How do I permanently reattach bricks to my front steps?

A couple of bricks have become loose on my front step. How do I permanently reattach them to make the steps safe again?

  3 answers
  • Oliva Oliva on Jan 02, 2019

    You'll need to chip out the mortar, preferably 3/4" or more deep, then remove bricks one at a time, spray the area and surrounding bricks with a light application of water to reduce shrinkage. Install a good quality mortar mix, which you've made in small, manageable quantities (and kept covered so it does not dry out), let it alone for 5 minutes or as directed, and reinsert brick. You do not want the mortar level with the top surface of the brick. Using a special mortar tool, you'll make shallow curved lines in the mortar to allow for future water run off.

    When mixing mortar, always measure accurately and do not change ratios as you progress, because it can affect set up and cure times.

    If you have colored mortar, or are working with very old brick, you may need different products (white play sand, lime, etc), to reduce potential for future mortar failure.

    Best to research thoroughly on You Tube videos watching professional mason's work, or on This old House website videos. Pay strict attention to differences in mortar mixes for older brick stairs.

  • Kelli L. Milligan Kelli L. Milligan on Jan 02, 2019

    You need to chip off all old morter and remorter it in. Don't walk on it until completely set a few days.

  • Sue Brashier Sue Brashier on Jan 02, 2019