Wall and floor tiler

What they do

Wall and floor tilers lay ceramic, slate, marble and glass tiles on internal and external walls and floors using glues, grout and cement. They use specialised tile-cutting tools to cut and shape tiles in order to fill small edges or make particular patterns. They also prepare surfaces by removing old tiles, grout and adhesive, as well as fill holes and cracks. Wall and floor tilers work in construction or building renovation sites, and while the bulk of this occurs in the Perth metropolitan area, there are still opportunities to work in this occupation in other areas of Western Australia.

Working conditions

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.

How do I become one?

Education and training

To become a wall and floor tiler, you usually need to undertake an apprenticeship in tilelaying. The tilelaying apprenticeship usually takes between 36 and 48 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.

Required registration and licensing

To work as a wall and floor tiler within the construction industry, you will need to obtain a Construction Induction Card (also known as a “White Card”) from a registered training organisation authorised by the WorkSafe Division of the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety.

To work as a wall and floor tiler in Western Australia, you may need to obtain a registration from the Building Commission of the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety if you are involved in building-related work in excess of $20,000, or work under the supervision of someone who is accredited as a registered building practitioner.