Project Guide

How to Install Brick Edging

Lay Out the Bed
Someone using an edging blade to cut flat walls in a trench for brick edging.

Before you install brick edging, be safe and put on work gloves and protective eyewear

To install brick edging in a straight line, drive a garden stake into the ground at each corner of the area you want to edge. Starting at one corner, wind a mason's line around one stake to secure it. Stretch the line to the next stake, wind it around and secure it, too. Do this on all the other sides.

If possible, plan ahead so you won't have to cut any bricks. It's easier to install brick edging if you can use whole bricks.

Start the brick edging at a fixed point, such as your house, and work toward an open area. This will let you adjust the length of the edging if you need to.

Follow the mason's line and dig a flat-bottomed trench to hold the bricks. Use a shovel or edger to cut the walls of the trench straight up and down. Tamp down the bottom of the trench with a tamper or the short edge of a board.

Stretch a Mason's Line
Someone pounding garden stakes into the ground and using a mason's line to install brick edging.

Put a brick in the trench on its long end or lay it flat, depending on your preference. Make sure the top of each brick is level with the mason's line.

Align the Bricks
A mallet and extra bricks beside a row of brick edging between a garden bed and a green lawn.

Put the rest of the bricks in the trench, aligning them as you go. Use a rubber mallet to gently tap them into place. 

If needed, adjust the depth of the trench. Use a garden trowel to remove or add soil and tamp it down firmly so the bricks are level.

Backfill for Stability
Someone using a mallet to align concrete bricks to edge a bed.

Backfill the trench with soil on both sides of the bricks. Seat the bricks by tapping them with the mallet. Realign them if needed.

Set the Last Brick
A sledgehammer sitting on top of a row of brick edging around a garden bed.

Put the last brick in the trench so that it fits snugly. Use a sledgehammer to set it in place. If possible, adjust the layout so you can use a whole brick instead of cutting one. 

If you need to cut a brick, lightly strike a chisel with a mallet to score a line across each face of the brick. Set the brick on flat ground and strike it again, sharply, at the scored line. This should break it.

Edge the Corner or Make a Curve
Someone using a mattock to make a curve in the lawn to install brick edging.

When edging a corner, run a mason’s line between the end stakes at a 90-degree angle to the first line. Set the bricks in the trench, using the lines as guides. Use a framing square to make sure the bricks are square and a standard level to check that they're level.

To make a curve, use a pickaxe or mattock to dig a curving trench on the ground. Lay the bricks in it and adjust them as needed. A gentle curve will be easier to edge than a sharp one.

Add Soil
A flower bed with brick edging.

Add soil to the bed you're edging and tamp along both sides of the bricks. If needed, use a spade to work in soil amendments like peat moss, manure or fertilizer. Smooth and level the bed with a garden rake. Now you're ready to plant flowers, shrubs and other plants.

Learning how to install brick edging is an easy DIY project. Mark your bed with garden stakes and run a mason's line between them. Then dig a trench and tamp down the bottom of it. Add the bricks. Backfill the trench on both sides and tap the bricks with a mallet to seat them. Tap the last brick with a sledgehammer to seat it.  

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