All you need to know about Tilers



There must be a point in every tradesman’s youth-hood (if there’s boyhood and manhood, there must be youthhood surely, stands to reason!), when he gets sat down by someone in authority, like his mum and told to make his gormless mind up what he wants to be.

Being gormless of course, he doesn’t realise at this point, that the phrase “for the rest of your *&%£@~ life” should be added to the equation. If he did (realise this) he would surely jump out of the window, because that’s a very long time indeed!

I wasn’t gormless, me. I “went for it” and actually jumped out of the window… but “It” had gone!

Anyway, he’s sitting down making his mind up and for some ludicrous reason, probably because he’s in the kitchen looking at the wall, comes up with the epiphany ……“I’m going to be a tiler”.

If only he was facing the oven, he could have been a master chef, or the fridge and he could have followed in Admun…Amsdan…Armudso…Scott’s footsteps. Anything in fact, that let him use his imagination, or allowed him a bit of flair. But no, tiler it was and as a consequence he doomed himself to a life leaning over a bath, facing a wall, putting very unforgiving identical things next to each other at precise, pre determined distances for ever and ever….. or at least until he comes to a corner.

I tell a lie, every other week he would get the chance to kneel on a hard concrete floor and put slightly bigger identical things next to ……. I can’t finish the sentence, it’s not fair on the poor lad.

OK. Let’s move on 20 years. He’s now a fully-grown, though somewhat jaded, man (with arthritic knees and a bad back), answering interminable questions about your bathroom walls. He doesn’t want to be there, he’s fielded these questions 500 times before and he knows the worst one is still to come. The dreaded “What sort of tiles would you choose”?

Lets get one thing straight, he doesn’t want to do the job anymore, he doesn’t want to ruin his joints anymore, he doesn’t want to be sitting in your kitchen at 2.30 on Saturday afternoon when he could be out being dragged around Marks & Spencer’s by his lovely wife.

He actually couldn’t even care less which tiles
you choose. He absolutely 100%, isn’t going to give up one second of his time making bloody decisions about which tiles HE would choose! He doesn’t even do that in his own house. That (apart from shopping), is what wives are for!

There is a peculiarity about tiling by the way, that no other trade has to deal with so precisely and it is this. The successful outcome of every job depends almost totally on the
very first thing he does. The definition of “successful” for the benefit of this article, is …that the client (you) has no complaints and therefore pays up.

What is so important, that it decides the outcome of possibly 5 days work? It’s where he fixes his very first tile. Get this wrong by just 5mm and he will be fighting a losing battle against 3mm gaps and (non) horizontal lines for the rest of the job.

The process, which determines getting this first action spot on, is simply to think long and hard for about 10 minutes.

Now if he’d done that 20 years ago, he could be flouncing around on Telly showing besotted housewives how to flambé their poisson en croute, or be filmed straddling a bergschrund, adjusting his helmet for the camera.

Oh well, he’ll just have to settle for picking grout from under his fingernails for the
next 20 odd years!

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