How To Start Your Tiling Business - Step-By-Step To Start-Up
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How to start a tiling business

There's good earning potential as a qualified tiler. Whether you've worked your way up the ranks from the apprenticeship level, or you're considering turning your passion into a career, let us show you how to start a tiling business. We'll cover all bases to set you on the path to being your own boss!

Tiling is a rewarding career, where you’re trusted to transform people’s interiors in a range of environments – from construction sites to domestic and commercial properties – and beyond.

Last year, the Checkatrade website saw, on average, 52,000 searches per month for tilers across the UK. So if you aspire to be in a position where you choose your working hours doing something you love, then being a self-employed tiler might just be your ideal career.

But before you leave the safety net of your current employment…

You’d be wise to understand what starting a tiling business involves. This article will guide you through everything you need to know, from training and qualifications to tiler insurance, tools, equipment, marketing, and everything in between.

Don’t have the time to read about all of this right now?

Not to worry, our ‘Become the Boss’ series will help you to get your tiling business started in no time.

You’ll receive a series of 8 emails containing actionable tips and top advice from fellow tradespeople who were once in your position. At the end of it all, you could be the founder of your new business.

Simply add your email below to make the most of this free business advice.

How to create a business plan for your tiling venture

All self-employed individuals should have a solid business plan in place.

Sure, you can get the qualifications and all the kit under your belt and then just go out there and wing it if you like. But a well-thought-out business plan is what will help your business to grow and develop, and ultimately, ensure success.

It will set out your goals and the steps you need to take in order to achieve them. It will help you to stay organised, work efficiently and productively, and make informed decisions.

If you need financing to get your tiling business going, you’ll almost certainly need to produce a business plan.

Download our free business plan template to help get yours started now.

Training and qualifications

Good tiler

We know you don’t need us to tell you how to become a tiler because you’ve already honed your skills.

However, there’s always scope to develop your talents, take a course that’ll help you broaden your skillset, or simply achieve a tiling qualification to help give your new business greater credibility.

Tiler qualifications

If you’re looking to develop your passion into a new career, it’s worth looking at the qualifications needed to become a tiler.

Having the appropriate tiler qualifications is essential for validating your skills to potential clients who are looking to hire your professional services.

A tiler apprenticeship is one way to become a qualified tiler. Alternatively, you can enrol on to a fast track tiling course. It’s worth checking out our partner’s tiling NVQ level 2 over at North West Skills Academy.

Some of the most recognised and respected qualifications in this field are:

  • Wall and floor tiling intermediate apprenticeship
  • Level 1 Certificate in Wall and Floor Tiling
  • Level 2 Diploma in Wall and Floor Tiling
  • T level for Wall and Floor Tilers


Tiling can often involve working on construction sites, which is great because although you’ll be running your own business, you’ll still feel like you’re part of a team. You may also find this avenue helps to secure some big projects and lucrative contacts for your business.

This is why it’s important for you to complete the Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS). Without a CSCS card, many potential clients won’t allow you on-site.

How to get a CSCS card

Other useful skills and attributes

As a business owner, you’ll find yourself wearing many hats that’ll require a selection of different ‘soft skills’.

Even if you’re an exceptionally skilled tiler, it’s the presence of certain personal attributes that could have a huge impact on the success or failure of your new venture.

  • Extensive knowledge and a broad spectrum of experience in tiling
  • Great attention to detail and highly organised
  • Interpersonal skills and great customer service
  • The ability to lead and manage and have conviction in your decisions
  • Patience, fairness, integrity, and self-awareness
  • Enthusiasm and endurance

Top tips on how to become your own boss

How to start a tile installation business – step by step

In this section we’ll guide you through the practical steps you’ll need to take to set up a tiling business. This includes how to register your business and select your business structure, and what licenses, permits, and insurance you’ll need.

Register your business

First, you’ll need to come up with a suitable name and logo for your tiling business.

Next, you’ll have to decide on the most suitable business structure for your new operation. Sole trader, partnership, and limited company are the most common options, but you’ll need to research the best set up for your business.

Each business structure has different tax implications and regulations, so speak with an accountant if you’re unsure.

Lastly, you’ll need to contact HMRC to apply for the necessary tax and national insurance documents.

How to find an accountant that’s right for your business

Apply for licenses and permits

There are no licensing requirements for tilers, however, you will need a certificate of registration as an upper-tier waste carrier if you’re transporting building waste.

You may also need a license from the Health and Safety Executive Asbestos LIcensing Unit if your work involves any asbestos-related tasks.

Get tiler insurance

When you work as a professional tiler, there’s scope for you to be in customers’ homes, on construction sites, or on large projects. And there’s always a chance of accidents happening.

Whether a member of the public trips over the equipment you’re unloading from your van, a fellow subcontractor on site borrows and damages your equipment, or you accidentally get grout on a customer’s carpet, your insurance will cushion you from the financial impact of these unforeseen events.

Tiler insurance should cover all aspects of your business including your tools, materials and equipment, your work vehicle, and your income should you be unable to work.

Public Liability Insurance is highly recommended and is often a contractual obligation if you’re subcontracting.

How to pick the right tradesperson insurance

Accounting and bookkeeping

Keeping your finances in order is vital to running a business smoothly. You’ll need to have a good idea of your expenditure and income to manage cash flow effectively.

Being aware of and documenting relevant taxes is also an important part of this. You want your tax obligations nailed down to avoid a nasty surprise when you file your self-assessment tax return.

Bookkeeping for small business made simple

Tiling tools and equipment

tools for home improvement help

Due to the amount of equipment you’ll be using, it’s vital to first hold a valid driving licence and personal vehicle for travelling between jobs. What’s more, having the right tools for the job is as important as you being qualified.

If you’re well equipped, it will increase the quality and efficiency of your service – two things that are essential for attracting and retaining business.

Here are some of the main tools you’ll need to set up your tiling business:

  • Manual tile cutter
  • Electric tile cutter
  • Drill bits kit
  • Electric mixer
  • Tile trowel
  • Rubber grout float
  • Tile levelling system
  • Tile spacers

It’s also important to consider the materials you’ll be working with for each project and plan accordingly.

For example, if you’re tiling a hard material like granite, you’ll need to bring blades and drill bits of a certain quality for seamless installation. You want to make sure that when you do the work, you have the right parts to execute the task perfectly, so you don’t have to more spend time, money, and energy going back over it.

More than just a directory listing

Get support and a range of money-saving discounts to help get your business off the ground

Find out more

Marketing your tiling business

customer insight survey

Once you’ve got the necessary skills, qualifications, tools and equipment to set up a tiling business, and you’ve registered your business and got your insurance in place, you’ll need to know how to market your business so that it delivers a steady income.

Print marketing, such as flyers and newspaper ads, can help to attract customers in your local area.

Checkatrade members have the opportunity to feature in our leading trade directory, which is delivered to homeowners around the country.

Vehicle signage is another great way of advertising your business wherever you go.

More than just a directory listing

Get support and a range of money-saving discounts to help get your business off the ground

Find out more

How to create an online presence for your tiling business

A good marketing strategy will help you to promote your business and gain customers, and a large part of this should be advertising your new business online.

In terms of online marketing, there are a number of ways to help get your business seen by potential customers.

Having a website and social media channels such as Facebook and Instagram are great.

But signing up to Checkatrade can really boost your profile in the right arena. Not only does it make your business visible to thousands of homeowners every month, but it also vouches for you.

The tick that people trust

Why market your new tiling business with Checkatrade

With our digital marketing strategy and strong online presence, becoming a Checkatrade member saves you time and money as you build your brand’s trust.

You’ll need to pass up to 12 checks to become an approved and guaranteed member, as we only list tradespeople who meet the high standards homeowners expect.

Once approved, you’ll be recognised as a trusted and guaranteed business with a profile on the Checkatrade site where you can showcase your skills and qualifications, examples of your work, and reviews from happy customers.

Better still, our membership is tiered, so you can scale up the number of leads you wish to receive if you want more work, and dial it back down when the diary is full.

Check out this guide for loads more tips on setting up your new business.

More than just a directory listing

Get support and a range of money-saving discounts to help get your business off the ground

Find out more

Quick action: Sign up for our Become your own boss series

You could get your business started in no time with the help of our ‘Become the Boss’ series.

You’ll receive 8 emails containing actionable tips alongside advice from fellow tradespeople who were once in your position, a free business strategy call, and at the end of it all, you as the founder of your new business. What’s not to love?

To get trade business insider secrets sent to your pocket, put in your email address in the form below so we can help you to get started.

How to grow your tiling business

Once you’ve set up and established your tiling business, you may start to think about how you can grow your new venture.

Growing a business involves various considerations, for example, company finances, the responsibility of employing others, and training requirements.

In this next section, we’ll outline how to grow your tiling business with a structured approach, helping to answer all your niggling questions.

Give your tiling business the best chance of success

With a listing on the #1 trade directory, you'll get all the leads you need

Join Checkatrade today

Business growth

Many people think of business growth as ‘getting bigger’, by getting more customers or employing a team, for example.

But there are a number of different ways to grow your business, so it’s worth thinking about what ‘growth’ means to your business. What does it look like to you?

  • Obtaining more work?
  • Increasing your revenue?
  • Developing a bigger team?
  • Expanding your services?

Achieving your growth targets

Once you’ve decided on what ‘growth’ means for your business, you’ll need to plan how to achieve the growth target you set.

You can start planning how you’ll achieve these goals in your business development plan.

We have a FREE business development strategy template and a really useful article to explain what information to include:

How to create a business development strategy – Free template included

To help you get started, we’ve outlined a number of ideas for the various growth targets we’ve mentioned, below.

Growth target: want more work?

To get more work, you need to attract more customers, which boils down to your marketing.

Take a look over your original marketing plan to review the success (or failure) of the various marketing tactics you’ve tried. What was effective and what wasn’t? What would be the most effective use of your marketing budget going forward? Are there any new avenues you could explore in order to promote your business?

Here are some ideas to consider:

Traditional marketing

Digital marketing

Check out our FREE marketing planning guide and checklist to help create a clear list of marketing tactics and responsibilities.

You need a marketing plan now more than ever – Free marketing planning guide included

Growth target: want increased revenue?

To get more revenue, you need to secure more sales and/or increase the value of your sales. But how?

We’ve chosen a selection of our expert articles that will help you to sharpen your sales toolkit and increase your business revenue:

Growth target: want to develop a bigger team?

If you’re constantly feeling there just aren’t enough hours in the day, it might be time to hire some employees to help spread the load.

Perhaps you need some part-time admin help, an experienced tiler you can trust to fulfil projects independently, or an apprentice to work alongside you.

You’ll first need to understand your legal responsibilities as an employer. For example, it’s a legal requirement to have employers’ liability insurance.

You’ll also need to understand company payroll and learn about holiday pay. Check out our checklist for taking on employees and our guide on how to hire employees.

We have a selection of articles to guide you through the process of hiring a team, helping to protect the trusted name and reputation you’ve worked hard to build:

Growth target: want to expand your service offering?

You can also grow your tiling business by expanding your service offering:

  • Offering new services
  • Developing existing services
  • Specialising in niche areas 

If you work mainly on domestic properties, it might be time to network and secure subcontracting projects on construction sites, for example.

Perhaps you want to explore the possibility of providing your tiling services to commercial projects within hospitality, for example.

Whatever route you choose, investing in training and the best equipment you can afford will help to guarantee you maintain the high standards associated with your business. You’ll also be able to work more efficiently and charge more for your work.

Remember, whatever growth targets you set, they must be S.M.A.R.T

  • Specific – what does the task involve?
  • Measurable – how will you quantify success?
  • Achievable – is this attainable given the resources, knowledge, and time available?
  • Realistic – is the target realistic to the confines of your job and your existing responsibilities?
  • Time-bound – when should the target be achieved by?

Four final considerations for business growth

There are a couple of other important considerations to make when planning your business growth.

For more tips to help grow your trade business, check out this article.

Grow your tiling business with Checkatrade

There are a number of different ways to market your business and promote growth, but it’s important to weigh up which options suit the needs of your business, your available budget, and crucially, whether they’ll deliver the outcome or results you need.

A membership with Checkatrade can help your tiling business to thrive and grow. Here are just a few reasons to join the best trades on the UK’s leading trade directory:

Attract more customers

Checkatrade members receive more than 100,000 leads each week. 3 million homeowners used our trades last year. 6 out of 10 Checkatrade customers recommend our endorsed tradespeople to someone else, so you could get more direct work too*

Help to secure more work

The tick that means quality work. Checkatrade is the most known stamp of approval in the industry. Our tick reassures homeowners that they'll receive a quality service every time.**

Save money to maintain healthy profit margins

Get exclusive access to trade deals, saving money on business essentials to help keep your profit margins sharp. Checkatrade members save on average £470 per year each*** on everything from equipment, van leasing, insurance, workwear, and more.

More than just a directory listing

Get support and a range of money-saving discounts to help get your business off the ground

Find out more


Is tiling a profitable business?

Tiling can be a profitable business if you’re properly trained and equipped and good at your job.

How much does a tiler make in a year?

Tilers usually start on a salary of around £14,000 per year, but highly skilled tilers can earn an average of £45,000 per year.

Tiler salaries vary depending on your experience and how much work you have on, but there is a decent professional future here for you if you decide to go for it.

  • Newly qualified tilers typically earn in the region of £14,000 a year
  • More experienced individuals can earn on average £27,000 a year
  • Highly skilled tilers can earn an average of £45,000 a year

You can also maximise your earnings by expanding your remit to offer specialist skills, focusing on a niche that’s in high demand, and networking to find contractors who require your skills.

How long does it take to train as a tiler?

How long does it take to become a qualified tiler? Most apprenticeship or college schemes will take between six months and a year to complete. There are also fast-track tiling courses available that can be completed in three months. However, tiling does require a high level of expertise that can only be perfected through experience.

How do you price a tile job?

Tilers will usually charge customers at price per square metre (m²), but labour cost can also be considered in conjunction with this. As a self-employed tiler, it is your decision how much you want to charge for your services.

For more information on tile pricing, read our pretty excellent guide right here.

Give your tiling business the best chance of success

With a listing on the #1 trade directory, you'll get all the leads you need

Join Checkatrade today

*Claims are sourced from a survey conducted by Deep Blue Thinking on a nationally representative UK sample in November 2021.

**Claims are sourced from a survey conducted by Deep Blue Thinking on a nationally representative UK sample in November 2021.

***Year runs from April 21’ to March 22’. Saving calculation based on average spend across 12,505 members in 2020/2021/2022. Discounts differ depending on the partner. Products range from low value items to high value items. Some exclusions will apply on products.

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