Steps are one of the most important components of the house or two-level apartment. This part of the staircase takes on the maximum load. To make the staircase as strong as possible and (if possible) extend the service life, you should process the surface and create the protective layer. When protecting the steps, located outside (for example, on the porch), it is also important to bear in mind the devastating weather events, such as snow, rain, sunlight and temperature swings. For that reason, tiling the steps is the best option. However, working with ceramics, you should keep in mind a number of features of fitting the tiles.
How to choose the ceramics for the stairs?
As steps must withstand heavy load, it is better to choose the facing material of increased strength. It will serve much longer while retaining the original appearance. Manufacturers offer matt and glossy tile. The former is more wear resistant. Over time, any surface gets scratched and rubbed. They are almost invisible on matt surface. Besides, it is much easier to slip on the glossy floor or steps. To avoid injuries, you should opt for the matt ceramic tile.
Nuances of choice of ceramic tile:
- Firstly, steps must be reliable, as main load falls on this part of the structure. The appearance of the house depends directly on the condition of the steps.
- Secondly, you should pay special attention to such parameters as waterproofing. This issue affects in particular facing the steps on the porch (where the impact of environment is especially strong). When working outdoor, you should use only specialized building materials.
Prepare the treads for work
Ceramic and clinker must be placed only on a previously prepared (and perfectly straight) surface. The first stage of work is alignment. Using the glue when fitting the tile to the steps, you can visually get rid of the small differences in the thicknesses. Ideally, you shouldn’t apply the layer of glue more than 1 cm thick. If all works have been performed correctly, you can start using the stairs 24 hours after facing. If you used a big layer of glue, waiting time must be increased until the complete drying.
When tiling the steps, you should observe certain rules.
Thus, if the staircase is installed outside, you should envisage the inclination angle to provide the water flow from the steps.
You can make a slope on the steps using different thickness of glue during fitting. On the porch, you should preliminarily make a tightening using the tracks. It is better to make a binding by means of tile adhesive.
When facing, wire grid acts as an additional retainer. Thanks to it, tiles will not flake off the concrete. Meanwhile, the material will be fixed firmly by means of cleats and dowels. Optimal size of wire is 3-4 mm.
After tightening, you should let the working area dry. Next stage is alignment by means of beam and de-dusting. After that, you can proceed with primer impregnation.
When facing the steps, you need to process several rows of treads. Therefore, you should observe the technique of laying and the order of the work implementation. First of all, you must paste the whole tiles, starting with the end part of the steps. When choosing them, you should try to find a size that allows you not to use the cut details. Otherwise, you’ll have to additionally reduce the size of tiles at an early stage of work.
If it is impossible to avoid cutting, try to use the biggest pieces. As a rule, small details are not so comfortable to paste. Besides, they fall off in the first place.
Processing of the risers
Step facing must be made in several stages. You can start pasting the details to vertical risers only after the complete drying of horizontal treads. The surface should be prepared on the same principle as a horizontal one: you need to align, clear and apply a layer of primer. Facing starts with the processing the edges and continues on the remaining area. You should take into account that the edge of horizontal tile must be aligned by the level of the vertical one.
Alternative ways of facing the steps
If you want that that the structure serves you as long as possible, and the operation doesn’t cause any inconveniences, you can use alternative ways of fitting the tiles or special material.
Thus, products with the riffled edge prevent slipping. They will be safe during the cold season. It is better to put them at the edge of the tread.
Steps faced with the material, which has a rounded front edge, look especially attractive. It can be used both indoors and outdoors. In this, you can choose the products with riffled or rough texture that will not be slippery.
Corners for the edges are the high-quality alternative for facing the steps. They are used instead of tiles with riffled edges.
The principle of tile form allows you to cover upper and lower tread on the steps. At the same time, the rest of the staircase is coated with standard tile or special inserts.
Additional profiles, installed on the stairs, also allows you to make it safe and more attractive. It is important to observe the proportion, in which the thickness of rack must coincide with the width of tiles.
It is important to remember that over time, such profiles can’t be replaced. As a rule, they are used for the outdoors stairs.
Seam smoothing is a final stage of facing. This procedure must be performed on all surfaces at the same time. For smoothing, you will need the rubber spatula to process all seams.
Facing is a tedious work that requires time and specific qualifications. Performing such work on your own, you can save money, but the results may be worse than planned. Write us if you have done such work. What was the result?