Construction - Tilessetters (wall tiling)



Tilesetters cover interior and exterior walls, floors and ceilings with ceramic, marble and quarry tile, mosaics or terrazzo. Wall tiling specialists may be responsible for aligning and straightening tiles using levels, determining and implementing the best pattern layout, cutting and shaping tile to fit around common obstacles (support beams, cabinets, etc.) and dressing joints and wiping excess grout from between the tiles.

Main dutiesTilesetters perform some or all of the following duties:

  • Prepare, measure and mark surface to be covered
  • Build underbeds and install anchor bolts, wires and brackets
  • Mix, apply and spread mortar, cement, mastic, glue or other adhesives using hand trowel
  • Set tiles in position and apply pressure to affix tiles to base
  • Align and straighten tile using levels, squares and straightedges
  • Cut and fit tiles around obstacles and openings using hand and power cutting tools
  • Pack grout into joints between tiles and remove excess grout
  • Install tile strips
  • Lay and set mosaic tiles to create decorative wall, mural and floor designs
  • Cut, polish and install marble and granite
  • Mix, lay and polish terra surfaces
  • Remove and replace cracked or damaged tiles
  • May prepare cost estimates and orders.

Who do they work for?

  • Construction companies
  • Masonry contractors
  • Self-employed
  • Home builders
  • Tile companies

Sample titles

  • Apprentice tilesetter
  • Wall tiler
  • Ceramic tile installer
  • Marble setter
  • Terrazzo polisher

Essential Skills

  • Numeracy
  • Thinking: problem solving, job task planning and organization
  • Oral communication

How to join the field

  • Completion of secondary school is usually required.
  • Completion of a three or four year apprenticeship program or A combination of over three years of work experience in the trade and some high school, college or industry courses in tilesetting is usually required to be eligible for trade certification.
  • Trade certification for tilesetters is compulsory in Quebec and available, but voluntary, in Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Ontario, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia.
  • Red Seal endorsement is also available to qualified tilesetters upon successful completion of the interprovincial Red Seal examination.


Minimum: $17.00
Maximum: $37.00

Annual salaries between $31,500 to $72,000

For more information, contact:

Skills/Compétences Canada
294 Albert Street, Suite 201
Ottawa, ON K1P 6E6
Tel: 877 754 5226
Website :