Occupational profile - wall and floor tiling

Information on apprenticeships in the construction crafts (wall and floor tiling) industry, including what’s involved, skills and knowledge needed and progression routes for apprentices.

Wall and floor tiling

An occupation in wall and floor tiling involves carrying out advanced skilled work. The level 3 wall and floor tiler can do complex job tasks, requiring high levels of practical skills and knowledge, as well as managing their own work and leading small teams.

The main differences with a level 2 wall and floor tiler are that the level 3 wall and floor tiler has responsibility for managing their own and other people’s work, as well as being required to complete complex and non-standard work.

This apprenticeship involves completing mandatory and optional units.

Wall and floor tilers will normally work on a building site, or in domestic and commercial premises using coloured and textured tiles to decorate the inside of buildings (such as kitchens and bathrooms) or working on large floor areas such as factories, shopping centres and airports to given specifications.

The job role involves:

  • marking out an area to estimate the number of tiles and adhesive needed
  • cutting tiles to size and shape with hand-cutters or bench-mounted tools
  • preparing surfaces by levelling off with plaster, sand or cement
  • fixing the tiles and applying grout before finishing off
  • repairing or removing old surfaces before the setting out stage
  • working with various building materials including ceramics, glass, terracotta, stone, granite and marble
  • buying materials
  • looking after budgets
  • talking to customers about requirements and ideas

Wall and floor tilers need to:

  • work safely and be aware of key health, safety and welfare issues
  • plan and carry out their work to commercial standards of quality and speed
  • move, handle and store resources, complying with relevant legislation and guidance
  • interpret and follow verbal and written work instructions from trade supervisors and site managers
  • select the required materials and resources to carry out the work
  • install related materials and components as appropriate to the specification
  • use maintain and store hand tools, power tools and associated equipment
  • access, interpret and use drawings and specifications to carry out their work

Skills and knowledge needed

On completion of this apprenticeship, level 3 wall and floor tilers will have the same occupational skills as a level 2 wall and floor tiler but will also be able to understand the technical principles of advanced wall and floor tiling and use a range of advanced trade skills which allow them to carry out complex work to highly skilled standards and tolerances.

National occupational standards (NOS)

Every framework must be underpinned by national occupational standards (NOS) which sets out the standards of performance individuals must achieve when carrying out functions in the workplace, together with specifications of the underpinning knowledge and understanding. Behaviours may be detailed within or alongside the NOS.

Core NOS

Unique registration number (URN) Title of the occupational standard

VR209

Confirm work activities and resources for the work

VR210

Develop and maintain good working relationships

VR211

Confirm the occupational method of work

VR641

Conform to general workplace health, safety and welfare

Available NOS

Unique registration number (URN) Title of the occupational standard

VR69

Laying sand and cement screeds

VR141

Prepare backgrounds for tiling

VR142

Tile wall and floor surfaces

VR143

Produce complex ceramic, mosaic and stone surface finishes

VR144

Provide drainage for tiled surfaces

VR149

Lay under tile heating systems and tile surfaces

VR151

Produce internal and external sand and cement backgrounds

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