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How to Repair Your Tiled Steps

A Complete Guide to Patio Materials

Do you have tiled steps in your garden or entrance way to your home? With the material used, hundreds of people’s feet walking on them annually, wear and tear and the harsh weather we have throughout the year, your tiled steps do take a battering.

If you’re looking to improve your walkways and change them, or repair your steps, then read our latest guide to preserving your tiles.

Sourcing material

First things first; find the right material to work with. Did you use flagstone - a traditional way of laying tiled steps? Or did you turn to brick, slate, or ceramic? Finding the same material again is usually the most stressful part, but plenty of builders merchants or DIY stores will have the tiles you’re looking for if you take in a sample, even if it’s a like for like version.

Take away damaged tiles

Some of the tiles might just pry away with your hands - a sign they’ll require resealing. For those that require a bit more help, use a hammer and chisel to take them out until you get to the final layer of mortar at the bottom.

Chisel away the mortar

Chip away at the mortar/cement left by laying the tiles down in the first place. Then you have a clean area to work with and are ready to look at your tiles!

Repairing existing tiles

You may find that some of the tiles are fine to use again if you spruce them up a bit. Use this time to see where you can cut these tiles down so they’re smooth and not jagged anymore. You can use an industrial tool like an electric cutter to do this, or you can use a saw blade specifically used for tiles or the material your steps are.

Once you’ve cut down all your tiles and sourced your replacement tiles, as there’s bound to be a few that don’t make the cut, you can begin layering the tiles into stair formation.

Lay down the tiles again

Have a new layer of mortar made and lay it down ready for your tiles to be added on top. Remove any traces of cement that end up on your tiles by using a sponge or ordinary scourer. Hammer them down into place using a rubber mallet and repeat across your steps, and then leave the tiles to dry for a number of days.

For the best results and minimal mishaps, look to replace or repair your tiles on a week where it’s dry and not guaranteed to rain. This ensures the cement stays in place as long as possible as it sets. 

Overall, repairing tiles and replacing them is a straightforward job that any DIY enthusiast can pick up at home if they have the right materials. Plan your days well and you’ll be able to lay down your tiles without needing to worry about rainwater washing it away or other damage to your tiles.