What they do
A floor finisher measures, cuts, installs and repairs soft and resilient floor coverings. There are around 665 floor finishers in Western Australia, most of whom work in the Perth metropolitan area. Tasks include:
- measuring and consulting plans to estimate quantities of floor covering materials required
- preparing surfaces for covering and removing baseboard trims
- measuring, cutting and fixing underlay materials
- laying, fitting and securing coverings, such as carpets, linoleum, parquetry blocks, cork tiles and other flooring materials
- sanding, staining and applying finishing coatings to timber floors
- may also install wall, ceiling, counter and bench coverings.
Floor finishers generally work indoors in small teams. The majority of these tradespeople are employed in the construction industry. A number of positions exist in the retail trade; however, a large number are self-employed and work as sub-contractors. Typically, floor finishers work a 40-hour week with some overtime required to meet construction deadlines.
Conditions can be dusty and because the work requires a great deal of kneeling, twisting and lifting of heavy carpets and furniture, there is some risk of knee and back injury. Risks can be significantly reduced through the use of correct lifting techniques.
Tools and technologies
Depending on the specific task or specialist area, floor finishers will use a variety of tools and technologies, such as sanders, abraders, staplers, hammers, knives, knee kickers, seaming cutters, seam irons, wall trimmers, safety glasses, knee pads and hammer tackers.
How do I become one?
Education and training
To become a floor finisher you usually need to undertake an apprenticeship in floorcovering. The apprenticeship usually takes 36 months to complete and is available as a school-based apprenticeship.
Apprenticeships and traineeships
As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer, enabling you to complete training towards a nationally recognised qualification. You spend time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider.
You can do an apprenticeship or traineeship if you are a school-leaver, re-entering the workforce or as an adult or mature-aged person wishing to change careers. You can even begin your apprenticeship or traineeship while you're still at school.
If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.