Wall and Floor Tiler
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Practical or MechanicalSkill Level 2

Wall and floor tilers affix ceramic, slate, marble and glass tiles to walls and floors, using glues, grout Future Growth Strong and cement. They frequently cut tiles in order to fill small edges or make particular patterns. Tiles provide both a decorative and protective function, especially in spaces that experience ongoing wet or damp conditions such as kitchens or bathrooms. Wall and floor tilers are needed wherever construction or building renovation takes place, and while the bulk of this occurs in metropolitan areas there are still opportunities to work in this occupation in other areas of the States or Territories.

ANZSCO description: 3334: Lays ceramic, clay, slate, marble and glass tiles on external and internal walls and floors to provide protective and decorative finishes. Registration or licensing may be required.

Alternative names: Tiler,

Specialisations: Ceramic Tiler, Mosaic Tiler

Knowledge, skills and attributes Taping Tile

A wall and floor tiler needs:

  • an aptitude for practical work and for following plans

  • good vision and hand eye co-ordination

  • to be able to do basic mathematical calculations

  • good physical fitness

  • good communication and interpersonal skills for dealing with customers

  • an ability to be very precise and careful in their work

Duties and Tasks

Wall and floor tilers may perform the following tasks:

  • look at plans, measure and mark surfaces to be covered and lay out work
  • prepare wall and floor surfaces by removing old tiles, grout, cement and adhesive
  • use tile-cutting tools to cut and shape tiles needed for edges, corners, or around obstacles such as fittings and pipes
  • attach tiles to surfaces, using correct adhesive, making sure that patterned tiles match
  • space and even the tiles by using tools such as spirit levels, squares and plumb-lines
  • prepare and apply grout, remove excess grout, clean and polish tiles
  • lay floors of cement, granolithic, terrazzo or similar composition
  • apply waterproofing systems.


Working conditions

Wall and floor tilers sometimes work in confined areas where bending and kneeling is required. They lift and carry cement and stacks of tiles. They sometimes work at heights using ladders or scaffolding. Most tilers work in small teams and move frequently from one job location to another.

Wall and floor tilers work on private and commercial construction sites or pre-existing buildings requiring renovation. They can also work at heights, which will require the use of scaffolding and ladders, or in confined spaces that can be noisy, wet and dirty. Wall and floor tilers sometimes work in small teams, and will move from job site to job site. They usually work normal business hours, but may be required to work overtime to meet deadlines.

Tools and technologies

Wall and floor tilers work with a wide variety of tools and equipment. They use spirit levels, tape measures, squares, trowels, cement-mixing equipment and tile-cutting tools. They also wear protective clothing, such as steel-capped boots, hard hats or masks, depending on the job and work environment.

Education and training/entrance requirements

To become a wall and floor tiler, you usually need to complete an apprenticeship in tilelaying. The apprenticeship usually takes between 36 and 48 months to complete and is available as a school-based apprenticeship.

Workers in the construction industry must undergo safety induction training and be issued with a Construction Induction Card.

Laying Tiles

Did You Know?

Ceramic tiles were once made by hand. Wet clay was fashioned into shape, sometimes with the help of a wooden mold, and then left to dry in the sun or fired in a small brick kiln.


While a few artisans still craft ceramic tiles by hand, the majority of ceramic tiles made today go through a process known as dry pressing or dust pressing.
(Source: How Stuff Works)

Cleeves Abbey Tiles
Medieval Tiles at Cleeve Abbey, England

What were called encaustic tiles in the Victorian era were originally called inlaid tiles during the medieval period. The use of the word "encaustic" to describe an inlaid tile of two or more colors is linguistically incorrect. The word encaustic from Ancient Greek: ἐγκαυστικός means "burning in" from the oven, "in" and καίειν kaiein, "to burn".

The term originally described a process of painting with a beeswax-based paint that was then fixed with heat. It was also applied to a process of medieval enameling.

The term did not come into use when describing tile until the nineteenth century. Supposedly, Victorians thought that the two colour tiles strongly resembled enamel work and so called them encaustic. Despite the error, the term has now been in common use for so long that it is an accepted name for inlaid tile work.
(Source: Wikipedia)







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