How to find a tiler

It’s one thing to chose your dream tiles – it’s quite another to actually get them up!

If you’re a DIY whizz and plan to do the tiling yourself then we raise our hat to you. Otherwise, we’ve put together this guide to help you find the best tiler for your project. 

One thing to note is that tiling and tilers in the UK are largely unregulated – unlike plumbers or electricians, you don’t need an ‘official’ qualification to set up a tiling business, so when you are looking for a tiler it really pays off to do your research as thoroughly as possible. 


First thing’s first

Before you start, make sure you’re completely clear on what you’d like doing. Speak to whoever else is living with you (your spouse, partner, flat mates or family) and create a plan of what you’d need – this could be a list, a drawing or even a scrap book of how you’d like the final room to look.

You don’t necessarily need to have chosen your tiles but you do need to know which areas you’d like tiling.   


Start looking

There are a few good places to start looking for your tiler: 


Word of mouth is a brilliant way to find reliable trades people. Friends and family, neighbours or other tradespeople who might be working on the same project – you really can’t beat first hand recommendations. If you’ve been given a few names make sure to check their websites, social media or any listing you can find to ensure you’re happy with what you see (we’d be wary of anyone who has little or no information).


Trade websites

Checkatrade and The Tile Association both have searchable lists of qualified, trustworthy tilers – you can search by area and many come with testimonials or client reviews. Both websites only list reputable tradespeople so whilst you still need to speak to them yourself and check out their credentials in person, you can rest assured that their work has already been reviewed by industry professionals and paying customers.


Social Media

A very twenty-first century method but one that works! Search for local businesses or follow them to get an idea of what they do and how they work – there are bound to be photos of their previous projects so it’s a great way of checking out their handiwork before you get in touch.


Choosing your tiler 

Having spent a while putting together a shortlist of potential tilers, the next most important step is choosing one.

Any good tiler will want to meet to discuss the project in person and see the space you’re talking about. If they don’t then knock them off your list.

Once you’ve arranged a meeting, there are some key questions you’ll need to discuss:

How much industry experience do they have? Whilst everyone needs to start somewhere, you want someone with a reasonable amount of experience under their belt before you let them near your home.

See examples of previous work: even if you’d had a good look at their website or socials, ask to see a few examples of what they’ve worked on – especially projects which are similar in design and layout to yours. If they can’t, they’re best avoided.

Can they do what you’re asking! Tilers often prefer to install a certain type and specialisation of tile, for example, ceramics. So, be sure to check your tiler has worked with your chosen tile type in the past.

Do they have any customers references or testimonials they could share?

Do they have qualifications such as Level 1 Certificate and Level 2 Diploma in Wall and Floor Tiling?

Do they have liability insurance? Any tradesman that enters your house is obliged to have liability insurance which covers personal injury and damage to property. Always ask to see an up-to-date policy certificates to ensure you would not liable for any accident that could occur.

What are their working hours? You need to make sure their hours suit your schedule

How soon could they start? As a rule of thumb, good tradesmen are usually booked up for at least a couple of weeks – anyone who can start “now” is a bit of a red flag and we would avoid them.

Do they have a warranty or guarantee period? Any good tiler will come back to fix small mistakes or issues that crop up soon after a project. Whether they offer a longer term warranty or guarantee is up to the tiler or tiling company – some do and some don’t so if this is important to you, make sure you ask the question before deciding on your tiler.

If you can, we recommend sourcing three quotes. The price of a tiler is often a sign of their skills level but obtaining more than one quote means you can compare prices and understand what you’re going to get for your money. A well thought out  quote should detail exactly what the tiler will be doing, giving you an insight into their skills.


Get specific

Once you’ve chosen your tiler, there is a second conversation to be had to get really specific about your project and what you expect. Make sure this is done well in advance of the work so you don’t have any unexpected surprises at the very last minute!

Get a detailed quote - it might have been part of their original quote, but if not, ask for the cost of the work to be broken down stage by stage. Key information should include:

Labour costs – how much this will be and who will be entering your home (just the tiler or does he have an apprentice or day labourer etc?)
Fixing materials and costs – will you need to buy everything in advance or will the tiler bring his own preferred brands and materials?
Who will clear the wall or floor? Does the area need to be ready to go when the tiler arrives or will they also prepare it?
Who is responsible for waste disposal? Old tiles, off cuts, breakages and empty bags need to be disposed of. Agree on who is responsible for this ahead of time.
Timescale – there is always an element of uncertainty but they should be able to give you a rough idea
Payment terms – these will vary from tiler to tiler but you need to be absolutely clear on how much is expected and when (will it be an upfront payment? Can you pay in instalments?)


Ask for a dry run - take time to discuss what you want the final layout to be and confirm with the tiler that they can achieve this - ask them to set out the tiles beforehand to make sure it is feasible. 

Good luck!