Lay tiles professionally on a staircase

The laying of tiles on stairs has long been a matter of course. While straight and right-angled stairs are still relatively easy to tile, spiral staircases are trickier. Below you will learn how to tile stairs professionally and properly.

The right choice of tiles for stairs is extremely important

First of all, you should be aware before choosing the tiles for a staircase that you need a special slip resistance here. In addition to the own slip resistance of the tiles you can select those with additional grooves on the front side. Alternatively, you can incorporate finishing strips with a wide, non-slip surface as a finish. Especially with the skirting boards for stairs, there is a large selection of different profiles. Decisive for the slip resistance of tiles is the German DIN 51130, which is classified there as "R" (skid resistance).

The tile symmetry in stairs

For a straight staircase laying is still relatively easy. You determine the middle of the stair step, then the tiles are laid either to the right and left of the middle or a tile half left and right in the middle. How to reach a symmetrical surface. If there is an intermediate platform from which the staircase continues at a right angle, lay the lower staircase as well. For spiral staircases, lay from the inside to the outside. On the front sides, the tiles always have their original width, also in the spiral area. Outside in the coiled area, an additional row of tiles is then cut to size.

Step-by-step instructions for laying tiles on stairs

  • tiling
  • flexible tile adhesive
  • possibly primer
  • possibly barrier ground in the outdoor area
  • tile crosses
  • spacing wedges
  • flexible grout
  • possibly leveling or leveling filler
  • water
  • Cement residue cleaner
  • household cleaners
  • Electric drill with stirrer
  • tile cutter
  • rubber hammer
  • notched trowel
  • spirit level
  • scraper
  • Fug board with hard rubber
  • Sponge board or tile sponge
  • rubber gloves
  • knee pad

1. Preparation

First, you have to prepare the ground. According to how strong or little the surface is absorbent, use the respective primer. In addition, a barrier layer is useful in various areas. Then level out any cracks or damage with leveling or leveling compound. Now you have to wait until the putty or primer has dried.

2. Laying tiles on the stairs

Now you can start laying the tiles on the stairs. First you lay the tread tiles. Consider the expansion joint at the edges. After the stepping joints, the joint surfaces are covered with tiles. Also note here the space you need for the joint along the inner edge. The adhesive comb with the tooth trowel as a glue bed on the stairs, also thin on the bottom of the tiles.

3. Grouting the tiled stairs

Now you can fill the joints with grout. If in doubt, proceed according to the instructions of the tile manufacturer, as it may take hours or even days, depending on the adhesive, to allow the tiles to be grouted. Make sure that there is no tile adhesive in the joints. If necessary, scrape out existing adhesive with the joint scraper. Fill the joints diagonally to the joint with the fug board. Once the grout has dried, you can wash it out with the tile sponge.

Tips & Tricks

Tiles should be laid on a staircase from top to bottom. However, especially with basement entrances, you must note that you are not allowed to enter the stairs for hours or even days, according to the manufacturer's specifications. If you do not have a cellar door outside, or at least a basement window, through which you could climb after work, lay the first half of the stairs, and if the glue is sufficiently dry, the second half. Be sure to remove the sideways swollen tile adhesive.

Stairs in the living area often use so-called Florentine tiles. The have as conclusion a rounded bead. As a result, the tiles look visually like thick natural notes and look particularly noble and sophisticated.

Clean the tiles as soon as possible after grouting. The less cleaner you need for cement veils, the better: this special cleaner decomposes the cement, including the joints.

For stairs, always use flexible tile adhesive and grout if possible.

Video Board: Staircase tiling