Stairs Before or After Tile ??

wrldrulerNovember 14, 2008


Converting my garage into a family room. A portion of the room will be ceramic tile flooring. I have a 18" drop from the existing kitchen into the room, and need a small set of stairs.

Should I have the stairs built first and then install the ceramic tile? Or should I install the ceramic tile first and lay the stairs on top?

At first, I figured the stairs go first, and you make the first rise 3/4" higher to account for the backer / grout / tile height. But then I found out the town inspector is a stair nazi (after he failed my outside stairs), and he allows only 3/8" height difference between one step and the next. If something goes wrong with the tile, I am worried the first step will be +/- 3/8" from the next step, and I will have to rebuild.

So then I figured I would have the tile put down first, and then I would know for sure what the tile height was. But then I may be forced to screw down into the tile.

Any thoughts? Thanks

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Not really a right or wrong way for this, but ususally, the tile would be done last. Normally you don't want to be doing any builing or framing once the finished floor is down. Tiling first, gives you the option of a design change later on...and not having to worry about matching tile. The stairs could be built outside and then bolted into place. If the inspector is that fussy, I would ask ahead of time on the MAXIMUM rise allowed in your state.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2008 at 2:26PM
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I would tile first. Makes it easier to tile not having to cut around stairs.
3/8" is quite a big difference for stairs. They should be more acurrate than that.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2008 at 2:28PM
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A tile man told me tile is always last. Damage can be done when other construction is in process. Problems can also result due to shifts/movement in the tile substrate as a result of other work that's going on, not just dropping tools or other mishaps.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2008 at 6:29PM
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