Month: April 2016

Using silicone sealants, no mess, best tip ever

Are you one of the many who gets silicone sealants all over your job, are your hands stuck together with the stuff after you have used it? then try these tips below.

Preparation

Make sure where you are going to put the silicone is completely dry, for example, the joints at the bottom of your shower where the tile meets the tray or around the base of a toilet etc.

Unscrew the nozzle and cut off the end of the tube and then replace the nozzle, cut the nozzle tip at a 45-degree angle.

Application
Squeeze the end of the trigger in your sealant gun until the silicone comes out running a smooth weld like joint of silicone along where you want the silicone to go, once you come to the end and want to stop, press the flat thumb trigger on the gun, this will stop the pressure in the spring and stop any excess silicone pumping out. Make sure there are no gaps where you have made the welded silicone joint if you have just put a little bit more silicon in there to fill it up.

Heres the trick

Most people just run their finger across the joint now resulting in the silicone getting everywhere. What you need to do is get a plant water spray bottle and add a small amount of washing up liquid to some water to make a soapy solution.

Spray the soapy solution where you have put the silicone to make it wet, make sure the spray is fine and at a wide-angle, once you have done this use a profile tool also sprayed wet with the soapy solution and pull the profile tool back across the weld silicone joint, you can use a soapy finger for this also.

You will find this leaves a perfect joint with nothing anywhere but the sealed joint, your profile tool or finger will clean up no problem as the silicone will not stick to it.

Happy siliconing, more tips from UK Pro Tiling training coming soon, fast track pro tiling courses

Looking for good tiling courses

There are many providers which will promise to deliver good training, but what do you IMG_2279really need to know when thinking of retraining as a wall and floor tiler.

Tiling courses come in a range of lengths from 1-week short fast track courses up to 2 years part-time at a local college, so which one do you pick?

Well, this can depend on your age or financial circumstances.

How old are you?

If you are young person and looking for an apprenticeship then the college route would be the best option alongside work experience with a wall and floor tiler, this route can take up to 4 years to complete, you will be a general labourer to the tiler doing all the labour work to start with, it will be a year or so before you will be allowed to try any tiling practices for yourself.

If you are older with a family or have financial commitments, then the college route might be too long and slow so you may be looking for fast track tiling courses that can get you up to speed quickly therefore once you have learned and practised the art of tiling, you will be able to start a business and trade straight away and start receiving an income from it.

College courses can be slow-paced but a good quality fast track tiling course can get you straight into physical practice and an understanding of what is required to do the job correctly.

When looking for a training provider it is important to also know if the provider will teach you about running a tiling business as well, having the tiling skills and leaving the training centre equipped with your new-found knowledge and new tools is no good if you don’t know how to start your business quickly and start earning. A good training centre will have an instructor that has been self-employed as a tiler before who can pass on his self-employed business experience as well.

The Training Centre

All training centres and colleges are artificial places so you have to make sure that the tiling training bays are as true to life as possible, the training centre should also offer theory sessions along with the practical side of tiling, most people want to get hands-on and stuck in with the practical fitting of tile which is fine but learning the different products and background preparations are essential for the correct installations reducing the chances of tile failure.

A keen eye is required from any person thinking of becoming a tiler as there is a fine line between a good looking installation and a bad one, millimetre precision is required for every tile joint, this will be taught on your course and is quite easy to acquire this attention to detail with the help of tile spacers.

The Skills Needed.

Once you have the practical tiling skills sorted, then you need to learn how to market and advertise your new
business, if you don’t find any customers then you won’t be tiling.

The sales skills are the next skill you need to acquire because once you have found your customers you need to sell them your service.

Interpersonal skills is another good one to have, befriending your potential customer usually results in you getting the job.

What a good training centre should offer.

Here is a list of what a good tiling training provider should cover on their tiling courses.

  • Qualified NVQ level 3 tutors
  • At least 2 years of history teaching tiling
  • Lots of positive feedback and testimonials from past learners
  • Tutors that have run their own tiling business
  • Business advice
  • Practical as well as theory sessions
  • Proven training programs that work
  • Course hand out notes detailing background preparations and product knowledge
  • Aftercare service for ongoing support
  • Good quality training facilities with up to date tools
  • The use of new tiles, not tiles that are reused.

Talking to a provider

If these questions above are asked when talking to a potential training provider then you will get more understanding of what to expect on a course and you can then make your mind up if they are good or not. Good quality fast track tiling courses usually cost around £500 for a weeks intensive training which is why it is important to pick the correct provider. Many people have started a tiling business with as little as two weeks training and then went on to build a good solid profitable business.

One to look for and consider is UK Pro tiling training who are one of the longest-running tiling centres in the UK with good facilities and an excellent track record having trained thousands of past learners on their fast track tiling courses.

Shortage of construction workers

Shortage of construction workers in the UK.

The solution to the UKs housing shortage could be delayed due to a severe lack of tradesman currently working in the UK.

Skilled tradesman in the construction trade are now some of the most sort after professional people in the country, this is resulting in some tradesman’s wages matching that of doctors and lawyers.

New builds are struggling to keep up with demand due to the shortage and this intern could have a big impact on the UKs economic growth.

Large companies such as Balfour Beatty who have been involved in large projects such as the Olympic stadium said the construction sector is struggling due to the lack of skilled labour such as bricklayers, joiner, plasterers and tilers.

Maxine Wheldon, HR director of the company’s major projects business, said: “The demand for skilled labour within the infrastructure sector is at an unprecedented level and this is forecast to rise with major programs on the horizon, such as strategic roads investment, HS2, Crossrail 2 and new nuclear projects.

“The UK labour market is overheated and the main contractors are fishing in a limited pool for highly skilled resource, which often has a consequence of inflating salaries for scarce skills.”

The Home Builders Federation has stated that training people in the building trades was now the biggest single issue that the construction industry faces.

House builders across the UK have already recruited many thousands of new apprentices and are looking to attract anyone with skills that could be transferable from other industries or military backgrounds.
To plug the shortage short term, tradesman have been recruited from abroad, long term goals are to get a strong UK tradesman workforce, this can come from private training center’s retraining anyone that is interested in becoming a self employed tradesman.

UK Pro Tiling Training is one of the many successful training Centre’s across the country who are doing fast track self employed wall and floor tiling courses.

Centre director Darren Yorke has said “ there has never been a better time to learn a new trade, with the skills shortage wages are high and there is plenty of work out there whether that be on a building site or on private domestic dwellings, our fast track tiling courses can show you all the required skills needed for you to make a start in the industry.

How to grout professionally

How to grout a tiled wall or floor and get a professional finish

You have just finished tiling your bathroom, now its time for the grouting to be done; here are some professional tips to make the job look perfect.

If you are using a tub adhesive to fix your tiles then leave at least 24 hours before you grout otherwise the grout will crack or the adhesive will shrink as it dries which will result in the grout being pulled into the joint. If using cement adhesives leave 2-3 hours before grouting up your tiling work.

Make sure you get a floor grout for floor tiling work and a wall grout for walls, the difference is floor grout is much more grainy in texture than wall grout, the smoothest grouts are un sanded grouts which are very fine and do not scratch the likes of glass or dark shiny tiles.

If your tiled floor has been laid on a plywood overlay then make sure that your grout is flexible. You will also need a flexible grout if you are grouting porcelain or natural stone tiles.

1 Mix the powered grout with water in a clean bucket, it is best to use a drill with a paddle attachment, put the powder in the bucket first then add the water slowly then mix, keep doing this until you have achieved a ice cream like consistency to your grout, you should be able to get a trowel and scoop some out, turn the trowel upside down so the grout just hangs on the end of your trowel, if the grout falls off then it is too sloppy, put some more powder in and mix up again. Leave the grout for 5 minutes then gently mix and fold the grout with the bucket trowel making sure to get right down to the bottom of the bucket, this will get rid of any air bubbles and dry powder. You will have about an hour of work time depending on humidity and temperatures to use it.

2 Put a large amount of grout onto your grout float and start off in a bottom corner and apply the grout with a diagonal direction, what you have to be careful with here is that you don’t get trapped air in the joints as this can cause air bubbles to form resulting in pin holes and gaps in the grout, this can be very problematic in the shower area as water will get into your walls. Keep going in a direction as to where you are forcing the grout into the joint and the air has somewhere to go.

3 Once you have grouted up one full wall or floor, then you need to clean up. Get a bucket
of fresh clean water and a smooth sponge, start going over the tiles and grout with the sponge in tight circular motions keeping an eye on the joints, you don’t want to press to hard on the sponge or you will take too much grout out of the joint, too soft and it will not take off the grout residue, once all the grout is removed off the tiles then go onto the next wall and repeat the same process.

After completing the second wall, go back to the first wall and run your finger or a grout profile tool along each grout joint, this will ensure that you get a very neat finish to the joint, the grout should be not too soft or not too hard when doing this.

5 Once you have completed all the walls, the final process is to get a soft cloth and buff up the tiles, then stand back and admire your work.

For professional tiling instruction, UK Pro Tiling Training run fast track intensive tiling courses, whether your looking for a career change or you simply need to know how to tile for your own projects our tiling courses will suit you down to the ground.

How to repair a cracked tile

How to Repair a cracked tile

If you have a cracked tile on your floor or wall tiles then you will need to repair it.

A crack in your floor tiles could mean more underlying problems such as loose floor boards or a plywood underlay that is not thick enough to support the tiles which is causing the cracks. If this is the case then replacing the tile could mean that it will just crack again later and the whole floor might need replacing with the correct preparation first.

A crack in you ceramic wall tiles especially on a bathroom wall which is in the shower area can lead to all sorts of problems as water can get behind the tiles into the walls causing mass failure.

Here is a step by step guide to replacing a tile.

  1. First of all protect yourself, you will need protection glasses and gloves, Tools required are small flathead screwdriver, hammer and a chisel.
  2. Rake out the old grout around the tile you are about to take out to free it, this is essential because if you don’t you will end up damaging the next tile as well upon removal, the best way to remove grout is with a flat screwdriver and just keep raking the joint until you have reached the surface, this can take a while and is time consuming.
  3. Next step is to remove the actual tile, to do this get your hammer and start gently tapping the centre of the tile until it starts to disintegrate and form a hole in the middle, keep tapping all over the tile until it starts to crack, make sure you have your gloves and safety glasses on when doing this.
  4. Next get your hammer and chisel and start from the middle of the tile and gently chisel the tile away, the tile will crack and come away from the wall in pieces. By working from the middle to outside will minimise damage to surrounding tiles.
  5. Once this is done and all of the tile is removed you will also need remove any old tile adhesive from the wall, get your hammer and chisel again and chisel the adhesive away to leave a flat surface.
  6. The last step is to simply apply some tile adhesive to the back of the new tile and fix back into the space, once the adhesive is set you can then apply some new grout back into the joints and the job is then done.

Would you like to learn how to tile for your own projects or maybe looking for a career change, then UK Pro Tiling Training can provide fast track tiling courses for all levels and abilities.

Mobile card payments for tilers

Mobile card payments for tilers

Are you a wall and floor tiling tradesman working within the domestic market? Most tiling tradesmen prefer to take cash or cheque for the job but are you missing out by not taking card payments?

With technology making massive leaps forward it has become affordable and available for sole traders and companies to take payments with a credit or debit card from their customers with a GPS card machine.

These GPS card machines can be used anywhere, it simply acts as a mobile payment machine like you see in shops bars and restaurants, customers simply complete the payment transaction by inserting their card in the machine and entering their details and the payment is then made and credited to your bank account.

Costs

Prices for mobile card machines can be from as little as £20 per month to rent the terminal plus a small percentage charge of the payment.

There are lots of providers out there that can offer mobile card facilities so looking around and comparing companies and services is advisable, tradesman could also esquire at their own bank to see what they can offer them.

Benefits

Taking payments from a credit or debit card can give your business a huge increase in revenue, consumers are so used to paying for goods now with these type of cards so are not fazed when it comes to paying for tradesman services in the same way.

Some people who don’t have the ready available cash can still employ the services of a tradesman and pay with their credit card, this means that the tradesman is getting paid for jobs where the customer might not of been in a position to pay had they only had a cash option.

Another benefit is that the money is paid directly into the tradesman€s bank therefore saving on downtime of having to visit the bank to deposit the cash.

UK Pro Tiling Training who teach fast track tiling courses advise all their students to take this route of accepting mobile card payments once they have started their businesses, it is one of the many ways that you can offer a better service to your customers and also increase your revenue and cash flow.

Anyone looking for professional tiling courses and fast track tiling training can contact UK Pro Tiling Training on 07960 286957
Not only do we teach tiling we also give you an understanding how to start and run a full tiling business.

Case Study

Case Study- Kevin Millward

Senior Aircraftsman Kevin Millward left the forces in 2008 and started civilian life as a crane driver, after a couple of years he decided that he wanted a career change. He decided to enrol on a course with UK PRO TILING TRAINING, the course covered full self employment start up knowledge plus Plastering, Tiling and Plumbing workshops so you can be confident to set your own business up and deal with your customers.

What’s happened after the training

Kevin has now finished the training and has set up self-employment now as a multi skilled tradesman and is regularly booked up for work, he is now looking at the next tax year where he goes back and further his trade knowledge and learn more skills to add to his business, Kevin quoted that the training is fast paced and straight to the point, the practical tiling courses are all very well structured and straight to the point for maximum learning, I would recommend UK Pro Training for anyone leaving the forces looking for trade skills, I came with no experience in any trade but the way the instruction is delivered you will pick things up in no time at all, I had a great social time on the course as well as it is all full of people in the same boat wanting to retrain for a new career, there was a good mix of characters on each of the trade courses making it a most enjoyable 5 weeks, a big thanks to all the tutors involved in my training who have given me a new direction in life after the forces.

10 Tips to do with Tiling

10 Tips to do with TilingIf you have a tiling project to do or thinking of turning your DIY hobby interest into a
business then here are some important tips to help you along the way on your tiling projects, you can learn how to correctly tile on some of the good tiling training courses that are available which can fast track you into a professional, learn from tutors that have years of experience and the tricks of the trade.1 ToolsIf you are going to do a quality job make sure you have the correct tools, it makes life much easier and results in a better standard of work. Main tiling tools are;

  • Dry Tile cutter
  • Electric Tile cutter
  • Nippers
  • Wall and Floor Trowel
  • Bucket trowel
  • Spirit levels
  • Mixing tubs
  • Grout whisk
  • Grout float

2 Measuring the jobWhen measuring up the job simply get a tape measure and multiply the length of the wall x the height of the wall, do this for all 4 walls and add the numbers together. If there is something that does not require tiles like a door or window then measure the length and height of these and subtract them from the total area. It is easier to do your calculations in metres as tiles are generally sold in this way. Make sure you add 10% onto the total for waste cuts.

3 Tile selectionIt is important for you to choose the correct tile for the job, make sure if you are doing the floor then the tiles say floor tiles on the box as
wall tiles fitted to the floor will crack as they are not strong enough.

4 Types of tileThere are many different types of tile, ceramic is the easiest and cheapest tile to use but doesn’t have the same effect as some of the more expensive types. Porcelain tiles are a bit more expensive than ceramic but are much harder wearing although they can be harder to cut. Natural stone tiles look good but generally are very expensive, marble, granite, quartz and limestone need extra care as sealers are required to stop grout stains and water fed electric tile cutters are needed to cut and shape this kind of tile

5 Setting outIt is important to set out your job prior to fixing, try and see where the tiles are going to end up by marking a pencil line where the tile will land, try and avoid starting on the floor or in the corner of the room as these are most likely to be out of square meaning your tiles will run off, start your first tile off the floor and using a level will guarantee that the tiles will stay level up the wall.

6 Background PreparationsIt is important to prime your backgrounds before fixing tiles, this will ensure that the correct bond can take place also make sure that there are no loose defects on the wall or floors

7 Adhesive selectionsIf you are tiling a floor then make sure you use powdered cement and NOT a tub ready mix adhesive. If the floor is wood then a flexi cement will be needed to bond to the wood and allow for slight expansion of the timber.

8 Sanitary wareWhen dealing with showers and baths it is wise to use a silicone sealant before you tile, apply the silicone in the joint between the bath/ shower and the wall. Once this is dry and tiled apply another bead of silicone to the edge where the tile meets the bath or shower tray.

9 Polishing up After grouting has been done, leave it to dry until it has gone powdery then you can use a soft microfiber cloth to buff up to a beautiful shine.

10 DisposalWhen you have finished be careful when disposing of excess waste tile as these will have very sharp edges. Any cement product should be allowed to harden then disposed of, do not pour cement products down drains as this will harden and block them up.

UK Pro Tiling Training offer quality professional fast track tiling courses whether it is for your own projects or a career change we have a course for you.

How a tiler can find work on our tiling courses

Marketing

The key to any successful business is marketing, here are some ways to get in the business

As you know by now that floors will be the most profitable jobs so concentrate on finding
these first, then go for the Kitchen splash backs with kitchen floors, trying to leave bathrooms as the last job you want to do.

When doing the below always make sure you ask for and are talking to the one that can make a decision to give you the business.

Floors

  • Get yourself around all the conservatory suppliers including any window fitters that you can find and pitch your services, you need to make contact with as many tradesman as you can find.  Ask who is the plasterer that finishes off the conservatory as he will be the last tradesman in contact with the owner, make sure he has your business cards do dish out
  • Shop fitters, try and find these tradesman who are currently doing or going to refit out a shop, these shops will usually have tiles down on the floors
  • Floor screeding service tradesman, again like above these tradesman do floors that maybe ready for tiling soon

Kitchens

  • Kitchen shops are the first port of call here, get into every one you can find and pitch
    your services with cards and flyers.
  • Kitchen fitters and joiners are the ones here, the customer will always ask them for a tiler after they have finished installing the kitchen.
  • Electricians also rewire a lot of kitchen sockets and bathroom down lighters, tiling will always follow this service, so find those electricians, offer to take their card always and say you will also pass work onto them, this goes for every tradesman

Bathrooms

  • Bathroom showrooms and plumbers merchants and also the actual plumbing tradesman is how you will get these jobs

Tile shops

Tile shops obviously sell loads of tiles and will be asked all the time to recommend a tiler, so it is really important that you get in with the sales and counter staff.

Ask them if they can pass on the next floor job or kitchen splash back that comes in, not so much the bathroom jobs.

  • Church parish magazines (around £20), visit your local church and ask them if they
    do a monthly mag then ask them about advertising in it, there are a lot of people will trust you from this route as people that are church goes like other people the same
  • Estate agents / Letting agents, These are always looking for handy men for the property developers on their books as well as the houses that are not selling due to the in need for updating
  • Insurance companies will always be looking for tradesman to correct damaged properties, fires, floods etc, ring up the insurance companies and ask who to speak to about getting work sub contracted to you
  • Checked and Vetted / Rated Tradesman etc, These work well, ring them up and ask them what and how they charge for getting referrals to customers
  • Other tradesman, plumbers, electricians, decorators and plasterers
  • Paper shops, Newspapers
  • Vehicle sign essential, this is essential get a van and make sure it says what you do which is tiling services and your contact numbers
  • Google, this is a powerful one now, it creates hot leads, first you need a website that will start to get good natural rankings in google, this will take time so you can jump the queue and go straight to the top with a PPC (pay per click ) campaign
  • Make sure you offer credit card facilities, look for how you can process card imagespayments with a mobile card machine.

If you get all these above in action you will have more work than you can handle

If you looking for a career change and want to learn tiling as well how to run a business then UK Pro Tiling Training is a one stop shop, learn how to be self employed with our fast track tiling courses.

Looking to change career

Are you fed up with your day to day job?
Not making ends meet?
Are you interested and good at DIY?
Then why not turn your DIY skills into a new business with the help of UK Pro tiling
Training, we offer a full insight into running a tiling business on our fast track professional tiling courses.

We take you right the way through a business start up program which teaches you how to keep accounts, find work, market yourself, price and measure customer jobs, we then teach you all the tricks of the tiling trade from our practical workshop where you will be fixing wall and floor tiles to a professional standard.

Our History
We have trained thousands of people from all over the UK over the last 11 years many who are now self employed running their own business.

Neil from Newcastle has just left our course and kindly left us a testimonial below.
Testimonial: Neil (Newcastle)
Great instructor and Great course

Just completed the uk pro tiling training 9 day tiling course and I have not been disappointed in the slightest every day has been a challenge but an enjoyable one. I have gone from never doing any DIY to being able to produce high quality work that paying customers would be very happy with and it is all down to (Darren) the instructor and his years of experience and teaching methods in my opinion this course is second to non and I couldn’t recommend this course enough. Thanks UK Pro Tiling training.

Anyone looking to become a professional tiler in the shortest possible time, contact UK Pro Tiling Training and enquire about our fast track tiling courses.