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Sawtooth Edging For Your Driveway

By: Chris Hogan MSc - Updated: 20 Apr 2014 | comments*Discuss
 
Driveway Sawtooth Edging Bricks Edgeways

We've covered many different edgings on this site and sawtooth edging is a good one to add to the list. It is quick and easy and may even cost you next to nothing, if your driveway is part of a larger building project and you have bricks left over.

Importance Of Edging For Driveways

Edging is important for loose driveways to keep the material in place (see our article Edging For Gravel Drives). It's also important on solid surfaces to discourage vehicles from going over the edge, as this damages the border of the concrete or tarmac and leads to early breakdown of the surface (see Edging For Tarmac Drives and Edging For Concrete Drives).

Edging also plays a part from the other side of the fence, so to speak, forming a barrier that clearly shows the line between the lawn or flower bed. You can use this barrier to mow up to or strim against.

Homage To The Humble Saw

Sawtooth edging is the proper name for rows of bricks laid standing up but leaning over at an angle, alongside the driveway. The tops of the angled bricks look like the teeth of a saw, hence the name. The angle can be anything you like but it's normally around 45 degrees. This means that the points of the 'saw teeth' edge will be uniform.

Alongside a driveway the row of bricks should be cemented in place, using haunching to hold the edge against sideways pressure. You will find articles describing the whys and wherefores of haunching in our concrete and tarmac sections, but essentially haunching is a barrier of concrete behind the edging row to give that lateral support.

If you are using sawtooth edging on a garden path rather than a driveway, there's less need to provide support. You don't really need haunching and you don't even have to embed the bricks in concrete. Be aware that they will move around as they settle though, and may need to be re-positioned from time to time. But if you are looking for a cottage garden look, then a slight irregularity in the path edging will lend character.

Brick Arrangements

You can lay the bricks edgeways or side-on. Side-on will give a stronger barrier because of the larger contact points between each brick. It's a better choice for narrow and curved driveways, where the chances of cars going over the edge are higher.

If you lay the bricks edgeways, the edging won't be as strong but you will use about a third fewer bricks. So if you don’t need the strength, and you have a limited supply of bricks, then edgeways is the choice for you. Of course, the way it looks is important, too, but most people feel that side-on is better.

Use Any Brick

Strictly speaking, you should use paving bricks or engineered bricks for sawtooth edging. As you'll know if you've read our articles on laying a brick driveway or path, the surface of ordinary building bricks will crack as freezing and thawing take their toll. Most paving bricks will have lugs on the side so you'll be forced to lay them edgeways, unless you chisel them all off, which is probably not recommended.

Ordinary bricks will eventually break down completely, although this will take several years. Used on a garden path, this effect can lend character so you may not mind, particularly if you have a few spares you can use to replace them over the years. So if you are happy with the effect you can choose any bricks you like.

Take The Easy Option

Finally, you can cheat! As with any other driveway surface or edging you will find concrete replicas of sawtooth edging in a variety of different finishes. They come in sets of 6 to 10 'bricks' in each section, so laying the edging ought to be 6 to 10 times faster.

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Need price per unit of sawtooth edging bricks
mick - 20-Apr-14 @ 2:42 PM
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