How to cover concrete steps

Written by rachelle proulx
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How to cover concrete steps
Brick veneers can update the look of old concrete steps. (Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

If your home's entryway steps are unsightly, you can easily cover them with brick veneer. Veneer gives a new look to your steps as well as adds needed traction. Brick veneers are thin brick tiles that are used as facades over study bases. They come in a variety of colours to match your home's exterior. Purchase veneers that are rated for installation on walkways and stairs. Work on completely dry concrete stairs, dampness will interfere with the bonding of the veneer.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Broom
  • Paint brush
  • Clean cloth
  • Brick veneers
  • Mortar
  • Buckets
  • Trowel
  • Rubber mallet
  • Tape measure
  • Rolling pin
  • Dust mask
  • Sanded grout
  • Grout bag
  • Jointing tool
  • Sponge

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Sweep off stairs to remove dirt. Remove all dust by sweeping the corners of your stairs with a paint brush. Wipe the stairs with a rag to make sure all dust and debris is removed.

  2. 2

    Remove all dust and debris from the veneers with a clean cloth.

  3. 3

    Mix a small batch of mortar in a bucket with water by following the manufacturer's instructions. Spread mortar in a small section of the top stair with a trowel. Level the mortar with the trowel. Set the first veneer into the mortar. Tap it lightly with a rubber mallet. Apply the second veneer next to the first veneer with a small grout line between them. Measure the gout line thickness. Apply the rest of the veneers to the top step in the same fashion. Check that all veneers are level and that all grout lines are the same width. Adjust the veneers as needed.

  4. 4

    Move to the step below the first step. Apply mortar to the step by working in small sections. Level the mortar with the trowel. Set the veneers into the mortar and tap them in place with the rubber mallet. Set the veneers so they have grout lines the same width of the first steps. Repeat until all steps are covered in veneer.

  5. 5

    Cover the sides of the stair and risers with veneer. Spread mortar in small sections over the stairs and risers. Level the mortar with a trowel. Set the veneers into the mortar. Space the veneers with a grout line that is the same width as the stairs. Tap the veneers with the rubber mallet until they are secure. Repeat until the entire stair is covered in veneers.

  6. 6

    Roll a rolling pin over all of the veneers to help them to adhere to the step. Allow the mortar to dry.

  7. 7

    Put on a dust mask. Mix sanded grout in a bucket in small batches by following the manufacturer's instructions. Work in small sections to overfill the grout lines by using a grout bag. Run a jointing tool in the grout lines, leaving them slightly concave.

  8. 8

    Wipe the grout off the veneers with a damp sponge after five minutes. Do not let grout set for more than 10 minutes or it will harden on veneers. Keep a bucket of water on hand to wring out the sponge. Apply the grout to the rest of the grout lines by working in small sections then wiping off the excess. Repeat until the entire stair is grouted.

Tips and warnings

  • Purchase curved veneers for stair tread ends and sides.
  • Have extra veneers on hand in case one breaks.
  • Wear old clothes when working with mortar and grout because they are hard to get out of fabric.
  • Mortar and grout can cause skin, eye and throat irritation so wear protection.

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