Tiling requires a keen eye, good motor skills and the ability to precisely lay-out and fix large numbers of tiles over large areas. Tilers work with a variety of tiles, from tiny mosaics to large floor tiles. The tiles can be square, rectangular or multi-faceted. A good tiler can meet the demands of any floor or wall design.
Floor and wall tiles have greater visual impact than almost any other element of a room’s design. To get the results you want, you need to choose your tiler carefully. Their trade licence or other professional accreditation is your best assurance you’re dealing with a skilled tiler.
Licensing of Tilers
In many cases, tiling has more to do with aesthetics than structural integrity. Because of this, a trade licence is not always required for tiling work. There are exceptions, though:
Read more about licensing of tilers where you live in our state-by-state overview section below.
Types of Tiling Jobs
Some typical jobs that require a tiler’s skills include:
Different jobs require different skill sets, so it’s best to hire a tiler who specialises in the type of work you need done or a highly experienced tiler who can expertly do any kind of tiling work.
In New South Wales, NSW Fair Trading requires tilers to have “Wall and floor tiling” licences. In order to obtain a licence, an applicant must complete Certificate III level training at a Registered Training Organisation approved by Fair Trading. Their licence entitles them to:
Their tiling licence does not authorise them to renew or replace a subfloor.
Any home improvements valued at over $1,000 (labour and materials) must be carried out by a licensed practitioner in NSW.
In Victoria, Consumer Affairs regulates the building industry and issues trade licences. As a general rule, all building work that costs $5,000 or more must be carried out by a professional registered with the Building Practitioners Board. The exception to this rule is tradies who engage in one type of work only. This includes floor and wall tilers.
If your tiler also does waterproofing and other work as part of their contract and the total value of the job is over $5,000, they may need to have a “Domestic Builder – Ltd (bathroom, kitchen and laundry)” registration card. The code listed on their registration card will be “DB-L-L” and further restrictions and/or endorsements may also be listed on the card.
Although floor and wall tilers do not have to be registered building practitioners in Victoria, it’s important to only hire trade professionals who can provide you with proof of their competence. Ask your tiler to:
If your tiler belongs to a professional organisation such as the Australian Tile Council, it is further evidence that they are a qualified professional.
In Queensland, trade licences are issued by the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC). All building-related jobs that cost over $3,300 must be carried out by licensed builders. Most tilers have Builder Restricted Contractor Licences. For wall and floor tilers, the code for this licence is “WFT”. In addition your tiler may have a waterproofing (WP) licence and/or other restricted licences for the services they offer as part of their business. An employee of a licensed tiler does not have to be licensed in Queensland.
While a trade licence is required for work in excess of $3,300 (labour and materials), hiring a licensed wall and floor tiler is your assurance they have professional qualifications regardless of the cost of the job.
Consumer and Business Services (CBS) is the statutory authority in charge of registering businesses and trades in South Australia. CBS issued registration cards are the equivalent to trade licences in SA. For specialty services such as tiling, “scope of work” cards are issued that clearly state the type or types of work the cardholder is authorised to carry out.
A tiler in South Australia must have a valid “Wall & Floor Tiling” registration card and will also probably be registered to carry out “Waterproofing Limited to Bathrooms, Laundries & Balconies.” For most residential jobs, these will be all that will be required.
In South Australia, a formal contract is not required by law for building work under $12,000. However, you still have the option to request a contract from your tiler.
The Building Commission of the Department of Commerce issues trade licences in Western Australia. Two types of builders’ licences are available:
Most tiling work that is not done as part of a larger building or renovation project does not cost more than $20,000 and your tiler may not have either a Practitioner’s or a Contractor’s licence. However, they should be able to demonstrate their competence by:
Wall and floor tilers in Western Australia must carry a national “white card” issued by WorkSafe. To obtain their white card, they must pass a WorkSafe approved training course.
The Department of Justice issues building practitioner licences in Tasmania. A “building practitioner” is defined as a person who carries out work “in relation to the construction, demolition, alteration, addition, relocation or repair of a building.” Any tradesperson who engages in building work that fits that definition must be accredited by the Department of Justice for the specific activities they engage in.
There are several classes and categories of accreditation. Your tiler may hold a restricted builder’s licence and be accredited to carry out specific activities such as “Tiling walls and floors”; “kitchen, bathroom and laundry renovations”; and/or “Renovation/Restoration.” Many tilers in Tasmania are accredited in a variety of categories to allow them to legally do any tiling and related work you may need.
Accredited builders in Tasmania must renew their licences yearly and undertake Continuing Professional Development courses each year in order to be granted a licence renewal.
Anyone who undertakes work in a building-related trade in the ACT must be licensed and accredited by the Planning and Land Authority (ACTPLA). Tilers typically engage in non-structural work only and will hold a Class D Builder’s Licence. Restrictions and endorsements will probably also be specified on their licence:
For example, a tiler who does bathroom tiling as part of their daily work may also be endorsed to do the waterproofing necessary for the job but be restricted to that type of waterproofing only.
In the Northern Territory, tilers are not required by law to have a trade licence. However, many building-related trades in the NT are self-regulated through Contractor Accreditation Ltd (CAL), a non-profit organisation established by the Northern Territory Chamber of Commerce, the Master Builders Association NT and the NT Small Business Association.
When hiring a tiler in the Northern Territory, ask if they have CAL accreditation in “Tiling – Wall and Floor” and, if they will be waterproofing your bathroom, “”Waterproofing – Domestic”. A good tiler will have Certificate III Construction (Wall & Floor Tiling) training from a Registered Training Institute as well.