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I have a narrow concrete stair front door like so:

enter image description here

I want to make it larger and nicer like this

enter image description here

It doesn't need to be limestone but any outdoor stones/tiles is fine.

Some questions:

  1. Can I make it "wider" by framing concrete on both side of the stairs now?

  2. Then I would just put mortar and install tiles/stones on top of the concrete. Would there be any problem with that?

  3. What is the thinner stone material for outdoor for this case?

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I believe it can widened if you connect the concrete pieces together (drill holes and add rebar between the two). Still, you may get a crack that would probably carry through any tile/grout you put on it.

I'd instead consider replacement of the concrete with a wider piece. Either prefabbed or poured on site. If you pour it on site, you could have the concrete stamped and stained to have that nicer look.

You could also consider doing wood over the existing and widen it as wanted. You will want to pay attention to the step height and the supports for the edges of the wood. If you don't want the maintenance, composite decking would work for that.

I'd also consider a railing regardless. Tile if used can become slippery when wet and if you live anywhere snow/ice can occur it could become an unpleasant ride down.

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I know this is probably not the answer you want to hear, but your stones will crack within no time. The concrete under the stones being made of different pieces will shift and sink independently. If you have a stone piece that straddles two pieces, it will break.

  • Let say the stone is 1" thick and the "new" concrete bonded strongly to the existing one (I may nail metal mesh to the old stairs and run metal across), how would that crack though? If I pour concrete on top of concrete, that will crack (I have seen it). But I would say in my case using stone, should the grout join crack first before the stone? Grout is something I can deal with by fixing. Anyways, have you seen it happen or just "theory" at this point? – HP. Feb 9 at 6:16
  • if you lay reifircing on the surface of the slab you are relying on the strength of the tiles, the tile adhesive and the seal provided by the grout above and the seam between old-concrete below all being airtight... I can see too many ways that can fail. – Jasen Feb 9 at 6:24
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    yes, I have seen it. The stone is well attached to both pieces of concrete and will crack up. If the stone is only attached to one piece of concrete and float on the other, then only the grout will crack. The metal lathe across might work as it provide some support to the stones. But your concrete won’t stay leveled after some time. Particularly, looking at your steep slope, there isn’t anything to retain the soil, thus i expect some dirt sliding down overtime. – Quoc Vu Feb 9 at 6:27

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