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A tiler is a specialist in the laying, cutting or shaping and grouting of tiles, primarily on walls and floors. He is able to lay tiles composed of different materials, such as ceramic, granite, slate, clay, marble and glass. He is skilled in the shaping and placement of tiles in decorative patterns, according to instructions provided to him.
A tiler is employed to lay (“adhere”) tiles on the walls and floors of a variety of properties. His main areas of work in residential properties are in kitchens and bathrooms, where he may be required to lay tiles with decorative borders or in specific patterns, which is highly specialised work and requires the services of a skilled and experienced tiler. He is tasked with laying the wall backsplashes in kitchens and bathrooms, and sometimes tile countertops, for instance on outside braai areas. He may also be employed to tile other outside areas such as patios or entertainment areas.
Tilers are also employed in construction projects and shops. They are an essential part of any building team in the commercial sector. They are the specialists who lay the tiles in areas such as shopping centres, office premises, restaurants, clinics, hospitals, medical research facilities, hotels, gymnasiums and schools, to mention just a few.
Many areas have both wall and floor tiles, such as public restrooms, operating theatres and surrounds, meat and fish preparation areas and bakeries in shops, cafes and restaurants. Tiles are an important part of many buildings, as they offer higher hygiene capabilities than porous walls, cement and wood finishes, as well as providing a highly decorative background. Because most tiles are made by being baked at high temperatures, they are fragile, easily cracked and broken, and it is a vital part of the tiler’s job to ensure that the surface on which the tiles are to be laid is level, smooth and even. The same preparation is required for natural stone tiles, which are not baked but will also break over time if the tiling surface is not properly prepared.
Whilst it is an easy job to find a tiler from the many advertising their services at the side of the road, it is inadvisable to choose a tiler this way. It is preferable to use a skilled tiler who has been recommended to you by people you know and has a good reputation. Look at the type of work he does, and ask to see his catalogues or photos of his work. For highly specialised tiling work, check the tiler’s reviews online through Uptasker and, if possible, speak to his previous clients.
Since buying and laying tiles is an expensive and skilled job, rather do it right the first time, and ensure that you select a tiler you can trust to produce a professional result which will last for many years. For more tips, see our tiler articles on the Uptasker blog.