Our guide to tiling
Kristina K

Our guide to tiling

First published date December 10 2013 Amended date April 17 2015

There are many of us who fancy ourselves as a bit of a DIY guru in the house until something goes wrong. Avoid the many pitfalls of DIY and get on our tiling courses. Or if you’re already a professional tiler, choose from our wide range of courses that are suitable for all levels. Improve your skills and increase your clientele on any one of the part time and full time courses available.


Keen on DIY?

You move into a new house or see a little chip on one of the kitchen tiles... you think, oh well, you can fix that. How difficult could it be? But, you get to B&Q and that’s when the pin drops! Which tiles do you go for – the illusion mocha wall tiles or the black lava mosaic tiles? What about border tiles? Are they essential? It’s all starting to add up and that doesn’t include various types of tools, the planning, numerous gluing options – the shopping list is endless. So before you embark on your DIY tiling projects, perhaps gaining some basic tiling experience and knowledge would be much better. Look up some of our DIY tiling courses, perfect for beginners or the DIY enthusiast in you.


Become a professional tiler

If you’re looking beyond DIY and you’re interested in tiling as a career, then our courses will train you to do things like Victorian and geometric tiling, stone restoration, fitting and polishing, concrete restoration and polishing and church floor restorations. Before you know it, your happy customers will be recommending your services, setting you apart from those bad cowboy type tilers.


The tiling industry

The first thing that goes through an employer’s mind when taking on a learner or new tiler is, ‘What if he/she messes things up?’ Mess ups are expensive and small tiling firms that account for about 70% of the tiling industry, are cautious when employing tilers. Most times they prefer to go with family, friends and tilers who are genuinely a cut above the rest. So to stand out make sure you build your skills before you start working.


What will you learn?

On most courses, you’ll learn tiling basics, cut around obstacles using quality tools and gain a complete understanding of the requirements for any area you’re planning to tile. You’ll then tackle complex areas, giving you the opportunity to build your speed, technique and confidence. Health and safety knowledge, risk management, and carrying out work using the correct procedure and best practices will be taught along the way. Other areas include tanking, tiling using different types of stones, waterproofing and floor screeding, and assessment. Once you’ve finished your training, you’ll become an efficient tiler with a detailed portfolio.



A City & Guilds tiling qualification is essential for gaining employment as a tile fitter. Many companies will offer you work at a slightly reduced pay rate whilst you complete an NVQ on site. This is useful as it means you get real, hands on training as you work.


Benefits of ceramic tiles

Fitting ceramic tiles is something tilers are asked to do a lot. Here’s why…


·         Ease of maintenance

While no floor remains entirely maintenance free, ceramic tiles come about as close as they can to being service free. Short of the application of the occasional sealant, applied once every four years or so, tile requires only the regular cleaning that any flooring surface would require. With the installation of grout, tile becomes almost impervious to water damage and can be virtually hosed off if necessary. Many specialty products are currently available that assist greatly in tile maintenance and upkeep, all of which can be found in nearly any home goods provider or supermarket.


·         Adaptability

There is a tile option for nearly any application, and your imagination and creativity are your only limitations when installing tile. From porticos in a dining room to a tiled hearth in front of a fireplace, you can adapt tile to nearly any surface, indoors or out. Ceramic tile’s adaptability has been exploited throughout Europe, and tile floors can be seen in kitchens, living rooms, dining rooms and even bedrooms. In some destinations abroad, it is not uncommon to find an entire house tiled wall to wall, in an effort to keep cool and provide a versatile flooring surface.


·         Cost effectiveness

Dollar for dollar, tile still remains one of the most cost effective flooring surfaces on the market today. When considering initial costs versus longevity, it becomes quite clear that ceramic tile’s limited upkeep and maintenance adds to its value even further, Square footage material costs stay in check with most other alternatives, and while the initial installation costs may be slightly higher, it’s important to consider all the long term costs and value when judging overall cost effectiveness.


·         Ease of repair

Even though ceramic is strong, there is still the opportunity for breakage as with any earthenware. When a breakage does occur, repairing tile is far simpler than fixing hardwood or plank flooring. Simply remove the broken pieces, clean the area, reinstall replacement tiles and regrout the repaired area. Completing tile repairs typically takes less time than repairing a wood floor, or even a composite flooring surface. It is important to keep several pieces of tile left over from your installation for these repair needs.


·         Style

As always, style counts and ceramic tiles are no exception to that rule. Tile has a finish and style to adapt to any decor. There is an unlimited variety to tile, from bright vibrant colours to muted tones and everything in between, and a brief trip to any tile house or home improvement retailer will prove this point. While colours and textures can vary greatly between manufacturers, virtually any combination of colour and texture can be found in today’s market. 

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