Flooring Installers and Tile and Stone Setters

Career, Salary and Education Information

What They Do: Flooring installers and tile and stone setters lay and finish carpet, wood, vinyl, tile, and other materials.

Work Environment: Installing flooring, tile, and stone is physically demanding, with workers spending much of their time reaching, bending, and kneeling. Most work full time, although schedules may vary.

How to Become One: Flooring installers and tile and stone setters typically need no formal educational credential. They learn their trade on the job, sometimes starting as a helper.

Salary: The median annual wage for flooring installers and tile and stone setters is $47,310.

Job Outlook: Employment of flooring installers and tile and stone setters is projected to grow 4 percent over the next ten years, about as fast as the average for all occupations.

Related Careers: Compare the job duties, education, job growth, and pay of flooring installers and tile and stone setters with similar occupations.

Following is everything you need to know about a career as a flooring installer with lots of details. As a first step, take a look at some of the following jobs, which are real jobs with real employers. You will be able to see the very real job career requirements for employers who are actively hiring. The link will open in a new tab so that you can come back to this page to continue reading about the career:

Top 3 Flooring Installer Jobs

  • Vinyl Flooring Installer - JW Floor Covering - Castroville, CA

    We are seeking a Vinyl Flooring installer that can install full spread glue down, perimeter glue down, pattern match seaming, and other hard surface floorings such as laminate, wood, and LVP. Our job ...

  • Commercial Flooring Installation Manager - Gpac - San Diego, CA

    A respected flooring company is seeking a Commercial/Industrial Installation Manager to join their team. This company provides a diverse portfolio of projects in the resinous commercial flooring ...

  • Flooring Installer - Americas Finest Carpet Company - Phoenix, AZ

    We are looking for full-time flooring installers for a rewarding career in the floor -covering industry. Our work week is from Monday through Saturday with different work schedules. You must have 3 ...

See all Flooring Installer jobs

Top 3 Tile Setter Jobs

  • Tile Setter / Installer - Surface Experts - Northeast Nashville - Hermitage, TN

    Tile Setter / InstallerWe are looking for someone who has experience as a tile setter . The candidate will need to be familiar with the different types of tile (porcelain, ceramic and natural stone

  • Tile Setter - Gallegos Corporation - Basalt, CO

    POSITION PURPOSE A Tile Setter cuts, tools, and sets tile /slab in floors and walls of buildings and repairs and polishes tiles /slab previously set in buildings. ESSENTIAL DUTIES/ RESPONSIBILITES

  • Tile Setter - Handy Friend LLC - Snohomish, WA

    Looking for experienced Tile installer with the ability to do other flooring work. Finish carpentry, plumbing and electrical experience a plus. Looking for full time but would consider part time. ...

See all Tile Setter jobs

What Flooring Installers and Tile and Stone Setters Do[About this section] [To Top]

Flooring installers and tile and stone setters lay and finish carpet, wood, vinyl, and other materials, such as ceramic, glass, marble, and granite.

Duties of Flooring Installers and Tile and Stone Setters

Flooring installers and tile and stone setters typically do the following:

  • Remove existing materials from floors, walls, or other surfaces
  • Clean and level the surface to be covered
  • Measure the area and cut material to fit
  • Arrange materials according to design plans
  • Place materials and secure with adhesives, nails, or staples
  • Fill joints with filler compound and remove excess compound
  • Trim excess carpet or linoleum
  • Apply finishes, such as sealants and stains

Flooring installers and tile and stone setters lay the materials that improve the look and feel of homes, offices, restaurants, and other buildings. Many of these workers install materials on floors. However, they also work on walls, ceilings, countertops, and showers.

Installing floors and tiles requires a smooth, even base of mortar or plywood. Flooring installers and tile and stone setters or other construction craftworkers lay this base. On remodeling jobs, workers may need to remove old flooring and smooth the surface before laying the base.

The following are examples of types of flooring installers and tile and stone setters:

Carpet installers lay carpet on new floors or over existing flooring. They use special tools, including "knee kickers" to position the carpet and power stretchers to pull the carpet snugly against walls. They also join carpet edges and seam edges by sewing or by using tape with glue and a heated carpet iron.

Carpet tile installers lay modular pieces of carpet that may be glued into place. Installing carpet tiles may be an option where standard carpet is impractical, such as in designing a pattern over an area.

Floor sanders and finishers scrape and smooth wood floors, often using power sanders. They then apply stains and sealants to preserve the wood. (For information on workers who install wood floors, see the profile on carpenters.)

Floor layers, except carpet, wood, and hard tiles, install a variety of resilient flooring materials. Linoleum installers lay washable flooring material of the same name, cutting the linoleum to size and gluing it into place. Vinyl installers lay plastic-based flooring that includes vinyl ester, vinyl sheeting, and vinyl tile. Installers of laminate, manufactured wood, and wood tile floors are included in this category.

Tile and stone setters install pieces of ceramic, marble, granite, glass, or other materials. Tile installers, sometimes called tile setters, cut tiles using wet saws, tile scribes, or handheld tile cutters. They then use trowels of different sizes to spread mortar or a sticky paste, called mastic, evenly on the work surface before placing the tiles. Tile finishers apply grout between tiles after the tiles are set by using a rubber trowel, called a float, and then wipe the tiles clean after the grout dries. Stone setters may cut marble, granite, or other stone to a specified size with a wet saw. They use special adhesives to fasten the stone to the desired surface; in remodeling projects, they may first need to smooth the underlying surface after removing old materials.

Work Environment for Flooring Installers and Tile and Stone Setters[About this section] [To Top]

Flooring installers and tile and stone setters hold about 115,100 jobs. Employment in the detailed occupations that make up flooring installers and tile and stone setters is distributed as follows:

Tile and stone setters 56,700
Carpet installers 27,200
Floor layers, except carpet, wood, and hard tiles 25,200
Floor sanders and finishers 6,000

The largest employers of flooring installers and tile and stone setters are as follows:

Specialty trade contractors 50%
Self-employed workers 27%
Home furnishings stores 9%
Manufacturing 5%
Construction of buildings 4%

Installing flooring, tile, and stone is physically demanding, requiring workers to spend much of their time reaching, bending, and kneeling. Workers typically wear kneepads while kneeling; safety goggles when using grinders, saws, and sanders; and dust masks or respirator systems to prevent inhaling work-generated dust in enclosed areas with poor ventilation.

Injuries and Illnesses for Flooring Installers and Tile and Stone Setters

Carpet installers and floor sanders and finishers have some of the highest rates of injuries and illnesses of all occupations.

Flooring Installer and Tile and Stone Setter Work Schedules

Most flooring installers and tile and stone setters work full time, although schedules may vary. In commercial settings, they may need to work evenings and weekends to avoid disturbing regular business operations.

How to Become a Flooring Installer or Tile and Stone Setter[About this section] [To Top]

Get the education you need: Find schools for Flooring Installers and Tile and Stone Setters near you!

Flooring installers and tile and stone setters typically need no formal educational credential. They learn their trade on the job, sometimes starting as a helper. Some learn through an apprenticeship.

Education for Flooring Installers and Tile and Stone Setters

There are typically no formal education requirements for becoming a flooring installer or tile and stone setter, although candidates entering an apprenticeship program may need a high school diploma or equivalent.

Certain high school courses, such as art and math, may be helpful for flooring installers and tile and stone setters.

Flooring Installer and Tile and Stone Setter Training

Flooring installers and tile and stone setters typically learn on the job, working with experienced installers or starting as helpers.

New workers usually do simple tasks, such as moving materials. As they gain experience, they take on more complex tasks, such as cutting carpet. Some helpers work as tile finishers before becoming tile installers.

Some flooring installers and tile and stone setters learn their trade through a 2- to 4-year apprenticeship. For each year of a typical program, apprentices must complete a predetermined number of hours of technical instruction and paid on-the-job training. Technical instruction in the apprenticeship may include mathematics, building code requirements, safety and first-aid practices, and blueprint reading. After completing an apprenticeship program, flooring installers and tile and stone setters are considered journey workers and may perform duties on their own.

Certification for Flooring Installers and Tile and Stone Setters

Several organizations offer certification for floor and tile installers. Although certification is not required, it demonstrates that a flooring installer and tile and stone setter has a specific mastery of skills to do a job.

The Ceramic Tile Education Foundation (CTEF) offers the Certified Tile Installer (CTI) designation for workers with 2 or more years of experience as a tile installer. Applicants must pass a written test and a hands-on performance evaluation.

Several groups, including the Ceramic Tile Education Foundation, the International Masonry Institute (IMI), the International Union of Bricklayers & Allied Craftworkers (IUBAC), the National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA), the Tile Contractors' Association of America (TCAA), and the Tile Council of North America (TCNA) have created the Advanced Certifications for Tile Installers (ACT) program. To qualify for the program, applicants must have either completed a qualified apprenticeship program or earned the CTI certification. Requirements for certification include passing both an exam and a field test.

The National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA) offers optional certification for floor sanders and finishers. Sanders and finishers must have 2 years of experience and must have completed NWFA-approved training. Applicants are required to complete written and performance tests.

The International Certified Floorcovering Installers Association (CFI) offers certification for flooring and tile installers. Installers need 2 years of experience before they can take the written test and performance evaluation.

The International Standards & Training Alliance (INSTALL) offers a comprehensive flooring certification program for flooring and tile installers. INSTALL certification requires both classroom and hands-on training and covers all major types of flooring.

Important Qualities for Flooring Installers and Tile and Stone Setters

Color vision. Flooring installers and tile and stone setters often determine small color variations and must be able to distinguish among colors in patterns for the best looking finish.

Customer-service skills. Flooring installers and tile and stone setters must be courteous with and considerate of customers, especially while completing tasks in customers' homes.

Detail oriented. Flooring installers and tile and stone setters need to be thorough and exacting to ensure that tile, wood, and carpet patterns are properly aligned.

Math skills. Flooring installers and tile and stone setters use math to measure an area to be covered and to calculate the amount of material needed to cover it.

Physical stamina. Flooring installers and tile and stone setters must be able to stand or kneel for many hours in order to spread adhesive quickly and place tiles before the adhesive hardens.

Physical strength. Flooring installers and tile and stone setters must be able to lift, carry, and set heavy pieces of flooring material into position.

Flooring Installer and Tile and Stone Setter Salaries[About this section] [More salary/earnings info] [To Top]

The median annual wage for flooring installers and tile and stone setters is $47,310. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $29,650, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $78,130.

Median annual wages for flooring installers and tile and stone setters are as follows:

Floor layers, except carpet, wood, and hard tiles $48,060
Tile and stone setters $47,810
Carpet installers $46,640
Floor sanders and finishers $39,140

The median annual wages for flooring installers and tile and stone setters in the top industries in which they work are as follows:

Construction of buildings $47,970
Specialty trade contractors $47,790
Home furnishings stores $46,380
Manufacturing $38,760

Most flooring installers and tile and stone setters work full time, although schedules may vary. In commercial settings, they may need to work evenings and weekends to avoid disturbing regular business operations.

Job Outlook for Flooring Installers and Tile and Stone Setters[About this section] [To Top]

Employment of flooring installers and tile and stone setters is projected to grow 4 percent over the next ten years, about as fast as the average for all occupations.

About 10,700 openings for flooring installers and tile and stone setters are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire.

Employment of Flooring Installers and Tile and Stone Setters

Projected employment of flooring installers and tile and stone setters varies by occupation. The construction of new homes and the renovation of existing units will be the primary source of flooring and tile and stone installation over the projections decade.

Vinyl and other resilient flooring products have become increasingly popular, especially in homes, which will lead to employment growth for floor layers. Tile and stone installation will continue to be common for bathrooms, restaurants, and other buildings, supporting demand for these workers.

Employment projections data for Flooring Installers and Tile and Stone Setters, 2021-31
Occupational Title Employment, 2021 Projected Employment, 2031 Change, 2021-31
Percent Numeric
Carpet, floor, and tile installers and finishers 115,100 120,200 4 7,500
  Carpet installers 27,200 24,800 -9 -2,500
  Floor layers, except carpet, wood, and hard tiles 25,200 27,600 9 2,400
  Floor sanders and finishers 6,000 6,100 2 100
  Tile and stone setters 56,700 60,300 9 5,100


A portion of the information on this page is used by permission of the U.S. Department of Labor.


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