Carpet being cut by a carpet fitter

A high-quality floor is often one of the most impressive parts of a home renovation project, restoration or commercial property. Installing flooring – from carpets to laminate, wood flooring to tiles – can be very satisfying, especially as it is often the final stage of a project. Floor laying is a skilled trade, with a variety of routes available for people wanting to get into the profession. Here we look at flooring apprenticeships.


What exactly does a floor layer do?

Types of floor laying

Floor layers install different types of flooring such as carpets, wooden flooring and tiling. Floorers or commercial floorlayers generally lay textile carpets, vinyl, linoleum, rubber or laminate surfaces, while wall or floor tilers lay tiles in kitchens, bathrooms and other rooms in residential and commercial properties.

Why become a trainee floor layer?

Carpet fitters and flooring installers are skilled workers who are in high demand from private and commercial customers. Being able to install high-quality flooring in a property provides plenty of job satisfaction, and commands a competitive salary.

What can I expect during my floor laying apprenticeship?

The Floorlayer Apprenticeship Standard covers apprenticeship programmes for both floor layers and wall/floor tilers. This is an Intermediate apprenticeship level.

What will I be doing?

Floor laying and wall floor tiling apprentices learn about all aspects of floor laying and tiling, from the right tools to use to different laying techniques and materials, health and safety procedures to cutting, joining and finishing.

What skills & knowledge will I gain?

To be a competent floor layer you need a range of skills. These include the following:

  • Measuring up floor spaces
  • Preparing subfloors
  • Removing old flooring
  • Marking and cutting floor coverings and tiles
  • Using hand and power tools and specialist equipment
  • Working out tile and adhesive quantities
  • Fixing tiles and applying grout
  • Applying underlay
  • Installing appropriate finishing ancillaries

What qualifications will I get at the end?

Successful apprentices receive an NVQ Level 2 Floorlayer Apprenticeship or Level 2 Wall and Floor Tiler Apprenticeship qualification.

How long is a floor-laying apprenticeship?

The Floorlayer Apprenticeship Standard takes 30-36 months to complete.

What do apprentice floor layers get paid?

Starting salaries for apprentice floor layers are in the region of £16,000-£18,000; this can rise to £25,000 for newly qualified carpet fitters or flooring installers.

What does career progression after my apprenticeship look like?

With experience, qualified floorlayers often move into supervisory or team leader roles, or become estimators and contract managers with flooring companies. Many floorlayers start their own businesses. Senior or master commercial floorlayers have the potential to earn up to £45,000. 

What do I need to start an apprenticeship in floor laying?

What personal qualities & skills do I need?

Floorlaying is physically demanding work, so a good level of physical fitness is a must. You are often crawling into tight spaces, so you need to be physically agile too. You need to be able to work well on your own or with others and use your initiative to resolve problems.

Some maths skills are required to work out floor coverage measurements and costings. You should be a good communicator and be comfortable with people, as you will be dealing with customers on a day-to-day basis. Floor layers should have excellent attention to detail, to minimise wastage and ensure customers receive the best service possible.

What qualifications do I need?

To be accepted on a Level 2 floorlayer apprenticeship you should have a minimum of two GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), including English and Maths. If you do not have these GCSEs you could still be accepted on a floorlaying apprenticeship, but you would need to pass Level 2 Maths and English (equivalent to a grade 4/C GCSE) before completing the apprenticeship.


How can I find an apprenticeship?

There are several ways you can find employers that offer floor-laying apprenticeships. You can use websites like Talentview, apply directly to employers, contact local colleges or ask friends or family members if they know of apprenticeships available at companies.   


Find out if your personality suits a floor layer role

To find out if your personality is suited to working as a carpet fitter or floor tiler, or what other type of job in construction might suit you, take our career explorer.

Interested in an apprenticeship in a different area of construction?

At Go Construct we have over 170 different job profiles, so even if laying floors isn’t for you, there is probably a career in construction for you elsewhere. Each job profile has plenty of useful information, such as salary, training options, key skills and case studies from people already working in construction.