From kitchen and bathroom walls and floors to swimming pools and even soundproofing recording studios, tilers can be found carrying out a wide variety of jobs where tiles are involved.

Often the finishing touch that gives a room makeover the real ‘wow’ factor, it’s the curse of the pro tiler that a great tiling job will rarely be noticed but a bad one will almost immediately catch the eye. Poor tiling can also cause hidden leaks and dampness that can be expensive to put right.

We’ve all seen wonky lines, loose or cracked tiles and bad cuts that have made us shudder. And it’s being able to avoid these – and the many other things that can go wrong when tiling – that puts the professional tiler on a different level than the average amateur.

Before you hire a local tiler, find out how they measure up to the task by reading the following guide.

What they do

Tilers, as the name suggests, fit tiles. Their job involves lots of geometry and mathematical calculations, plus a talent for cheating the eye as not many rooms are perfectly square (which can be tricky to hide when the tiles you’re using are). Their job involves:

  • Preparing the surface for tiling
  • Setting out (marking out an area to estimate the amount of tiles and adhesive needed)
  • Working with and understanding the properties of different types of tile, from ceramic to slate
  • Cutting tiles to shape
  • Fixing the tiles in place
  • Applying grout to seal the tiles

What they charge

On average, a tiler will charge around £12 per hour. However, it makes sense to get a fixed quote for a job that includes all labour and materials so you know exactly what you’re paying with no surprises.

Tilers will usually charge you per m2 of the area tiled, rather than per m2 meter of the tiles used. The average price is between £20 and £25 per m2. When pricing up the cost of the tiles, don’t forget to factor in tile wastage which should be less than 10%.

Typical prices for common residential tiling jobs (including materials) are:

  • Tile a small bathroom (2 days) – £500
  • Tile a medium bathroom (3 days) – £800
  • Tile a large bathroom (4 days) – £1000

What to ask

Before your hire a tiler, it’s a good idea to ask a few questions to find out if they’re the right person for the job. Here are a few suggestions to get you started:

  • Are you fully insured?
  • What are your professional qualifications and experience?
  • Is the work guaranteed?
  • Can they complete the job within your timeframe?
  • Are adhesives and grout included?
  • Do you have experience in using the tiles you have chosen?
  • What preparation is needed before tiling and is this included in the quote?
  • Does the quote include removing all waste material and cleaning up afterwards?
  • Can I have a written quote with a full breakdown?
  • If relevant, how will you assess and ensure the correct slip resistance and weight recommendations are met?

Trades to trust

Checking a tiler is a member of The Tile Association (TTA) will give you added reassurance that they’ve been carefully vetted for financial, technical and service standards.

The law

Make sure the floor tiles you’re installing meet slip resistance standards. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) advises and recommends using floor surfaces that meet floor slip ‘R Ratings’ for environments where shoes are worn; and ‘A,B,C Ratings’ for wet floor conditions where people are likely to walk barefoot, such as swimming pools.

You also need to be aware of tile and adhesive weight limits as well as size, particularly on floors where a tile that’s too big may lack the necessary flexibility and crack across the middle. If in doubt get advice from your tiler.

Ready to hire?

3 is the magic number

As always, try and get three quotes from three different tilers to ensure you pay a fair price for the job.

Certification and references

Don’t be shy about asking for any relevant certification, proof of public liability insurance and references or photos from previous jobs. If the tiler is trustworthy and competent, they’ll be pleased (and proud) to show you both.