Venetian Tile Layer #9436694

Location: LaComb, LA
Date Posted: 06-08-2017
Job Duties: 
Venetian Tile and marble setters typically do the following:
  • Clean and level the surface to be tiled
  • Measure and cut tile and marble
  • Arrange tiles according to the design plans
  • Prepare and apply mortar or other adhesives
  • Install tile and marble in the planned area
  • Apply grout with a rubber trowel
  • Wipe off excess grout and apply necessary finishes, such as sealants

Career Overview: 
Tile and marble setters apply hard tile and marble to walls, floors, and other surfaces.

Duties

Tile and marble setters typically do the following:
  • Clean and level the surface to be tiled
  • Measure and cut tile and marble
  • Arrange tiles according to design plans
  • Prepare and apply mortar or other adhesives
  • Install tile and marble in a planned area
  • Apply grout with a rubber trowel
  • Wipe off excess grout and apply necessary finishes, such as sealants
Tile and marble setters install materials on a variety of surfaces, such as floors, walls, ceilings, countertops, patios, and roof decks. Because tile and marble must be set on smooth, even surfaces, installers often must level the surface to be tiled with a layer of mortar or plywood. If the area to be tiled is unstable, workers must nail a support of metal mesh or tile backer board to create a stable surface.
The following are examples of types of tile and marble setters:
Marble setters cut marble to a specified size with a power wet saw. They then drill holes in the marble for the anchors that will hold it in place. After fastening the stone, marble setters polish the marble to a high luster, using power or hand sanders.
Tile finishers apply grout between tiles after the tiles are set, using a rubber trowel (called a float). When the grout dries, they must wipe the tiles for a clean, finished look.
Tile installers, sometimes called tile setters, cut and place tile. To cut tiles, workers use power wet saws, tile scribes, or hand-held tile cutters to create even edges. They use trowels of different sizes to spread mortar or a sticky paste, called mastic, evenly on the surface to be tiled. To minimize imperfections and keep rows even, they put spacers between tiles. The spacers keep tiles the same distance from each other until the mortar is dry.

Work Environment: 
Tile and marble setters held about 39,200 jobs in 2012, of which 52 percent were employed in the building finishing contractors industry. About 31 percent were self-employed.
Tile and marble are usually installed after most of the construction has been completed, so the work area is typically clean and uncluttered. Still, mortar, adhesives, or grout may be sticky and messy.  
Installing tile and marble is physically demanding, with workers spending much of their time bending and kneeling. As a result, workers typically wear kneepads for protection. Workers also wear safety goggles when using grinders, saws, and sanders.

 

Education

There are no specific education requirements to become a tile and marble setter.
Some 2-year technical schools offer courses that are affiliated with unions and contractor organizations. The credits earned as part of an apprenticeship program usually count toward an associate’s degree.

Training

Some contractors have their own training programs for tile and marble setters. New workers typically learn by working with experienced installers. Although workers may enter training directly, many first start out as helpers. 
Helpers usually start by performing simple tasks, such as moving materials. As they gain experience, they are given more complex tasks, such as cutting tile. Some helpers become tile finishers.
Some tile and marble setters learn their trade through a 2- to 4-year apprenticeship. For each year of the program, apprentices must complete at least 144 hours of related technical training and 2,000 hours of paid on-the-job training. Tile and marble setters begin with 12 weeks of pre-apprenticeship instruction at a training center to learn construction basics. This may include mathematics, building code requirements, safety and first-aid practices, and blueprint reading.
After completing an apprenticeship program, tile and marble setters are considered to be journey workers and may perform duties on their own. 
Several groups, including unions and contractor associations, sponsor apprenticeship programs. The basic qualifications for entering an apprenticeship program are as follows:
  • Minimum age of 18
  • High school education or equivalent
  • Physically able to perform the work

Important Qualities

Color vision. Setting tile often involves determining small color variations. Because tile patterns may include many different colors, tile setters must be able to distinguish between colors and patterns for the best-looking finish. 
Customer-service skills. Working in customers’ homes is common. Therefore, tile and marble setters must be courteous and considerate of a customer’s property while completing tasks.
Detail oriented. Some tile arrangements can be highly detailed and artistic, so workers must ensure that the patterns are properly and accurately arranged.
Math skills. Basic math skills are used on every job. Besides measuring the area to be tiled, installers must calculate the number of tiles needed to cover an area.
Physical stamina. Tile and marble setters must have the endurance to spend many hours on their feet. When setting tile or marble, installers also may be on their knees for hours at a time.
Physical strength. Some marble setters must be strong enough to carry and lift heavy marble countertops into position.
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