I started to repair my front door brick steps. After long icy winter and salt usage most bricks in treads and rises got loose. After removing them almost nothing left. I laied new brick rises and filled inside with concrete mix and old bricks. Now I want to install granite treads. Unfortunately I coudn't find enough information about this work to be comfortable to start it. I will appreciate any advice. Following are my questions:
1) The treads surfaces are different - one is almost polished and another is more rough. I assume the rough one goes up to prevent slippery when wet. Is it correct?
2) What is the right technology for laying the treads? What is the trick (if any) to make it level?
3) What type of mortar should be used? Is it OK to use QUIKRETE 1136 Mason Mix?
4) I heard a watery cement mix should be applied on the bottom of the treads to ensure bond with the mortar? How important is this step? Will the mix stick to the tread surface when rotate it upside down and back?
5) How to seal the seams between the treads and rises/house wall? How much space to leave between them when laying the treads?
6) The railings have base plates with 4 holes each. The distance between holes are 1"x2". I heard expandable anchors should not be used in granite to prevent cracking. What kind of drilling/anchorage should I use?
This is my first masonry project and I hope your advice will allow me to finish it right.
Thank you in advance,