Laying Ceramic Tile Stairs: What You Should Know

Blue ceramic tiles.

Building ceramic tile stairs isn't much different than laying down a ceramic tile floor. Ceramic tile makes a durable covering for stairs if the stair casing can handle the weight of the mortar, tile, and grout.

Installation of Ceramic Tile Stairs

When you install ceramic tile on stairs, it is done in the same way as you would with a wall, or countertop. You spread out a layer of thinset on the subfloor and press the tile into the mortar. The use of plastic spacers will help you keep an even distance between tiles for grout.

Choose the Right Tiles

When you install ceramic tile stairs you will need to pay attention to the difference in tile sizes. Riser tiles and tread tiles are types of ceramic tiles that need special attention. When installing these, you will have to make sure that no tread tile extends over the edge of the stairs. Start with the whole tiles in the rear of the stair tread and then use the cut pieces to fill out the rest. Work with a good design or you will be cutting a lot.

Different Types of Grout

Ceramic tile stairs are not just about the tile. Grout has an important part to play also. Choose the wrong type and you could have several different problems all at once. Know where you want to install your tiles. Some grout works great under a lot of stress, while some grout works best in wetter conditions like in an entryway.

Be Careful With Wooden Stairs

Because of the weight of the ceramic tile, the mortar, and the grouting, standard wooden stairs are not a good match for ceramic tile. Concrete stairs should be used when you are going to use ceramic tiles for the stairs. If you do have wooden stairs, consider using a cement backboard for the tile. However, you will also have to reinforce the stairs themselves to handle the weight.

Different Types of Ceramic Tiles

Ceramic tile stairs require tiles that have a grip to them. Because of the glaze, and the nature of a ceramic tile, they can be very slippery. Chose some tiles that have a little bit of a tread to them. This will help to give your feet, or shoes, something to grip while walking on the treads.

When considering to use ceramic tile stairs you also have to consider the amount of use they are going to receive. If they are going to be in a high traffic area, then you will need to have tiles that are going to be strong enough to handle the constant pressure. Look for the tiles that are hardened and do not chip, or crack easily. They are are little more costly, but it will be worth it if you do not have to change them all the time.

Now you can make an informed decision about laying ceramic tile stairs. You will easily be able to choose the appropriate materials and decide if it is something you should take on yourself.