Tile Setter


Work Tasks

TILE SETTERS apply hard tile and marble to floors, walls, ceilings, and roof decks. Because tile is durable, impervious to water, and easy to clean, it is a popular building material in hospitals, restaurants, tunnels, lobbies of office buildings, and the bathrooms and kitchens of homes. Tile setters cut, shape, and place tiles onto a surface and tap them with a trowel handle or a small block of wood so the tiles seat evenly. When the cement or mastic has set, tile setters fill the joints with grout and scrape off the excess. Before the grout sets, they finish the joints with a damp cloth for a uniform appearance.

Salary, Size & Growth

Entry Requirements

The vast majority of TILE SETTERS learn their trade informally, on the job, as helpers to experienced workers. Others learn through formal apprenticeship programs, which include on-the-job training as well as related classroom instruction. Most apprenticeship programs are union sponsored and last from 3 to 4 years. When hiring apprentices or helpers for tile setter jobs, employers usually prefer high school graduates who have had courses in general mathematics, mechanical drawing, and shop. No special licensing or certification is required for tile setters.