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Tiling – A Centuries-Old Tradition

The construction and laying of tiles has been a means of protecting, insulating, stabilising and decorating the interiors and exteriors of structures for centuries. Dating back to as early as 3000 BCE, terra cotta tiles have been found throughout the Mediterranean and Asia Minor. Since those times, the production of tiles has spanned to include numerous methods and materials of production and aesthetic components. Today, tiles are mass produced and are a common fixture in modern homes, businesses and public buildings. With such a demand for quality tiling in today’s society, there is a considerable demand for qualified and talented tile setters, many of whom learned their trade with tiling courses.

Tiling in the Construction Industry

Tiling is an important area within the construction industry. Tiling is most commonly used in kitchens, bathrooms and roofing and is an increasingly valuable part of property development in order to increase real estate value. Many tiling courses are strongly focused on construction.

Tile setters are highly skilled and valued personnel who are expected to balance the stability, functionality and sustainability needs of a structure or room with the aesthetic demands of a client. While much of the aesthetic decisions are made by the clients, themselves, it is the responsibility of a tile setter to recognise when an aesthetic choice compromises a structural necessity.

Tiling Courses and Training

Training in tile setting is most commonly and effectively done on-site so that participants can learn the craft by doing. Providers of tiling courses usually operate out of a studio environment where a mock construction site has been set up, allowing students to create tile work, experience the demolition process and re-create the tile work. All materials and tools are usually included in course fees. Participants will receive training in the details and techniques of performing the craft as well as the health and safety factors of working with tiling.

Many tiling courses include professional and vocational qualifications, such as NVQ, and are recognised by the City & Guilds.

City and Guilds is the largest chartered professional organisation and the largest accrediting body of vocational training in the UK. C&G courses are offered at different training levels and have diverse applications in the construction industry. Professional building activities like interior plastering, external rendering, venetian marble plastering, plumbing and bricklaying are only some of the training specialisations designed in collaboration with City & Guilds.

Related training areas

During site-specific construction projects, experts in tiling work in collaboration with other specialists in building, in order to consolidate the sustainability of the project as a whole. DIY tiling courses are also available for those who would like to learn this skill well enough for home improvement. Professional training in construction has undergone many updates during the last decades in regards to potentially harmful substances and harmful materials on construction sites. Asbestos awareness is one of the most widely implemented training measures throughout the UK.

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