Mortared Brick or Tiled Steps in Michigan will fail over time
I suggested we install modular retaining wall block & cap Steps, usually referred to as Paver Steps, because they will give the best performance and least maintenance over the years. If any of the coping units (caps) come loose, they can easily be adhered without any signs of repair. Any of the riser step blocks can be reset at little cost and effort too.
Outdoor mortared brick steps will fail over the long-term in Michigan due to freeze thaw cycles which break up the mortar and loosen the bricks. Even more so, ceramic or granite tile used for outdoor non-covered porches and steps are also not a long-term solution. The grout will crack and chip and allow tiles to come loose and pop off.
The homeowner really wanted to keep the tile on the top of the porch since that was in good condition . We carefully installed the Paver Steps to meet the finished height of the tile and filled the joint behind the coping with some grey HP Polymeric Sand to match the existing grout in the tiles.
We finished this paver project by power wash cleaning and re-sanding the paver joints of the front walk which completed the whole restoration. There are never any "permanent" solutions to steps in frost states (considering moderate costs) but the best solution is Paver Steps. They offer great performance, very low maintenance, and low repair costs if needed.