Tiler (Wall and Floor)



Youtube clip – The career of a Tile Setter

For training options in South Africa – scroll down


What is a Tiler?

A Tiler is a person who works on a building site or in an existing building where renovations are taking place. 

They can fit tiles to the inside or outside of a building. 

Tilers lay floor tiles, tile bathrooms and kitchens or fit tiles anywhere in …or outside the building where tiles are required.

Tilers have to work according to the client’s requests or from architect’s descriptions. They need to take and follow specific measurements. A Tiler will then cut and shape tiles to fit perfectly together, as well as cutting out strange shapes so that tiles will go around toilets, pipes, fireplaces etc.

A good Tiler will look at the tiles and decide in which order they should be placed. They might be laying the tiles in a specific pattern or checking to see if the natural pattern in the marble tile, for instance, is laid with a good ‘flow’.  This is really important so that one dark marble tile does not jump out of a bunch of paler tiles for example.

A Tiler needs to have good quality sense, a ‘straight’ eye and have a sense of pride in their work. Good tiling looks great, bad tiling can spoil an entire room! 

What does a Tiler do?

  • meets with clients and/or builders to discuss job at hand
  • takes measurements and works out quotes
  • orders tiles and grout etc
  • cleans the surface and makes surface flat and smooth
  • checks tile layout before commencing – by laying out tiles on the floor
  • applies adhesive to tiles and surface (wall, floor, ceiling etc)
  • places tiles neatly and in line and evenly apart from one another
  • allows enough time to dry out
  • mixes grout (tiling cement) which is put between the tiles
  • polishes and cleans up afterwards

Are you … ?

  • interested in the building trade?
  • good with your hands?
  • a person with good hand-eye co-ordination?
  • detail orientated?
  • a person with a ‘straight’ eye?
  • observant?
  • able to work neatly?
  • quality aware?
  • physically fit?  the job is quite labour intensive.
  • can you do basic maths and take measurements correctly?
  • reliable?

How do I become a Tiler?

Tilers may learn their trade while assisting an experienced Tiler. They can learn on the job. 

However, those of you who get some training before seeking employment, might jump ahead of the rest when it comes to actual placement.

Some TVET (FET) colleges may offer programmes for specific Trade or Skills set such as tiling. We advise contacting these institutions directly.


  • CLICK HERE to check for a training institution near you to see what they offer.
  • Make sure you understand their entry requirements for each course.
  • To avoid scams, make sure your institution is registered with the Department of Higher Education. 
  • CLICK HERE to check accredited Private Higher Education Institutions. 





OTHER CAREERS TO CONSIDER: Plasterer … or …  Building Contractor

Is becoming a Tiler the right career choice for me?