The Spanish Steps

by Cait

To break from the hurricane talk for a minute, I thought I’d share some details on a project we took on last week. I’ll have the rest of how we prepared for the high winds we were expected to have, as well as the rest of our tile project for you later this week.

We live in an area where it’s pretty common to see Spanish tile on houses, and we recently took the plunge and ordered some. I had been pinning Spanish tile designs and tiled steps to my Curb Appeal board on Pinterest for weeks, and we figured it was time after recently visiting St Augustine & also seeing quite a few tropical vacation photos featuring Spanish tile. I had done some research as far as where to buy tiles that were pretty & reasonably priced, and  when one of those websites offered free shipping we decided to order our tile.

Before we finalized the decision on which tiles to buy I did a couple of Photoshop mock ups of what our front steps would look like after we tiled them. It was probably an unnecessary step, but I’m a Photoshop nerd, and sometimes it helps Robert understand my ideas.

First this one:

And then, when we decided to take advantage of free shipping from another website with different tile options, I made the one below.

We also toyed with the idea of doing one design per step, like the mock up below.

We ulitmately decided that we liked the second mock up best, so we measured to see how many tiles we would need and placed our order.  We also measured around our front door and ordered some tiles go go around that.

A few days later our tile arrived and we got to work laying them out to see what pattern we liked best.

As far as attaching the tiles to our steps, we figured that we would probably use something like Liquid Nails rather than trying to grout the tiles in place. And as luck would have it, in talking to my dad about the project we discovered that he happened to have a couple of tubes of adhesive he was willing to give us. Sweet!

We applied the adhesive in a 4-dot pattern on the back of each tile, then held the tile in place for a minute or so to give the adhesive a chance to begin setting. We used one tube for about 57 tiles the first day, just to give you an idea of how much adhesive you’re going to want if you decide to tackle a similar project.

The whole project probably took about two hours from start to finish, and we only cracked one tile in the process (and we had an extra) so I’d say it was a success. We did run out of adhesive three tiles before we finished the bottom step, so this isn’t a complete after picture.

We  didn’t want to cut any tiles, so we do need to figure out a solution for the slight space you can see on the left of the second step (each step has a similar space, actually). We’ll probaly end up painting that area a different color to make it blend, or add some sort of edge tile.

Also, after giving the adhesive a chance to dry overnight we ran a bead of almond colored caulk along the top edge, just to give the whole thing a cleaner look.

Anyone else added some interest to their exterior recently?

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27 Responses to “The Spanish Steps”

  1. Looks good! Love the tiles you chose and how they pop.

  2. I love that you alternated the tiles. All of the colors and patterns work so well together!!

  3. Looks great! I’ve been thinking of jazzing up our front steps–we have lots of them leading to our front door. Tile is a beautiful option though I’m worried that they may become a burden to shovel snow around during our North Dakota winters. But still, you’ve got my wheels a-turning!

  4. This look awesome!! So exciting to see your idea come to fruition! (Photoshop is a great tool for convincing! Your photo and photodhopped file look so much alike!)

  5. wow this looks so great and is so original!!

  6. Oooooooo, I love these tiles!! Good choice!!

  7. Those lights are awesome! Do you know if they have matching pendants? If you’ve seen them, can you email me? meperez2477 at gmail dot com

  8. Love. This. Those tiles are so unique and fun.

  9. I’m glad you guys made it through Irene okay! Your tiles look so cute! I love they way the green pops with the green bench.

    • Thanks so much. Lacie Josephine! I love the way the green pops, too!

      I was so glad Irene missed us, but also really sad to hear about all the damage she did up north! I wish she would have just spun out into the Atlantic and not hit anyone. Here’s hoping that Katia and the possible storm in the Caribbean go away without causing any damage!

  10. i love the tiles! the colors look great!

  11. Looks great!!! I love the green bench with the green in the tiles!

  12. That seriously looks amazing!! I can’t even fathom bending down for 2 minutes let alone 2 hours so currently you’re basically super heroes in my eyes!!

    • Thanks Jami! Haha we did take a few breaks, and I was mostly sitting the whole time, but the bending down wasn’t too bad. Robert was kneeling, which I’m sure was worse on the concrete, haha.

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