What does a Tile Setter do?

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  • Written By: Carol Francois
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 07 November 2019
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A tile setter has three areas of responsibility: provide quotations to potential clients, complete work orders, and identify new potential clients. A tile setter is a skilled trades professional, who has a combination of education and experience working with tiles. Although the details vary by location, all tile setters must have a minimum amount of safety training to work on a construction site.

This type of trades professional typically runs his or her own contracting business. He often builds close business relationships with local builders and renovation firms. Tile setters are called in to install tile flooring, shower walls, and kitchen back-splashes.

People who enjoy working with their hands, are mechanically inclined, and are naturally outgoing report the greatest satisfaction as a tile setter. They meet with clients, other trades professionals, and tile suppliers. The ability to interact with others while communicating clearly and effectively is very important.

Typically, the tile setter is responsible for finding and winning new jobs or business. Tile setting is a service that typically follows a quotation-based process. The client identifies what type of work needs to be done, or the end result that they want to achieve. Often, three different tile setting firms are called to visit the site, review the project specifications, and provide a quotation. This quote is for both parts and labor, and typically includes the time frame, work warranty, and a statement about the qualification of the workers.


The success or failure of a tile setting firm is directly related to its ability to win new jobs and obtain repeat business from existing clients. Quality of workmanship, pricing, and overall business relationships are critical in the service industry. A lot of work is gained or lost through reputation, so it is important to dedicate sufficient time to maintain these relationships.

The primary role of the tile setter is to complete work orders. The work can be a complex installation, requiring several staff members and a tile designer, or can be a simple job requiring two or three hours of work. The selection of the tile pattern is usually made by the client, but may tile setters offer advice on how to create a desired effect.

Finding new clients is an important part of being a contractor. This can be achieved through a combination of local, targeted advertising and building important business relationships. For example, a tile setter who works in residential properties might build a business relationship with local property management firms or residential home builders. These contacts can provide information regarding new jobs and other potential business opportunities.


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