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Discussion Starter #1
Hello!

I want to cover concrete steps with something more appealing. I was thiking some type of tile, such as slate. I am looking for a "how-to" guide on how to do it. For instance, what tools will I need? And as far as materials, how do I estimate how many tiles I will need? How do I make a template to lay out the tile? And I read that slate is hard to maintain, is this true? Thanks for helping out a rookie!:thumbsup:
 

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Tool Geek
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Casey, Welcome to the forum

  1. Are these steps exposed to the weather?
  2. Do you ever have snow or ice conditions?

Tile or slate will be much more slippery.
Can you post a pic?
.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
That was quick!

It's 2 concrete steps at the front door to the house. I am in Virginia, so I don't think that weather will be a factor, other than rain? It's night now, but I will post a pic first thing in the morning. Thank you!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Okay, here is a picture of my steps. I am really open to anything other than concrete. P8050143.jpg

Hope this helps and thanks again for the reply Bob!
 

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here're 3 done after removing all tiles which'd loosen'd & been damag'd over the yrs,,, loosening was due to wtr infiltrating grout jnts & subsequently freezing,,, i used a lot-rpm 1/2" mixing drill, trowel, & roller/frame for applying sealer,,, we live in atl - far south of va,,, no matter where you live, weather is ALWAYS a factor,,, conc expands & contracts just a much in the south, mid-atlantic, & north - hi-skool physics, remember ? ? ?

we used elitecrete but its my retirement trade,,, you can locate similar generic mtls but NOT at any apron store.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
That's fantastic! Exactly what I am looking for too. Hopefully I can come close to having mine look that good. Can you tell me what you used in the first and third pictures? Brick and Slate? What kind? And which is easier in terms of installation; really tools as I will have to rent a wet-saw, etc. Thank you for the reply!
 

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Tileguy
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Casey you won't need a wet-saw to duplicate what you see in those pictures. There is no tile anywhere in those pictures.:)

I'll let irc explain it to you.:)

Sure is beautiful work!:)
 

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thanks, bud,,, appreciate the kind words - btw, having a tile guy re-do our mstr bath at the shore,,, its HIS trade/skill/craft,,, i'll stay w/my own :)

casey, the top was done w/pool trowel & .375 diamond blade on a 4" grinder; middle w/stencil & pneumatic-power'd hopper gun; btm w/tape,,, seriously ! ! !

such is the power of polymer-modified cement concrete,,, btw, the thickest overlay's the middle 1 @ about 1/8" w/compressive strength of 5,600#psi & flexural strength of 350#psi,,, adhesion's mechanical & chemical,,, cost avg'd $6sf including 2 coats of methyl-methacrylate laced sealer,,, i'd bet traction measures well against broom'd conc.
 

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Casey, You will have to cover ALL the concrete with whatever material you choose otherwise it will look unfinished.

I would suggest a varicolored or varihued stone pavers preferably in random shapes to break with the visual symmetry of all that brick on the side of the house.

To get a better idea of what is available in your area you need to find a really good masonry Supply even if you have to drive fifty miles. You won't find anything at the Big Box stores. You need to find out where the masonry contractors go. I don't know where you are in Virginia but here is a search for Richmond.
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&...supply,+Richmond+VA&btnG=Search&aq=f&oq=&aqi=

I am lucky to have a great source 5 miles away in Santa Monica:
http://www.bourgetbros.com/
.
 

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after prepping surfaces, we squeegee on a base coat w/integral color we wish for mortar jnts,,, after curing, lay tape pattern for jnts & coat w/2nd course ( i use pool trowels or funny ' trowels to save wear 'n' tear on my 67yr old back :yes: ),,, let top course cure, apply addl hi-light color wash's as need'd/desir'd, pull tape, & seal.

for the brick, stencils come in 1Ksf rolls - varyng patterns incl geek's random stone,,, prep, base coat, stencil, lock-down coat same color, top coat, pull stencil, seal,,, pick up ck :laughing: expect you've already got most of the tools, bud,,, if not, head for ebay or a well-stock'd pawn shop as did i.

what a country ! ! ! :thumbup:

ps - pavers change elevations someplace along the line,,, possibly just enough to create trip hazards.
 

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Tileguy
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expect you've already got most of the tools, bud,,,,
Oh no you don't.......I'm not interested in doing that stuff. I have enough to do as it is. I had a hunch tape was used to replicate mortar joints but didn't know for sure when doing a job that appears to be all brick-pavers.

There was a job done at a nearby Holiday Inn that was a simulated stone field with a soldier-coursed brick edge on the outdoor semi-covered walkways. I was tiling room-baths while a contractor was doing the outside. Tape was used for the brick patterns there but to do a massive amount of tape was mind boggling to me. That job failed the first winter with areas spalling here and there.:)

I would try some of that at home maybe but not for hire.:)
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Wow, I have to say I am pretty blown away. I have heard of stamped/acid etched concrete but have never actually seen any. Still can't believe how great it looks...
 

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Bob,
Thanks for the info, I have been searching for the wrong thing and it was getting frustrating. Never thought to search masonry supply. My "duh" moment for the day. Home Depot and Lowe's were horrible for what I am looking for, now I can get something done!

Itsreallyconc, you're stuff looks fantastic but I can tell that you are pretty experienced. I am also assuming that it is not nearly as easy as you make it sound! If it was everyone would do it, right? Where would I find the stencils/supplies? And it's chemical, so if I jack it all up will I still be able to put something over it? I always hope for the best but plan for the worst:)
 

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Tileguy
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Casey with most of those products the truth is.......

You can't do anything you can't fix.:) The deeper truth is.......
The success of the project is in the preparation. The prep isn't the fun part but it is the most crucial part.:)
 

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Discussion Starter #16
That is very true! About 90% of what I do in the Army is preparation, so at least I have that going for me:thumbsup: Thanks Bud:)
 

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maybe i've personally done 30 hands'on top-to-btm jobs but the results're not as difficult as 1 might imagine,,, when i 1st retired, look'd around & found my supplier,,, the dec conc o'lay industry's loaded w/everything from ' gawda'mightycrete ' to ' knockyoursocksoffcrete ' :laughing: seems like every month there's more & many go tits up,,, we buy little from the apron store, btw ! now, retired again, maybe i take 2 or 3 jobs/month which i trade for greens fees & farkle for my bride, nagzilla :(

i'd recommend our distributor in nc but made-in-the-usa eC does have distributors in most states,,, send me an e-mail as the purpose of these forums isn't to plug anyone's products even tho i have no financial interest & wouldn't make a dime if you bought any !

1/2" drill, pump-up solo garden sprayer, roller cover & frame, knee pads, maybe $250 in mtls + a decent training w/e = your own recreat'd conc + a decent living for your afterlife :thumbup:

ps - no heavy lifting,,, the bags only weigh 60# ! ! !
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I tried to send you an email but I am not allowed to yet! I am still too new to the site I guess. I went to a couple masonry places (thanks again for the suggestion Bob) but they were all closed on saturday? So I will go later in the week. I have to admit I am thinking regular tile would be easier, but am really intrigued by the concrete. There is some truly amazing stuff out there.
 

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I have to agree with John (aka "itsreallyconcrete") about concrete overlays in general and Elitecrete in specific; I consider ECS one of our suppliers.

I took their training about 2 years ago and have done a few small jobs; we are fortunate enough to have a good distributor in our area (Simon at Art sur Beton) who is one of the 'good guys' out there in ECS land, like John is. I regret not pushing that area of our service range as it's a lot of fun to do. I like outdoor splatter textures myself as our this is perfect for the weather and ice we have up here...
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Wow I can't believe the responses! I was not expecting this, and just wanted to thank you guys for your time and sharing your expertise. Gave me a lot to think about and I am going to go check out these options. Thanks for making a Soldier's day!
 
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