The front step of my house is concrete with tiling on top (installed by the previous owner). Recently the tiling starting falling off. You can see from the picture below that between the concrete structure and tile is a bed of loose gravel. See the below image (underneath the gravel is the concrete structure) gravel bed

side view Is this a suitable substrate for tiling? Can I just add new grout on top of the gravel and reset the fallen tiles?

  • "Mortar", not "grout". It's not clear to me whether that's old mortar or simply sand. If it's mortar, it's badly degraded. How deep is it? Are you in a freezing climate? – isherwood Feb 26 '17 at 21:30
  • Yes, it's a freezing climate. That sand or degraded mortar is about 1/4 inch deep. – BigRon Feb 27 '17 at 0:31
  • To tell the truth I see no evidence of any Portland cement in that sand. did someone throw some sand in to fix a broken piece or they all just sitting on a bed of sand. – Ed Beal Feb 27 '17 at 3:35
  • I think they are all just sitting on a bed of sand. The adjacent tile is almost 100% loose. I can pry it up the rest of the way to see. – BigRon Feb 27 '17 at 14:04
  • It looks as though whoever laid those tiles thinks that tiles are held together with the grout between them and not much else. I would lift them all and redo the job... – brhans Feb 27 '17 at 18:05

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