Bundaberg tiler Dave Snodgrass has won a prestigious national competition to be named the best in his trade across Australia.
The modest champion beat a talented field in Sydney on the weekend in a gruelling test of skill.
The owner of Q Tile Rite won a gold-plated trowel and a trip to Guangshou in China for the world tiling titles in November.
Dave's partner Jenny entered him in the competition after reading an article in Tile Today magazine.
“It's a good thing she did because I wouldn't have done it myself,” he said.
Sponsored by Davco, the competition was open to all tilers.
Dave won the Brisbane regional event in June.
He said it was a “massive shock” to win the national prize.
“I'm a little overwhelmed, in a spin really,” he said.
“There was a lot of intense pressure over a couple of days, then a sense of relief when it was over.”
The Australia's best tiler competition involved practical and theory tests.
“We were tested for accuracy, adhering to Australian standards, the accuracy of our cuts, arrangement and measurement to scale,” he said.
“There was some freehand cutting involved as well; normally tiles are machine cut.”
Dave started tiling in 1997. While busy working in a tile store, Dave realised that he could help do repairs and handyman work for customers that other tilers didn’t want to do.
Going back to study and obtaining his licence, Dave now has his own tiling business.
With years of experience and a showcase of projects, including tiling the HIA Queensland Bathroom of the Year in 2007 with Bundy Homes, Dave has found that his work has shifted to the other end of the market, prestige properties and upscale projects.
When Dave isn’t working, he supports the local animal welfare charity Red Collar Rescue and plays indoor cricket.
His biggest worry now is finding the time to keep running his business.
“I was already fully booked up to Christmas and now I'll be away for a week in November,” he said.
“I guess I'll be working most weekends.”
How Australia's best tiler was run
According to Davco, the event started early on Friday, 6 September 2019 when competitors were briefed on their tasks and allocated work stations.
Once given the go-ahead the contenders started measuring, mixing and laying their tiles meticulously, tending to every detail. With the majority of the tiling done, Davco's brand ambassador and former NRL player Mark “MG” Geyer, dropped in to meet and greet the guys and encouraged them to do their best.
The final day of the competition involved grouting and sealing, followed by a theory test. With the competition wrapped up, the group headed out for an exclusive NRL experience to unwind after an intensive two days.
During half-time Andrew Nunn, managing director of Davco Australia, announced and congratulated Dave Snodgrass for winning the national competition and claiming the title of Australia’s Best Tiler.
“The commitment shown by all competitors has been amazing,” Andrew said.
“They’ve each sacrificed a day's wages to earn a spot in the national final. Davco has always been committed to the tiling industry and development of skills.
“We are proud to be giving David the opportunity to represent Australia in the world championship event in China.”