Thank you for your post. A couple of things:
1) The step is not a "step" as you would think it to be (going up, standing alone). It's between two walls, with our front door regressed from the house about four feet. That 4x8 foot area is the "step" I'm referring to.
2) Because the area is regressed, it is protected by our roof (and an additional 4-6 feet of overhang approximately) and doesn't get wet often. Apparently the previous owners hosed down the step, however,
and caused it to get wet occasionally, when the water pooled toward the door and not away from it.
If we don't tile that area, do you have any other suggestions? And when I say "we, " I mean "the people we hire to do this." We are not DIY people, we just want to know what we can expect a carpenter/tile layer to throw out at us.