Front Porch Makeover Options

When we were touring this house for the first time, one of the first things I noticed was the tiled path leading to the front door. The tile was orange with grey grout, and I wasn't a big fan.

This photo from our original home tour shows how the orange tile worked with the patio pavers and concrete driveway. Seems like an odd choice of flooring for the front path, right?

We looked past the tile and bought the house anyway, but it's always been something we wanted to change. Once we painted the house, I thought the tile looked even worse.

About a week ago, the husband finally decided he was fed up with the tile. Plus, he was on Christmas break from his job and was dying to have some sort of project. He used a sledgehammer to break up the tile and then a flat shovel to pry up all the tile pieces. (He did this while I was gone, so I don't have any photos.) Once that was finished, we were left with chunks of leftover mortar that was still attached to the concrete.

We knew we needed a smooth surface to work with, so he rented a demolition hammer to chip away at the mortar and then used an angle grinder with a diamond wheel to grind it down into smooth concrete.

This part of the job was incredibly dusty. I happened to be walking by our front door inside the house and saw tons of dust pouring in around the edges and under the weatherstrip. Gross! I immediately grabbed some towels and tried to seal the small openings from the inside, but not before a fine layer of dust covered the formal living and dining room.

Those two tools worked really well, and now we have basic concrete surface to work with. It's already an improvement over the orange tile. It's not really discolored, but in this photo you can see the front part of the walkway is wet from a recent rainstorm.

The question is, what should we do noq? We don't feel like we can stain the concrete because, as you can see with the rain-soaked photos above, some of the old grout lines are still faintly visible. The stain would probably reveal that even more. Plus the bottom half of the path has a different color concrete than the top, so the stain might not apply evenly.

The way I see it, we have two options. We can paint the concrete with an opaque paint or we can tile the entryway with some new tile that matches the house better. Of course, within those two options are even more options: Paint a pattern? Faux stone? What type of tile? What color?

Whatever we choose, it needs to coordinate nicely with both the grey concrete driveway and the multicolored patio pavers. The color scheme should work well with our exterior siding color (Shenandoah Taupe, Benjamin Moore) and the front door (Hematite, Valspar).

This is where I need your help. You can see what we're working with in the photos above. What do you think would look the best? Please leave your suggestions in the comments. We need a great idea because we are stuck!

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  1. I honestly cannot give you any advice here. You are the creative one, that's why I read your blog. Thank you for keeping up with your blog and giving me something fun to read when I have a moment to catch up on my blogs. You are one of my favorite bloggers and I really enjoy reading something that is genuine. Happy New Year to you and and good luck with the front porch project. I cannot wait to see what you do with it.

  2. I think pavers may be the way to go... There are a lot of colors and shapes and the design possibilities are endless. Maybe something in the line of the hematite color with stone filler in between pavers?

  3. I think gray pavers or gray faux stone would look good. It would blend with the concrete and would be different than the brickwork surrounding the area, setting it apart. Whatever you decide, it will look fabulous. What a mess from the dust! Glad that part is over for you guys. Poor Scott having to do it, and poor you having to clean the inside afterwards!

  4. How long would a project like this take? We are thinking of doing something similar to our porch. It really needs to be repaved. However, I'm not sure if I can do it myself. It just seems like it would take a lot of time. However, if it doesn't take too long, I wouldn't mind doing it. http://www.oneilconcrete.com/concrete-lifting.php

  5. You did a great job on the concrete. I have a dirt walkway up to my house that I want to convert to concrete. Is there any advice you could offer me? I'd love to get any tips and advice that you might have to offer.

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