Red Seal Trades


NOC: 7283
Designation Year: 2001

The Interprovincial Standards Red Seal Program
The Interprovincial Standards Red Seal Program

Tilesetters cover, protect, repair and decorate exterior and interior walls, floors, ceilings, fireplaces, swimming pools, saunas, showers and other surfaces. Tiling materials include ceramic, mosaics, glass, quarry tiles, slate, engineered stone, terrazzo, porcelain and marble or granite slabs.

Tilesetters read and interpret architectural drawings and material specifications to determine tile layout, finish and installation requirements. They may also design patterns for the area to be tiled. They prepare surfaces for tiling which may involve applying a variety of products such as membranes, mortar beds and underlayments. They select, mix, apply and spread mortar, cement, mastic, epoxy or other adhesives to the surface to be tiled. They cut and fit tiles to a variety of surfaces and finish tiles using grout. Tilesetters may also lay and set mosaic tiles to create decorative wall, mural and floor designs. Some tilesetters cut, polish and install marble and granite which may involve setting stone mechanically. They may also mix, lay, grind and polish terrazzo surfaces. Tilesetters may install marble using plaster and wire methods.


Tilesetters use special hand and power tools like tile cutters and saws to cut tiles to the correct size. Hand tools such as trowels are used to apply setting materials to fasten tiles to a surface. Levels, squares, straight edges and grid lines are used to align and straighten tiles. Grinding and polishing machines are used for finishing certain surfaces. Heavy equipment such as cranes may be used to transport and install product. Industrial mixers and pumps may be used in various installation processes.

Tilesetters may be employed by companies working in the residential, commercial and institutional field. Tilesetters may work in the private sector, in a union or be self-employed. Tilesetters often work with designers, clients, architects, suppliers and manufacturers.

Tilesetters generally work indoors. Some work such as cladding and swimming pools may be performed outside, exposing workers to inclement weather. The work can be physically demanding, requiring bending, kneeling, reaching, heavy lifting and working at heights.

Some important attributes in this trade include a good knowledge of mathematics to calculate weights and angles, wall and ceiling measurements, and the amount of material required to complete the work. The ability to read blueprints, shop drawings and specifications is also important. Planning and visual skills are needed in the design stage. Tilesetters are required to have a good eye for colour and layout, since they may prearrange tiles to confirm a specific design. Aptitudes include manual and spatial dexterity, eye-hand co-ordination and good balance and vision. Good communication and interpersonal skills are also important.

This analysis recognizes similarities with the work of bricklayers, stone masons, plasterers, drywall installers, floor covering installers and carpenters. Experienced tilesetters may advance to foreperson, instructor or supervisory positions.

Provincial Certification

Please note that the abbreviations for the provinces use the Canada Post standard.

 NL   NS   PE   NB   QC   ON   MB   SK   AB   BC   NT   YT   NU 
Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes No No No

Trade Information

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