How to Build Brick Steps with Tile Treads Part 4 How to Build Brick Steps with Tile Treads Part 4

What You'll Need
Rubber Mallet
Wheel Barrow
Crushed rock
Concrete mix, fine sand and water
Bricks and brick mortar
12 inch square stone tiles
Brick jointer tool
Brush, soap and water
Flat head screwdriver

This is the last installment of our series of articles on how to build brick steps. You have already set your bricks and tiles for the first tread; now, you are ready to finish up. You have some repetitive work ahead of you, but you don't have too much further to go. Let's get started.

(This is Part 4 of a 4 part series. To return to Part 3, click here.

Step 1 - Lay Bricks for Second Riser

Similar to the way you did for the first riser, you will need to cut and lay bricks inside the marked off area for your second step or riser. However, for this one, you will need to double the height of the first riser. Therefore, if your first riser was built up to a height of six inches (with the tile stone treads included), you will need to use mortar and bricks to make the second riser slightly less than 12 inches tall (then bring it to the required height with the stone tile and mortar).

You can add more (or a little less) mortar mix as needed to adjust the height of the riser. Also use the mallet to tamp down bricks a little if you need to. Make sure to use a brick jointer to clean up the seams between bricks as well.

Step 2 - Fill Second Riser with Crushed Rock

Again, just like you did for the first riser, fill the second with crushed rock or gravel until it about 1/2 to 1 inch below the height of the bricks for riser. Compact or tamp the crushed rock as much as possible.

Step 3 - Fill Second Riser with Wet Mortar Mix

Finish filling the riser with wet mortar mix and spread some on the top of the riser bricks. Use your notched trowel to create a good bonding surface for the stone tiles. Clean any excess mortar that spills over the sides.

Step 4 - Place the Stone Tiles on Second Tread

Align the first stone tile with the edge of the second riser and press it into the wet mortar mix. Then, use a tile spacer and place the second and third tiles (maybe more in your case). Make sure tiles are aligned perfectly with the sides of the riser and adjust them as needed. Make sure to wipe off mortar mix that might get pressed out from underneath the tiles.

Step 5 - Continue Creating Risers and Setting Tiles

Continue by creating as many risers as you need and setting the stone tiles. Do them one at a time and be sure to keep in mind that the height of each riser will need to increase by the 'Rise' calculation for a single step. For example, first riser is 6 inches; second riser is 12; third is 18, and so on and so forth.

Step 6 - Cleaning Up the Steps

After you have completed laying all bricks and tiles, your steps are basically finished. However, you should go back with some water and a jointer tool and make sure that all spaces that have been filled with mortar are neat and tidy. Use a scraper tool or flat head screwdriver to scrape away spilled mortar that may have dried. Finally, take a scrub brush and some water and give your new steps a good cleaning.

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