Mosaic Steps

The back garden stairs leading to the pump house screamed for a drastic overhaul. Thinking that we’d have to sell the property I couldn’t bring myself to make the schlep commitment needed to spruce them up.

Now that we’ve decided to hang on to the house for as long as we can, the boys and I got to work. We’ve turned something drab and brown into a gorgeous riot of ceramic colour.

From this. . . .

. . . . to this!

The project took about 3 week-ends from start to finish. We used a selection of tiles, some from my gran (the delft ones), some from Abu Dhabi, and some bought in Knysna. The treads we did with pebbles collected from the beach at the end of the road – a few hours collecting.

I stuck the tiles and pebbles on with something called Tile-On, a cement like substance that worked really well and is available from any DIY store. I then grouted between the tiles to neaten up some of the flaws made by the boys (ok, and me.) Overall, it’s not perfect but it has great charm and was massive fun to do. A simple creative project for the family with a big impact.

The kids loved breaking up the old tiles - protective gear is a must (he should be wearing gloves too!)

Final result - the pebbles give you a reflexology treatment as a bonus.

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4 Responses to “Mosaic Steps”


  1. 1 shoreacres December 10, 2009 at 3:10 pm

    Beautiful job! There are some gorgeous tiles there – I laughed when I saw the two with the vines next to each other. Nice touch. My very favorite is the one at the bottom that’s roughly celadon in color, with the embossing, but the beetle’s pretty cool, too.

    I’ll bet that was fun to do – including collecting the pebbles. It’s just so rewarding to transform something that way – no more boring steps in your garden!

  2. 2 Jeannine December 10, 2009 at 3:28 pm

    I also like the beetle. I love walking up those steps now, it gives me a thrill every time!
    Of course, projects like this give you roots in a home – selling will get harder and harder. Let’s just hope we don’t have to.

  3. 3 Lisa December 11, 2009 at 8:39 pm

    funky steps!!

    Thanks Lisa! Looking forward to seeing the final result of your renovations. . .

  4. 4 Gavin December 13, 2009 at 5:26 pm

    Chaps did a great job!! I figured Edward would have to do the hard graft, but they sure cleaned the steps. And you didn’t even have to bribe the small one – much.


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