when we moved into the house two years ago the front steps were a terracotta colored tile. (above) over the first winter in the house the tiles started popping off (below) all of the tiles on the top and bottom steps were completely loose and falling off which does a lot of damage to the appearance of the house. note to my readers: if you do use a tile outside, make sure it is suitable....in my climate we cannot use ceramic outside because we are in a freeze/thaw zone. also, make sure you use the correct thin set for the setting...something rated for exterior. our previous homeowners did neither.
i had the brilliant idea of just using stucco on the risers since the rest of the house is stucco. i didn't worry about getting it completely even either since the rest of the house has a lot of movement in the stucco. we repainted the treads and risers with an exterior porch paint and voila!