What do Tile and Marble Setters Do?
The construction industry depends upon tile and marble setters to add flooring, wall and ceiling accents using a variety of stone, metal and plastic materials. In bathrooms where tile flooring and wall coverings are common, this position is particularly important. Outdoor surfaces, such as roof decks are also facilitated by this position. Demand for tile and marble setters is expected to increase annually on a nationwide basis over the next decade. In total, the expectation is that there will be a 15% rise in this field by 2022.
Tile and Marble Setters Skills and Abilities
Tile and marble setters require knowledge of building and construction specific to the materials, tools and methods involved in placing and repairing tiles. Math and design skills are also helpful to determine accurate layout, precision and the interpretation of blueprints. As in any position that requires client interaction, customer service skills are important to ensure customer needs and satisfaction are met. Certain physical characteristics are also necessary to be successful in this field, including:
- Near Vision – Being able to see things up close
- Strength – Abdominal, lower back and arm muscles need to be strong enough to allow repeated use without failing or tiring
- Flexibility – The ability to bend, stretch or reach with your body continuously
- Visualization – Being able to envision how something will look when parts are moved or rearranged
Tile and Marble Setters Duties
In these positions, you will be responsible for a variety of activities that support the design and layout of tiles. You will need to cut and shape tile so that it fits into a design, around obstacles and into odd spaces. Additionally, you will need to be able to lay tiles to fit within a desired pattern and use special tools and supplies, such as grout, to successfully install the materials. More specifically, you will be required to do the following:
- Plan and prepare material and labor cost estimates
- Help customers to plan designs and choose tile and grout
- Remove any old materials including cracked or damaged tiles
- Prepare subflooring or walls with lath, paper or a cement mortar coat
- Level surfaces
- Measure and cut tile using specialty tools
- Apply mortar to tiles, position them and affix them to the subflooring
- Mix and apply grout between tiles
- Apply sealer to make tiles and grout impermeable
Tile and Marble Setters Tools and Technology
Tile and marble setters are required to use computer software such as computer aided design (CAD) tools, database managers and project management software. You will also need to use a number of specialty tools such as:
- Scaffolding – This category includes a number of industry specific contraptions that allow construction workers to reach various heights
- Levels – These tools are used to ensure level surfaces both of subfloor and finished flooring
- Trowels – Used to level and smooth out concrete
- Floats – These flat tools are used to level grout and mortar
- Mixers – Used to incorporate dry mortar and plaster mixes with water
Education and Training for Tile and Marble Setters
These jobs typically do not even require a high school diploma, although approximately 41% of people who hold this position have earned one. Further education is unnecessary, with less than 7% of all tile and marble setters holding a higher degree.
Tile and Marble Setters Salary
The median income for these positions nationwide is $39,000 annually. The top ten percent of earners take home closer to $75,000. The more experience you have, paired with your geographic area, contribute to higher earning potential.
Tile and Marble Setters Jobs by Geography
These positions experience the highest demand in California, Florida, Texas and New York. The largest increases over the next decade will be experienced in Nevada and Arizona, where demand is expected to more than double.