How to Tile Concrete Steps, Part 1 of 2

What You'll Need
Tile Glue
Work Gloves
Safety Glasses
Concrete cleaner

Tiling your concrete steps can help to make your stairs more beautiful and decorative. Follow the simple steps below to begin adding tiles to your own concrete steps.

Step 1 – Choose the Type of Tiles

There are many different types of tiles that can be used on concrete steps. Tiles come in many different colors, styles, shapes and patterns. What you choose to use depends on your preferences and the outcome you want.

Once you select a type of tile, measure your steps to determine how many tiles you will need to cover them. When you buy, be sure to get a little bit more than you need to allow for mistakes or breaks in the tile as you work on your project.

Step 2 - Clean the Concrete Steps

If concrete isn’t clean before you install your tiles, then they not only won’t stick down well, but they will degrade faster as well. Make sure you use a special concrete cleaning solution like Tri-Sodium Phosphate, which will easily remove dirt, grease and oil.

Step 3 — Checks for Cracks or Other Damage

Before you can lay down tile, inspect the steps for any damage. If you find any cracks, fill them with mortar and allow to completely dry before you move on.

You must also level the steps and make them smooth so the tile glue will hold more efficiently. If necessary, use concrete sealer to ensure the damages are all repaired correctly. The sealant is also good for keeping out moisture.

Step 4 – Decide on the Pattern for Your Tiles

Now that the stairs are cleaned, leveled and sealed, it’s time to put down your tiles onto the concrete steps. You need to know in advance the pattern you want to place the tiles in. It’s best if you have drawn a plan or picture so you can follow it as you go.

Step 5 – Mix the Mortar

When you have planned your pattern, mix up your mortar according to the package directions. Be sure not to make too much, as it dries easily and quickly. Only make as much as you can use in a short period of time.

It’s also important to buy the correct mortar for the type of tiles you have. Be sure to consult a professional at your hardware store to ensure that you have the right kind of adhesive.