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Ask a Pro Q&A – Step Up Your Style: Discover a solution to reinforcing stairs when installing tile

Do you have a tricky concrete floor problem that needs some complex answers? Not sure where to go for help? Our interior design pro, Jennifer Adams, knows exactly where to look to solve all your flooring woes.

Question: I am re-tiling my floor. I have a set of three concrete steps that go from one level to another. The steps at one time had carpet, so there are nail pull-outs and the edges are not square. Would it be best to add a backer board to the steps then tile on top of the backer board?

Your idea to smooth out the surface of your concrete steps is a good one; however, a backer board might not support the tile for long. Instead, consider a compound designed for leveling a concrete floor. The nail holes themselves might not be an issue unless there are large cracks. Ask the staff where you’ll be buying your tile, or a professional tile installer, for information on which products will work best for your situation.

– Jennifer Adams