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Tilers lay ceramic, marble, slate, glass and other types of tiles on internal and external floors and walls.

Tasks and tools used

  • preparing surface to be tiled by cleaning and scraping away residue
  • apply level compounds, sealers and waterproofing agents as required
  • mixing and pouring compounds in and out of 20-25kg buckets
  • mixing cement based mixes with sand and shovelling into cement mixers and/or wheelbarrows
  • transporting mix around site manually
  • use of shovels, hand trowels, paint brushes, rollers, long handled brushes, brooms, caulking guns
  • tile adhesive is applied using a grooved trowel
  • tiles are placed in position individually and separated with small spacers
  • tiles may be cut to measure surface requirements by using tile cutting tools
  • grout is applied between the tiles using a small hand trowel and wiped from the tile surface with a sponge
  • tiles vary in size and weight, typically handled in boxes weighing up to 15kg, for boxes weighing up to 35kg they should be opened and the tiles individually handled where possible
  • lifting of buckets of various compounds weighing up 25kg around site
  • lifting of bags of levelling compound mix weighing 20kg from floor to waist height
  • site access may involve stair use, ladders or working on elevated platforms.

Personal protective equipment

  • gloves
  • hard hat
  • mask
  • visibility vest
  • trousers
  • safety boots
  • ear muffs/plugs
  • safety glasses
  • sunscreen.
Critical job demand descriptor% of time the task is performedTask

34% - 66%

  • kneeling and crouching positions
  • gripping of objects including pincer grips

5% - 33%

  • reaching above shoulder height
  • pushing/pulling objects
  • carrying of objects weighing up to 15kg
  • lifting of objects weighing up to 15kg between floor and waist height


  • lifting of objects up to 25kg between floor and waist height
  • carrying of objects weighing up to 25kg
  • climbing of stairs and ladders

Suitable duties

  • goals must be clear, realistic and achievable
  • must have 'buy-in' from the worker
  • worker helps to set the goals, and must be answerable if goals are not met (this allows barriers to RTW to be identified at an early stage and obstacles overcome)
  • workers need to understand they have an obligation to participate in rehabilitation and RTW as per Section 232 of the Workers' Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003 (the Act).

Tiler return to work suggestions

Worker can begin with light duties and include more tasks as their capacity for work changes. We'll work with all parties, including the treating medical provider, employer and worker to ensure everyone is aware of where the worker is with their rehabilitation and stay at, or return to work.

Note: some tasks are dependent on worker's injury and capacity, and some tasks may require the assistance of a co-worker.

Host employment

In the event an employer is unable to provide suitable duties, a host placement may be required. If this is the case, the worker may be placed at a different employer in a graduated return to work plan until they're able to 'upgrade' back to his/her pre-injury role with their pre-injury employer.

WorkCover Queensland's Recover at work program places injured workers in short term host employment with employers who have an established track record of successful return to work outcomes with their own workers.

More return to work resources