer coating installed, 2) plastic form so uniform installation, 3) plastic form to “bridge” soft spots, 4) accessories such as edging, etc. to keep permanent shape.

1) Bricks are a clay product, so they’ll absorb dirt, oil, etc. Cleaning materials that are “driven” into the brick is impossible.

2) Once a pattern is interrupted, it is nearly impossible to infill back to a uniform pattern AND is highly visible.

3) No matter what the base nor how thick the base is laid, individual bricks will settle more than bricks laid in a “plastic pan” made for such an installation. Bricks that are not level are very unsightly.

4) Edgings etc. keep the original look permanent.

If you install the bricks on edge, you cannot “fill” the voids perfectly. You’ll have gaps and run the risk of “washouts” or unsupported brick at the voids that can break under weight of vehicles.

  • A "bad" installation can have all of those faults... choose the contractor wisely...
    – Solar Mike
    Mar 15, 2019 at 5:43
  • @SolarMike A plastic pan to span soft spots? A pre-installed seal coat on top? That has nothing to do with the quality/ability of the contractor. (That’s why pavers were invented...they’re made to go on the ground and be driven on. )
    – Lee Sam
    Mar 15, 2019 at 8:28
  • I wasn't aware of plastic forms, looks like an interesting option. I was concerned about empty voids under load too, seems like there are differing opinions on this. I don't understand your second point, are you talking about irregularity in brick size, or replacing a portion of an installation? Mar 15, 2019 at 14:31
  • 2
    Anytime you install a zillion bricks, some will be slightly larger and some slightly smaller. This will cause the “pattern” to grow or shrink. With pavers, they come with a form that keeps the pattern uniform and the space between the pavers uniform...or very close.
    – Lee Sam
    Mar 15, 2019 at 17:23

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