The tiling trade

Discussion in 'Tilers' Talk' started by Tilerwannabe, Nov 24, 2020.

  1. Tilerwannabe

    Tilerwannabe New Member

    I dont mind atall.

    When you reach the top your be on 18 to 20 an hour in the southeast and london area
  2. Tilerwannabe

    Tilerwannabe New Member

    Ah brill this is what i was hoping to read
  3. Rick1632

    Rick1632 Active Member

    Watch some YT videos - practise on a garage wall (you can screw up plywood first)- tile/rip down/repeat. When you can't teach yourself anything more - THEN do a course - you'll learn FAR more if you already have some skills AND you can ask questions about all the stuff you haven't been able to figure out for yourself.
    Otherwise you'll still be struggling to do the basics when they're covering more advanced topics.
    Tilerwannabe likes this.
  4. Tilerwannabe

    Tilerwannabe New Member

    Thats not a bad shout.

    Mind you alot of these courses are aimed at people like me and then can go on to do advanced courses
  5. Nanook

    Nanook Active Member

    From a customer’s point of view, having a certification for tiling might be helpful to get work. I’m a DIY-er and use this site to help me get jobs re-done properly either by me or someone else because tradesmen ****** them up in the first place.

    As a customer, it’s a minefield out there trying to ascertain who you should pick to do your job if you don’t have a recommendation, so customers look for other things about you that stand out as positive or more skilled than another tradesman. So a certification could help you stand out in this sense.

    Agree with the other posters about experience though, you only get good at something from doing a lot of it where you learn through trial and error. DIY is the same.
    Tilerwannabe likes this.
  6. rogerk101

    rogerk101 Screwfix Select

    Never tile in a bath/shower area without using a wet-room tanking kit ... not even for a normal shower in a bath.
    That's the best way of ensuring you won't be called back in a few months with leaking areas.
    Tilerwannabe likes this.
  7. DIYDave.

    DIYDave. Screwfix Select

    Not bashing all the advice and I’m only diy myself but what use is practicing on a sheet of plasterboard or ply in the garage ?

    How’s that going to help when you enter the ‘real world’ of tiling

    PB or ply, nice and flat, lay a few tiles in a square with no obstructions to worry about, no tricky cuts, what can go wrong ? (Ok, plenty I realise)

    But in the real world;

    Wonky walls
    Out of square corners
    Previous tile adhesive on walls
    Blown plaster
    Damaged plasterboard
    Obstructions to work around -
    Sink, Bath, Shower, Window sill, etc
    Incorporating a border tile
    Using trims (trendy flat trims are unforgiving)
    Cutting tiles
    Sloping floors and ceiling
    And more

    Haven’t got anything else constructive to add and don’t mean to be totally negative but, just can’t see realistically the benefit of laying a few tiles on a sheet of board at home
    Tilerwannabe likes this.
  8. Nanook

    Nanook Active Member

    Good points. The OP would be better off re-doing his bathroom and kitchen first and photographing all the steps in the process. Then offering to go and do relatives and/or mates kitchens/bathrooms for free and photographing the entire process. And learning on the way. Photographs can then be used for real world ‘jobs undertaken’ to get bonafide work.
    Tilerwannabe likes this.
  9. goldwise

    goldwise Active Member

    Don't be disheartened. I know someone who changed career at your age. He did a 1 week tiling course + a 2 day business start up course, all paid for by the Jobcentre. He went on to work as a self employed tiler for 2 years - bathrooms, kitchens, conservatories, floors. It's good money but not easy money.

    Mind, he showed great aptitude from the start. It's all about precise detail, good planning and problem solving. He gave it up as it was wrecking his knees and thought the dust would wreck his lungs. Do think about that.
    Tilerwannabe likes this.
  10. Nanook

    Nanook Active Member

    Yeah exactly, also we are in a weird economic time so there are loads of people trying their hand at new jobs, study and careers. If you really want to do it, give it a go!
    Tilerwannabe likes this.
  11. Jord86

    Jord86 Screwfix Select

    For starters it will teach him how to lay his first ever tiles seeing as he hasn't ever picked up or laid a single one according to his initial post, you wouldn't let someone loose in a few thousand worth of kitchen or bathroom if he doesn't even know how to use his tile cutter would you? It would familiarise himself with using trowels of different sizes, spirit levels and keeping the tiles to the lines, practising using said trowels to spread the adhesive and how to butter the tiles if needed. Bang a 4" hole or two through the ply and practice cutting to fit round it as he would have to do with a quadrant shower tray or around a bog on cheap and nasty work. Snap a chalk line and mimic setting out floor tiles, practice mitring trims around the square edge of the boards to develop a feel for the task.

    What do you think they do on a tiling course? Tile on plumb, square and level walls with a bloke there to hold his hand and give him a bit of paper after ten days saying he's 'qualified' and can now go out and work for himself when he probably doesn't know how to refill his chalk line at this point.
    Rick1632 likes this.
  12. Jord86

    Jord86 Screwfix Select

    So what happens when due to vast inexperience he makes a bloody mess of his or family's house, can't finish the job, causes grief and argument, embarrassment looking like he hasn't a clue and all for no pay? Not so much a learning curve at that stage but catastrophe. Better helping a proper tiler for as long as he can, learning what he can then when confidence and ability grows slowly start to branch out and do small jobs on his own then work from there.
    Tilerwannabe and Rick1632 like this.
  13. Nanook

    Nanook Active Member

    Why can’t he try all of it? Why can’t he think about all the different suggestions?

    The job market is tough out there.

    I don’t see there is anything wrong in trying different ways of getting experience, building a portfolio, getting contacts. If he’s confident or a natural at it, perhaps it won’t turn out into a catastrophe? Surely the idea is that he is learning and willing to do it for free in order to get experience and build up a bit of a portfolio. If he makes a pigs ear, he has to rectify it.

    Anyway, it’s up to him. It was just suggestions.
    Tilerwannabe likes this.
  14. Astramax

    Astramax Super Member

    2.6 million predicted to be out of work next year so best stay in your current job coz things is going to get worse, on top of that add Brexit....stay put for now!
    Jord86 and Tilerwannabe like this.
  15. Tilerwannabe

    Tilerwannabe New Member

    All great posts guys thanks keep them coming.
  16. Nanook

    Nanook Active Member

    Yeah Astramax has a really good point. You’ve got the safety of a job right now. It doesn’t mean you couldn’t start lending your time to a tiler over weekends or take a week off to do your course or have a stab at doing your own tiling at home but all whilst keeping your full-time job.
    Astramax and Tilerwannabe like this.
  17. DIYDave.

    DIYDave. Screwfix Select

    Agree with most you say (in all your posts actually)
    Direct and to the point, bags of real life experience and details and method always given

    Just think practicing on a perfect board in your garage is going to give very limited worth - not zero but not a lot more

    Also, you’ve got no benchmark to work to, nobody to correct you and no idea really if you’ve done a good job, ok- ish or where and how to correct and improve

    Yeah ok, you will get a basic feel for tiling, handling materials and tools. Could make up more detailed mock-ups to simulate obstructions and how to get around them and there’s always the Internet !

    Perhaps you misunderstand me as I’m certainly not suggesting that the OP goes live and starts tiling for paying customers two weeks after practicing on a board in his garage

    As for what goes on with a tiling course, I personally have no idea but can guess that your scenario is more or less correct

    So once again (like his garage practice) very limited worth and still not ready to go it alone and ply for trade with paying customers

    Can’t beat real life trade experience and that means either an apprenticeship (dependant on trade) and/or at least working with a seasoned pro for hands on experience, real life situations, time constraints, dodgy walls and all the other issues that will come with the job but ..... your not by yourself and hopefully will be stopped, guided and coached before you make a massive fudge up

    I’m a professional chef by trade (may have mentioned this previously :)) Did two years full time catering college but worked part time in professional kitchens both before starting college and during college

    That’s the best of both worlds in my opinion. College theory and mentoring, learning classic dishes that you never actually see in the real world, the social life, work experience in kitchens and food related trips and the all important qualifications and certificates at the end

    Whilst working part time in the industry during college gives you the real insight into the trade, too much to go into but it’s not something that college can replicate

    So back to tiling, I guess a course would be worthwhile to some degree coupled with working alongside a pro to gain workplace experience for some good length of time Easier said than done I realise
    Jord86 likes this.
  18. Rick1632

    Rick1632 Active Member

    Two things - I think that you underestimate how big a step it is to go from nothing to something. Secondly, I don't think anyone disagrees that working for a pro is the best way to learn for sure, but think of it this way - who would you rather have come work with you on jobs - someone who hasn't a clue and hasn't bothered trying to get a clue by themselves... or someone who has at least made a start?
    Astramax likes this.
  19. Nanook

    Nanook Active Member

    I’m an art director... 3 years at uni to get a degree and straight into my first job making products you guys part with your hard-earned cash to buy. I hit the floor running, everyone does in my industry so perhaps that is why I’m a bit more ‘go for it, get out there, do it’ kinda thing
  20. Astramax

    Astramax Super Member

    You have to find work, work will find you eventually if you are good at what you do, you have to have work to go to next week, the week after, the week after that and so isn't as easy as some folk assume or like to make out it is.

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