I have a brick patio that is not level and filled with weeds. There are areas where it slopes down and the back up. I live in Maryland so it can get really hot and cold but I have not seen other areas of the lawn buckle like this.

I have pulled up the bricks on my old patio and found a 5-6 inch layer of sand (no stones) on top of the soil. (brick , then sand, then soil)

Do I need to remove it, and then put down (crushed) stone before I do the rest of the work? It will be a lot of sand to remove!

Most of what I have read suggests small/crushed stone (4 inch layer) on the soil followed by a weed barrier, then a layer of sand (1 inch). I am not sure what to do about the sand.

  • What are you trying to accomplish? What is the end product going to be? Commented Oct 4, 2020 at 1:30
  • 2
    It sounds like the brick patio was installed properly on a bed of sand, is there some reason to think you need to alter it. Is it too hard is it to low? Perhaps you can just make sure it’s level and compacted well and use it as is.
    – Alaska Man
    Commented Oct 4, 2020 at 1:52
  • Typo: Is it to high, not to hard.
    – Alaska Man
    Commented Oct 4, 2020 at 2:35
  • I think it depends on your climate and soil type. When I put my patio in, it was 12 inches of crushed stone and 1 inch sand. Perhaps you could ask some suppliers in your area what they recommend. Commented Oct 4, 2020 at 3:47
  • I updated my question. I want to level the patio because there is a fair amount of uneveness. From what i read typically the patio should be soil then stone then sand then the final brick. I have not seen using sand only as a base. Commented Oct 4, 2020 at 13:47

1 Answer 1


Sand only is acceptable if it’s “contained”.

Sand is an excellent bearing material, but it tends to get washed away by rain. Sand has small particles that can be washed away allowing the base to settle (often at different amounts).

If the upper part of base is too high and could get washed away, you could put 3/4” minus crushed rock on top, compact it, and then put the bricks on top.

Using a 1” layer of sand on the top allows you to easily install the bricks level. But if you make the crushed rock level and you install directly on top of the sand...and the sand will be contained low enough not to be washed away...the base will remain intact.

  • Okay, so let me see if I got this. Remove some sand if too high, level sand, add stone, level and compact stone, weed barrier and then a little more sand, then brick? Do I need to compact the bottom layer of sand before I add the stone? Commented Oct 4, 2020 at 15:57
  • It’s difficult to compact sand because it’s all “fines”. If the top portion of the existing sand “fluffs up” during removal, then I’d compact it, but it’s been there long enough to be compacted. Compaction is important for the gravel because it will have voids in it when dumped on the ground. Be sure to use 3/4” minus gravel. It compacts best. Adding sand directly under the bricks will wash away and I’d spend extra time and effort making the gravel perfectly level. Then no need for the 1” layer of sand.
    – Lee Sam
    Commented Oct 4, 2020 at 17:33
  • Do you think a manual tamper is sufficient to compact the 3/4" minus gravel? Commented Oct 13, 2020 at 13:02
  • Yes, a manual compactor would be adequate. Do not do one area very good and then go on to the next area. Rather, slowly go over the entire area several times until it’s completely compacted.
    – Lee Sam
    Commented Oct 13, 2020 at 16:37

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