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Unread 04-12-2011, 05:12 PM   #1
alienofwar
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Job market in SF Bay Area?

My wife is moving back to the Bay Area to live near family and I have never lived there before. I'm just wondering how difficult it is to find a job as a helper, apprentice, tile setter, what not? Have about 8 years worth of experience setting tile and hardwood, but not much experience with deck mud, but I'm really interested in learning more of the trade, especially since I hear SF is a very mature market with high end standards.

Thanks,

Jeremy
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Unread 04-13-2011, 09:14 AM   #2
New World Tile
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Jeremy
It is picking up now. Where in the bay are you moving to? Lots of high end stuff around here. Most of the showers are mud so you might need to brush up on your floating skills.
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Unread 04-13-2011, 05:13 PM   #3
alienofwar
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Hayward in the East Bay.

My brother (tile setter in Tahoe) told me they mostly float showers in the Bay area because of all the humidity. I have only floated shower pans, since up here nobody floats walls. But it's good to know it's picking up because I really want to work with high end stuff and build onto my skills.

Is it true that it's all union in the Bay area?
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Unread 04-13-2011, 06:31 PM   #4
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hi jeremy. no it's not all union in s.f,i did apply years ago, they take one apprentice every every one -two years,that was in 2000. there are alot of non-union tile companies from san jose[aztek tile] all the way up the bay...i would be happy to help locate some.....lots of us up here in the foothills come from bay area.
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Unread 04-13-2011, 10:59 PM   #5
That's Normal
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Been working in the Bay Area for 13 years and never floated a shower, just shower pans. Still plenty of work here if you know what you're doing.
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Unread 04-13-2011, 11:48 PM   #6
Shaughnn
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Hi Jeremy,
The Union hall is located near the Oakland Coliseum, just up the freeway from Hayward. I've heard that there are a lot of union guys out-of-work right now so it might be difficult to get any work, even if you get in, but it's worth a shot. The formal apprenticeship program will expose you to most of the basics of mud work, but you'll really need to hone those skills either on your own time or one the job, since there isn't enough time or space during class for everyone to float every day.
Another route would be to do some research into who in the area is carrying the tile that you want to be setting, and then visit those showrooms and distributors and introduce yourself. Asking for recommendations about skilled installers you might work for, could be the icebreaker you need to start a few lucrative relationships of your own.
Best of luck,
Shaughnn
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Unread 04-14-2011, 06:31 PM   #7
mctile
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Look into the East Bay...Orinda, Moraga, and out towards Danville. Good work out there...
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Unread 01-12-2013, 10:04 PM   #8
alienofwar
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Update on this thread. My wife and I along with our 4 month old will be making the move to SF Bay (Concord) to live with her family in about 4 to 6 months time from now (once my visa is approved). I'm scanning Craigslist once in awhile for tiling jobs but they don't seem too common. Anyone in SF Bay familiar with the job market these days?
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Unread 01-12-2013, 10:21 PM   #9
Shaughnn
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Here are two of the big union shops in the bay area. I've worked for both, at one time or another. I don't know if they are hiring, but if anyone's got work in the pipeline it'll be them.

http://www.tilewestinc.com/

http://www.superiortilestone.com/

Bot are B.A.C union shops, but that's not actually a bad thing in the Bay Area.
Best of luck!,
Shaughnn
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Unread 01-15-2013, 11:38 AM   #10
alienofwar
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Thank you for the links Shaughnn, I will definitely keep them in mind when I get down there. I see Superior Tile & Stone has been around for a loooong time, and the NTCA recognizes them as a 5 star contractor too, they must do some amazing work.
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Unread 01-15-2013, 12:51 PM   #11
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Jeremy. They are both (or were when I was down there) HUGE shops. When I was with Tile West they had over 100 mechanics (journeymen and apprentices) and about 80 helpers on the payroll. Superior Tile was about the same. I'm sure that both have pared down to meet reduced demand, but they are both good shops to work for.
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