What do floorer and wall tiler jobs involve?
Floorers apply the final finish surfaces to floors that aren’t going to be carpeted. You could be working with wood composites and laminated materials or fixing ceramic, slate, marble and glass tiles to walls and floors, using glues, grout and cement. You’ll have to cut tiles and materials to fill irregular edges or create particular patterns.
Tiles and floorings serve both a decorative and protective function, especially in spaces that are exposed to excess dirt and moisture, such as kitchens or bathrooms. Floorers and wall-tilers are in demand for both new construction and renovation projects.
What is a floorer and wall tiler’s salary?
Average salaries vary according to location, and from employer to employer. Starting pay is in the region of £15,000 per year, rising to £25,000 with training and experience.
These figures are intended as a guideline only.
What skills do I need?
You’ll need a good eye for detail to ensure that measurements are accurate and that patterns and cuts are properly aligned. You’ll be working with many different materials, from wood and composites to ceramics and natural stone.
You’ll need to be confident operating powerful cutting equipment with millimetre accuracy.
Floorers and tilers need a good head for figures. Skills in arithmetic will help you to calculate and gauge quantities, minimising wasted materials.
Tiling and flooring is physically demanding (and frequently back breaking) work. The profession is traditionally male-dominated but there’s no reason why women can’t meet all the challenges of the job. An increasing number of women are now entering the profession.
What qualifications do I need?
There are opportunities to train on the job, starting out as an assistant ‘mate’ or labourer for a skilled floorer and wall-tiler. Many colleges offer courses in flooring and wall tiling.
The City & Guilds Diploma in Wall and Floor Tiling (6710) levels 1 and 2 covers the principles of building construction, information and communication, and includes essential health & safety training.
You may also be able to find apprenticeship schemes, especially through some of the larger employers.
You’ll need a Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card to work on a building site.
What are the hours and conditions?
Floorers and wall tilers typically work a 39-hour week, Monday to Friday. Dawn-starts are the norm for site-workers.
Floorers and tilers tend to come on site once the ‘first fix’ has been completed and the building has been roofed and glazed to create a dry envelope. Most of the work is indoors and can be noisy, dusty and physical. In addition, you may be working with hazardous machinery and materials, necessitating personal protective equipment like gloves, hard hats, overalls, safety glasses and safety footwear.
Tilers often progress into specialist fitting roles, especially kitchen and bathroom fitting.
Tiling can require very fine and intricate cutting, especially when small mosaic tiles need to be laid in complex patterns. Intricate tiling is a specialism in itself, with skilled artisans able to charge a premium for their expertise.
Areas of specialism
Specialist tilers create more intricate patterns, often using many smaller tiles or tile pieces to create complex mosaics and patterns. Working with natural stones like granite, marble, limestone and travertine requires a high degree of skill and competence with specialist cutting equipment. As in all trades, the work is rewarding for the most skilled artisans and they can charge a premium for their services.
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