Wall and Floor Tiler Kaiwhakatakoto Taera Pakitara, Taera Papa

Wall and floor tilers lay ceramic, clay, slate, marble and glass tiles.

Wall and floor tilers may do some or all of the following:

  • discuss tiling designs and options with clients, and give quotes
  • measure and mark surfaces based on plans
  • clean and prepare surfaces
  • lay liquid waterproof membrane in showers and bathrooms
  • make and lay adhesives for tiles to be laid on
  • cut, shape and lay tiles
  • grout, seal and polish tiles.

Physical Requirements

Wall and floor tilers need to:

  • have steady hands and good hand-eye co-ordination 
  • be comfortable crouching and kneeling for long periods of time.

Useful Experience

Useful experience for wall and floor tilers includes any building and construction work.

Personal Qualities

Wall and floor tilers need to be:

  • careful, organised, methodical and accurate
  • able to follow instructions
  • able to work independently and as part of a team
  • good at basic maths.


Wall and floor tilers need to have:

  • knowledge of tiling methods and materials
  • the ability to interpret plans and clients' ideas
  • ability to calculate tile layout and cut tiles with as little waste as possible
  • knowledge of how to use tiling and cutting tools
  • knowledge of health and safety regulations.

Self-employed wall and floor tilers also need business skills such as accounting and regulatory compliance.


Wall and floor tilers:

  • usually work regular business hours, but may also work weekends and evenings
  • work in buildings that are under construction, being altered or renovated
  • may work at heights.

Subject Recommendations

There are no specific secondary education requirements to become a wall and floor tiler. However, construction and mechanical technologies, and maths are useful.

Year 11 and 12 learners can find out more about the construction industry, and gain relevant skills, by doing a National Certificate in Building, Construction and Allied Trades (Levels 1 and 2) through the BConstructive programme.

For Year 11 to 13 learners, trades academies and the STAR and Gateway programmes are good ways to gain relevant experience and skills.

These programmes may help you gain an apprenticeship, but do not reduce the amount of time it takes to complete it.

Wall and Floor Tilers can earn around $23-$25 per hour.

Chances of getting a job as a Wall and Floor Tiler are good due to a shortage of people interested in this type of work.

Pay for wall and floor tilers varies depending on location, qualifications and experience.

  • Apprentice wall and floor tilers usually start on the training minimum wage, with their pay increasing as they gain experience and unit standards.
  • Wall and floor tilers with up to three years' experience usually earn between minimum wage and $25 an hour.
  • Wall and floor tilers with over three years' experience usually earn between $25 and $35 an hour.
  • Those running their own business may earn more than this.

Source: Tile Association of New Zealand, 2018.

Wall and floor tilers may progress to set up their own wall and floor tiling business.

Years Of Training

There are no specific entry requirements to become a wall and floor tiler. However, you can do an apprenticeship and gain a New Zealand Certificate in Trowel Trades Floor and Wall Tiling (Level 4). The Building and Construction Industry Training Organisation (BCITO) oversees apprenticeships.

Wall and Floor Tiler