Can anyone point me to DIY sites that can give me some tips and steps
for laying half-thick bricks over concrete steps? The stoop on my
late 70s house had some small settling over the past few years leaving
an ugly crack/gap between the 1st step out and door sill. I'm
thinking about bricking over the 6 steps and vertical concrete slab up
to my front door. If I design it right, any further settling will be
hidden by the bricks.
I assume half bricks are the usual solution but pointers welcomed.
I'm pretty sure you can just use the right kind of thinset mortar for
those. Have a porch-reconstruction project scheduled for a friend, and
our plans include reconstructing the existing pavers, which are half
bricks over a mortar bed.
Personally, I like Vista, but I probably won\'t use it. I like it
because it generates considerable business for me in consulting and
nope sorry it wouldnt work, any future movement will cause the brick
to crack and come loose from the poured concrete.
I know this because a elderly friends hubby tried this, he died and it
became very unsafe.
I removed the brick and use patching cement over the whole mess. she
needs new steps and sidewalk but lacks the money.
this happened over 2 years ago, this spring i will patch again.
you really need to address why the settling is occuring
Won't work well, in most cases. Rise/run dimensions will be off, slope
of finish surface will be off and not drain properly (and lead to
basement leaks), and if you ever get snow and cold, the brick will want
to pop off after a couple years from water getting under them and
freezing. You also don't want the porch right at door sill level, to
keep driven rain from ponding there. Unless you can bury the entire old
porch inside a properly footered new brick porch, best solution is to
either mudjack the existing porch, or demo and replace.
Just for laughs, I'd get a couple free estimates from the local concrete
flatwork places. May be cheaper than you think, especially with the
current slump in new construction. And if you can demo the old porch
yourself, even cheaper.
What you propose should work OK IF...
1. There is no further settling or if it is less than the thickness of the
2. You arrange a "slip joint" between the steps and sill. A piece of 15#
building paper between the two will work. As an alternative, you can use a
flexible caulk in the joint between steps and sill.
The kicker is really "no further settling". I have a similar
situation...the steps had sunk about an inch from the porch and seemed to
have stabilized when I laid a tile topping. Well, they have sunk another
two inches during the last 12 years. To fix, the steps need to have a
foundation under them that is pinned to the porch foundation (should have
been so from the git go); that could be done now but it is probably easier
and cheaper to have them demolished and redone properly.
Thanks for the replies so far....more welcomed.
DadiOH's response is EXACTLY what I had in mind. The settling and
1/2" crack/gap are not new. They've been there unchanged for a good
10 yrs...maybe more. (I've been in the house for 15.) I'm just tired
of looking at it and I have no other projects right now. :-) It
settled because the previous owner replaced the steps and driveway
before we moved it. It suffered the usual settling after it was
I am NOT expecting any further settling. I can either use caulk to
seal the joint (under a large roof overhang) or standard mortar. If
it does develop a hairline crack, that's easier to seal and the
horizontal step bricks will "slide" down the vertical layer and hide a
The concrete steps are in excellent condition...no cracks, no flaking,
no mold. What kind of prep do I need? Powerwash? Nothing? And what
type of mortal do I use for this?
If you decide on mortar I'd still suggest using a slip joint as any cracking
from further subsidence would not necessarily be at the joint between steps
and sill...it could be at any other joint or in the brick itself.
Nothing special given what you say. Maybe a soap & water scrub.
Take your pick. You could probably use thinset too.
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