A Guide to Block Paving Patterns

The basket weave, herringbone and running bond patterns are all popular styles

Herringbone Pattern

Full Frame Shot of Bricks

Tidarat Khantavijan / EyeEm / Getty Images

The purpose of this photo gallery is to introduce the beginning DIY’er to some of the decorative patterns that are commonly used in designing patios, walkways, and similar hardscape projects. Brick patterns are covered here, although designs can also be stamped into concrete.

Brick patterns include the basket weave (sometimes spelled as one word), herringbone and running bond. The photos here provide examples. For a tutorial on construction, see this article on building brick patios. That tutorial instructs readers to start with a relatively easy hardscape project: building a patio without having to cut your pavers.

This picture on the current page is the herringbone pattern. When one sees the herringbone pattern, one thinks of feverish activity. For this reason, the herringbone pattern is perhaps the most dynamic of brick patterns. Let’s take a closer look at it.

What Is the Herringbone Pattern?

“Herringbone” is the name of a pattern, used, for example, in bricklaying. Herringbone stamped concrete patterns can mimic such brick designs. This dynamic design suggests energy and activity.

In the context of masonry, think of the herringbone design as consisting of parallel rows of lightning bolts. A herringbone design could also be described as consisting of rows of L shapes; in each row, starting from the bottom L shape (that is, a vertical brick resting on a horizontal brick), each succeeding L shape is nestled atop the crook formed by the two bricks below it.

The herringbone design is sometimes described informally as simply a “zigzag” pattern. Used on a fabric (in contrast to its use in masonry in laying bricks or in a herringbone stamped concrete pattern), the constituent shape is usually the V rather than the L.

When choosing a pattern for a patio (whether in bricks or stamped concrete), some find the basket weave design too staid and go with the more dynamic herringbone pattern.

Basket Weave Pattern

Brick Walkway Basket Weave Pattern

PrairiePics / Getty Images

The basket weave pattern forms a grid-work.

The basket weave pattern can be thought of as a grid-work of squares. Each square in the basket weave pattern is composed of two bricks—but with an alternating orientation. In one square, the two bricks run vertically; in the neighbouring square, the bricks run horizontally.

Running Bond Pattern

Running bond brick pattern

David Beaulieu

The running bond pattern is one of the simplest. The picture of a running bond pattern does throw a curve though—literally.

Don’t let the curve in this brick path and its intersection with another path fool you: the brick pattern used here is pretty straightforward. It’s called the “running bond pattern.” Bricks are simply laid out in rows, end to end, in the running bond pattern. All you have to remember to achieve a true running bond pattern is that the “seams” shouldn’t line up (if they did, your brick pattern would qualify as a “stack bond,” instead).

By David Beaulieu