Marble and Tile Setter

To become a Tile & Marble Setter, you need to be a uper organized person.

Most tile and marble setters work full time. In commercial settings, tile setters may work evenings and weekends, often for higher wages, to avoid disturbing regular business operations. A Tile or Marble Setter can expect a wage that can range from 32000 – 48000 depending on education and tenure levels. To discover if this career is right for you, take one of our quizzes.

Tile & Marble Setter  Salary

  • Average Annual Salary: $38,000
  • Expected Lifetime Earnings: $1,540,000

Tile & Marble Setter – Education

Mostly, tile and marble installers start their careers informally, and they will learn and gain experience while starting out as helpers on the job. But we can see increasingly more of these professionals who have learned their trade via schools and formal apprenticeships. There is no official requirement for specific education in order to become a marble or tile setter, but we can see increasingly more employers that require a high school or GED diploma before they will hire applicants.

The majority of tile and marble installers are full-time employed, and in many commercial settings, we can find these professionals working on the weekends or evenings (and often for much higher pay) so they won’t be disturbing standard business operations. In 2014, around one-third of tile and marble installers were self-employed. Find out if this profession is something for you by taking a free career test!

Tile & Marble Setter – The Job

Tile installers and tile & marble setters are installing a variety of materials on different surfaces. They may be installing these materials on walls, floors, countertops, ceilings, roof decks, or patios. Tile and marble need to be set on even and smooth surfaces, so installers frequently are required to level surfaces with a layer of plywood or mortar before they can apply the actual tiles or marble. Very often, the area that must be tiled is not stable enough, so these must use tile backer board, or nail some metal mesh to make sure the surface that needs to be tiled is stable enough. They can frequently be found working at construction sites.

Tile and marble setters use a variety of tools to cut tiles or marble. The use tile scribes, power wet saws, or tile cutters to make sure they have even edges, and they are using multiple trowels to spread mastic (a sticky paste, professional tile adhesives, or mortar) on the surface that needs to be tiled. Rows of tiles must be straight and to prevent imperfections, spacers are usually placed between tiles.

Spacers ensure that tiles are placed at an identical distance, and they will be removed once the mortar has dried out. When the mortar has totally dried out, and the tiles are securely fastened, grout will be applied between tiles by using a ‘float’, a sort of rubber trowel. Marble setters are using power wet saws to cut marble to a specific size, and when all marble is put in to place and the mastic is hardened out and the grout is applied as well, they will polish the fastened marble with hand or powers sanders to high luster.

Work-related injuries

Tile and marble setters are applying marble, hard tiles, or wood to flooring, walls, or other areas and spaces. And though it is true that their work is less dangerous than most other construction work, we still see a much higher rate of injury and illness than in most other careers. The reason lies in the fact that the profession comes with a lot of kneeling and bending. Then there is also the potential for physical injury due to the tools they use, and as tile setters, sanders, and finishers often work in buildings closely with many other people, the chances of catching illnesses that way as high as well.

Work environment

Tile and marble setters are usually installing their materials when construction work has mostly been completed. This means that their work area is usually uncluttered, cleared, and pretty clean.  and uncluttered, but the materials they apply (adhesives, mortar, or grout) are often messy and sticky. The work of tile and marble setters is highly labor-intensive and the job involves a lot of bending, reaching, and kneeling, and consequently, these professionals are used to wearing knee pads for safety and protection. They will also use safety goggles and other safety clothing to protect their eyes and bodies when they use saws, sanders, grinders, or other professional tools.

Job outlook and earnings

The professional outlook for these professionals is pretty good. The market for tile and marble setters is expected to increase by some 15 percent over the next decade, and this is more than the average expectations. Tile and marble are increasingly popular, and if you add the growth of population and business in general, it is easy to understand that there will be more demand for these workers.

Experienced tile or marble setters may expect earnings that range between $30,000 and $48,000 depending on experience, education and regional influences. The U.S. BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) indicates that in 2014, tile and marble installers had an hourly wage of around $18,20, and their yearly earnings were around $38,000. Tile and marble installers received the highest wages in Massachusetts. Here they earned a median compensation of almost $63,000!