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Tile and Marble Setter  What They Do

Just the Facts


Applies hard tile, marble, and wood tile to walls, floors, ceilings, and roof decks.

This career is part of the Architecture and Construction cluster Construction pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Cuts and shapes tile to fit around obstacles and into odd spaces and corners, using hand and power cutting tools.
  • Lays and sets mosaic tiles to create decorative wall, mural, and floor designs.
  • Aligns and straightens tile using levels, squares, and straightedges.
  • Determines and implements the best layout to achieve a desired pattern.
  • Measures and marks surfaces to be tiled, following blueprints.
  • Finishes and dresses the joints and wipes excess grout from between tiles, using damp sponge.
  • Mixes, applies, and spreads plaster, concrete, mortar, cement, mastic, glue or other adhesives to form a bed for the tiles, using brush, trowel and screed.
  • Cuts, surfaces, polishes, and installs marble and granite or installs pre-cast terrazzo, granite or marble units.
  • Applies mortar to tile back, positions the tile, and presses or taps with trowel handle to affix tile to base.
  • Levels concrete and allows to dry.

Insider Info

Dig into the details and check out what people in this job have to say about their work.



Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 20 lbs., sometimes up to 50 lbs. You might do a lot of lifting, carrying, pushing or pulling.
  • Work in this occupation involves bending or twisting your body more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves use of protective items such as safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hearing protection, a hard hat, or personal flotation devices
  • Exposure to pollutants, gases, dust, fumes, odors, poor ventilation, etc.
  • Requires getting into awkward positions
  • Lighting is either extremely bright or inadequate
  • Conditions are very hot (above 90 F) or very cold (under 32 F)
  • Work in this occupation involves using your hands to hold, control, and feel objects more than one-third of the time
  • Exposed to hazardous equipment such as saws, machinery, or vehicular traffic more than once a month
  • Work in this occupation involves kneeling, crouching, stooping, and/or crawling more than one-third of the time
  • Sound and noise levels are loud and distracting
  • Work in this occupation involves making repetitive motions more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves standing more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Bending, stretching, twisting, or reaching
  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person
  • Exerting oneself physically over long periods of time without getting out of breath
  • Lifting, pushing, pulling, or carrying objects
  • Using abdominal and lower back muscles repeatedly or over time without tiring

Work Hours and Travel

  • Regular working hours and limited travel

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Acoustical Installer --
  • Parquet Floor Layer --