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Essential skills profile

This profile contains a list of example tasks that illustrate how each of the 9 essential skills is generally performed by most workers in this occupation. The levels of complexity estimated for each task are ranked between 1 (basic) and 5 (advanced).

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Tilesetters(7283)

This profile has been developed by Skills Compétences Canada.

Tilesetters cover interior and exterior walls, floors and ceilings with ceramic, marble and quarry tile, mosaics or terrazzo. They are employed by construction companies and masonry contractors, or they may be self-employed.

Reading Help - Reading
  • Read directions, e.g., read directions on adhesive, grout and mortar packaging to learn the most effective way to use the product. (1)
  • Read short notes, e.g, read short notes from co-workers to coordinate work activities. (1)
  • Read short text entries on technical drawings and forms, e.g., read comments on work orders to learn the particulars of installation projects. (1)
  • Read a variety of instructions, e.g., read instructions posted at job sites to learn about the requirements for personal protective equipment. (1)
  • Read safety-related information, e.g., read Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) to learn how to safely handle products used to seal tile and grout. (2)
  • Read email messages, e.g., read email messages from clients to learn about changes to project specifications. (2)
  • Read manufacturers' notices and technical service bulletins, e.g., read technical service bulletins to learn about recurring faults with particular dry set mortars. (3)
  • Read a variety of manuals and guides e.g., read procedure manuals and guides to learn how to install shower kits. (3)
  • Read specifications, e.g., read specifications published by the Terrazzo Tile and Marble Association of Canada to learn about specifications for wall tile systems. (3)
  • May read labour agreements, e.g., unionized tilesetters read labour agreements to learn about their rights and responsibilities. (3)
Document use Help - Document use
  • Locate data such as dates, sizes, codes, costs and quantities on price tags, product labels and receipts. (1)
  • Recognize symbols and icons, e.g., recognize WHMIS symbols on product packaging. (1)
  • Recognize common angles to complete layout patterns. (1)
  • Complete a variety of online and paper-based forms, e.g., complete online timesheets by entering dates, addresses, hours worked and tasks completed. (2)
  • Locate data in specification tables, e.g., use specification tables to learn about set times, pressure tolerances, mixing ratios and temperature tolerances. (2)
  • Interpret sketches and accompanying notations to learn about specific details referred to in a work order. (2)
  • Obtain data from a wide variety of lists, schedules and tables, e.g., read work orders to learn about tasks to be performed, materials to be used, areas to be tiled, costs of materials ordered and project timelines. (2)
  • Use technical drawings, e.g., use elevation drawings and floor plans to locate measurements and identify areas to be tiled, the types of tiles to use and layout patterns to follow. (3)
Writing Help - Writing
  • Enter short comments on a variety of forms, e.g., write comments on work orders to indicate problems with installations. (1)
  • Write brief memos, e.g., write brief memos to co-workers and general contractors to coordinate work activities and provide details about job progress. (1)
  • May keep personal logbooks, noting information such as tasks to be completed, problems that have arisen, directions for reaching a job site, hours worked and materials that must be ordered. (1)
  • Write email messages, e.g., write email messages to request information and confirm details about upcoming activities. (2)
  • May write reports to describe events leading up to workplace accidents, e.g., write about injuries and events when completing reports for workers' compensation boards. (3)
Numeracy Help - Numeracy Money Math
  • May handle cash, credit card, debit card and Interact e-transfer transactions. (1)
Scheduling, Budgeting and Accounting Math
  • May schedule the delivery of supplies and materials. (1)
  • May prepare invoices and price quotes, e.g. self-employed tilesetters prepare invoices by considering factors such as project scope and the costs associated with travel, labour, materials, wastage and applicable taxes. (3)
Measurement and Calculation Math
  • Take measurements using basic measuring tools, e.g., measure the length of tiles using tape measures. (1)
  • Measure slopes, e.g., measure the slope of a drain to determine if it corresponds to the slope stipulated in the blueprint. (1)
  • Calculate summary measures, e.g., calculate the average amount of materials wasted during an installation project. (2)
  • Calculate the requirement for materials, e.g., calculate the number of each type of tile required, taking into consideration the size and shape of the accent tiles being used as well as the colour and pattern sequence. (3)
  • Measure mark-off points, e.g., measure mark-off points for a curved installation to ensure the curve is even. (3)
Data Analysis Math
  • Compare measurements of size, thickness, time and temperatures to specifications, e.g., determine adherence to specifications by comparing joint width measurements to the measurements specified in drawings. (1)
Numerical Estimation
  • Estimate the amount of time and number of tilesetters required to complete a job to ensure project timelines are viable. (1)
  • May estimate the cost of the materials to be used on a job. (2)
  • Estimate material requirements such as the number of tiles, and the amount of adhesive and grout required to complete a job. (2)
Oral communication Help - Oral communication
  • Speak with suppliers to verify orders, schedule pick-ups and return unused product. (1)
  • Participate in meetings, e.g., participate in toolbox meetings by discussing job site hazards. (2)
  • Speak with customers, e.g., speak with customers to coordinate schedules and arrange access to the work site. (2)
  • Communicate with co-workers, architects and other tradespeople to coordinate work and schedule activities. (2)
  • Discuss concerns and offer solutions, e.g., discuss concerns about inadequately prepared surfaces and scheduling conflicts with general contractors, and propose solutions. (3)
  • May instruct apprentices on how to complete difficult lay-outs, and provide on-going feedback as work progresses. (3)
Thinking Help - Thinking Problem Solving
  • Encounter unsafe work conditions and improperly prepared job sites. They assess the situation to determine what action should be taken and implement the solution they decide is appropriate. (2)
  • Encounter shortages of material such as tiles and mortar. If the material is in stock, they have it delivered. If supplies are either unavailable or temporarily out of stock, tilesetters arrange with the client or supervisor to reschedule the job, modify the design to accommodate alternative materials or re-do the job with materials that are readily available. (2)
  • Are unable to complete tasks because specifications and instructions are unavailable. They consult manufacturers, co-workers, suppliers and colleagues for advice and research websites to locate useable information. (2)
  • Are unable to meet deadlines because of delays caused by other trades. They speak with the tradesperson to find ways to speed up their work. They seek the assistance of supervisors and general contractors if the delays are significant. (2)
Decision Making
  • Decide which surfaces to tile first. (1)
  • Decide which tools to use and procedures to follow to complete a job to required specifications. (2)
  • Decide not to commence work at job sites that are poorly prepared and significantly out of alignment. (2)
  • Decide how to layout projects by considering worksite conditions and project specifications. (3)
  • .
  • May select materials and suppliers, e.g., self-employed tilesetters decide which brands and types of materials to use by considering specifications, warranties, costs and ease of use. (3)
  • May select which jobs to bid on and accept, e.g., self-employed tilesetters consider project scopes, timelines, budgets and the availability of materials and labour. (3)
Critical Thinking
  • Evaluate the severity of workplace hazards, e.g. consider the potential dangers presented by exposed wiring and fall hazards. (2)
  • Evaluate the performance of apprentices and helpers. They consider factors such as their technical skills and ability to work with others. (2)
  • Evaluate the appropriateness of materials for specific applications. They consider the degree to which the intended use meets manufacturer and Terrazzo Tile and Marble Association of Canada (TTMAC)
  • specifications. (2)
  • Evaluate job sites, e.g., consider factors such as the condition and plumbness of surfaces to be tiled. (2)
  • Evaluate the overall quality of their work. They consider their adherence to manufacturer and Terrazzo Tile and Marble Association of Canada (TTMAC) specifications and factors such as the quality of tile bonding and the width, uniformity and alignment of tiles, grout lines and patterns. (3)
Job Task Planning and Organizing

For most jobs, tilesetters are given a working drawing or work order to follow. At commercial job sites, they often work with supervisors to decide upon task sequencing and work priorities. Time management is determined by the project timelines. If more than one tilesetter is on site, they usually decide among themselves their areas of responsibility. At construction sites, tilers coordinate their work schedules with other trades. In many cases, tilesetters dependent on other trades to prepare surfaces adequately or they cannot begin their work. In the residential sector, tilers must organize their work according to the schedule of the occupants. (3)

Tilesetter's own work plan is dictated by the tile setting procedure - the steps are well defined and must be completed in an established order. Self-employed tilesetters additionally plan the delivery of materials and meetings with others such as clients, architects and general contractors. (2)

Significant Use of Memory
  • Remember special client instructions not normally associated with a procedure, such as an unusual approach to terrazzo installation, an unusual placement of accent tiles, or an unusual layout pattern.
  • Remember job-specific installation details such as grout colour, layout pattern and special instructions if they are working on several projects concurrently.
  • Remember which setting products work best in specific situations and with specific materials.
  • Remember where they left off in projects when they are working on two or more projects concurrently.
Finding Information
  • Locate product information, such as descriptions, application techniques, specifications, costs and availabilities by speaking with suppliers and by reviewing catalogues, brochures, price lists and information posted on manufacturers' websites. (2)
  • Locate information about project requirements by reading work orders, speaking with clients, reviewing floor plans, referring to occupational health and safety guidelines and by visiting job sites. (3)
Digital technology Help - Digital technology Word Processing
  • May use word processing software, e.g., self-employed tilesetters use word processing software to write letters and prepare quotations for clients. (2)
Spreadsheet Software
  • May use spreadsheets, e.g., use spreadsheets to record and track costs. (2)
Bookkeeping, Billing and Accounting Software
  • May use bookkeeping, billing and accounting software, e.g., self-employed tilesetters may use bookkeeping software to input inventories, costs and receivables. (3)
Communication Software
  • May use text messaging applications to exchange information with clients and other contractors. (1)
  • Use communication software to exchange email with clients, suppliers and contractors. (2)
Internet
  • Use the Internet to access supplier websites for information about product specifications and costs. (2)
  • May use the Internet to access webinars, training courses and seminars offered by trainers, suppliers and associations. (2)
  • May use the Internet to access blogs and web forums where they seek and offer advice about tiling techniques. (2)
  • May use the Internet to access online banking services, e.g., self-employed tilesetters check payment details and account balances by accessing websites operated by financial institutions. (2)
Other Digital Technology
  • May use electronic office equipment such as printers, scanners, fax machines, copiers and postage metres. (1)
  • Use global positioning systems (GPS) to locate travel routes and estimate travel times. (1)
  • Use calculators and personal digital assistant (PDA) devices to complete numeracy-related tasks such as calculating material requirements. (1)
  • Use digital hand tools, e.g., use a laser level determine low spots on a floor. (1)
Additional information Help - Additional information Other Essential Skills:

Working With Others

In a commercial setting, tilesetters usually work with an assistant. They may also work with other tilesetters on the same site although each tilesetter would complete a different tiling project at that site. Tilesetters often work independently and are often responsible for an assigned project from beginning to end. In some cases, two tilesetters will work together, one doing the main floor area and the other addressing the more complex and time-consuming components. Tilesetters can also be part of a larger construction team that includes a variety of tradespersons.

Continuous Learning

Technical upgrading is offered by manufacturers when new products or equipment are introduced. Provincial construction associations offer safety training courses that tiling companies sponsor tilesetters to attend. Tilesetters may pursue training at community colleges (management training, computer courses) on their own time and at their own expense, although in some cases, the company will pay for upgrading if the tilesetter is being considered for a management position. One of the most practical ways for tilesetters to gain new expertise is ""on-the-job"" from other more experienced tilesetters and supervisors.

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