What Does It Take to Be a Certified Tile Installer?
When you become a Certified Tile Installer, you become Qualified Labor.
What is Qualified Labor?
Qualified labor refers to having the most qualified professional perform the scope of the work you are specifying rather than basing the decision on the lowest price. Because tile is a permanent finish, the lowest bid should not be the driving factor for hiring a tile installer, but rather who is the most qualified to perform the scope of the work specified.
From a technical perspective, qualified labor means having successfully demonstrated a tile installer's skills that meet tile industry standards and best practices. That is what the Certified Tile Installer (CTI) program does.
- The CTI designation identifies the professional installer who has reached a level of proficiency to independently and consistently produce a sound tile installation that displays good workmanship.
- It is the only third-party assessment of a tile installer's experience and knowledge.
Certified Tile Installers routinely demonstrate the knowledge, skill, experience, time management abilities and other traits needed to produce high quality, long lasting, successful installations using tile industry standards and methods along with time-tested proven best practices which are in place in the United States.
Any installer may take the Certified Tile Installer (CTI) exams if he or she has at least two years of experience as the lead installer setting ceramic tile on a full-time basis. That means having full responsibility for substrate prep, layout, coordinating with other trades along with properly installing underlayment, tile, grout and sealant materials.
If you're wondering if you have what it takes to become a Certified Tile Installer, you'll want to take this eight-video online prep course.
How to Prepare for Becoming Qualified Labor
When you register for the CTI Program, you receive the following study materials: the TCNA Handbook, and the Certified Tile Installer Manual which includes the relevant ANSI Specifications, as well as additional resources.
The 8-video online training program below emphasizes key parts included in these study materials. While watching these videos, we encourage you to use a yellow highlighter to mark these emphasized sections. After viewing each video, it may be helpful to review the highlighted portions of each book which will help you broaden your understanding of the installation standards and methods.
However, even if you don't yet have these references, by carefully watching these videos and absorbing the best practices demonstrated, you'll be preparing to become a part of Qualified Labor. When you're ready, register for the program.
Table of Contents
Review Safety - Chapter 2 from the CTI Manual
This is a 7:01-minute video.
In this module, you will learn about job site safety along with the government requirements under the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). At the completion of this course, you should know:
- Basic job site safety precautions
- What is and how to use personal protection equipment (PPE)
- How to work safely with power tools
- Understand the rules of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
Review Vapor Retarding Membrane - Chapter 7 from the CTI Manual
This is a 7:21-minute video.
In this module, you will learn about vapor retarding membranes. At the end of this course, you should know:
- The different types of vapor retarding membranes
- Proper selection for the intended use
- Where and where not to use them
- Installation Techniques
Review Backer Boards - Chapter 7 from the CTI Manual
This is a 10:24-minute video.
In this module, you will learn about the different types and recommended usage of backer boards. At the completion of this course, you should know the:
- Differences between the types of backer board
- Preparation needed before backer board installation
- Tools needed to install backer boards
- General installation techniques
- Safety-related to the installation of these products
- Guidelines for the use of backer board in the CTI hands-on test
Review Walls - Chapter 10 from the CTI Manual
This is a 11:52-minute video.
In this module, you will learn about tile installation on walls. At the end of this course, you should know:
- General guidelines for wall substrate prior to tile installation.
- Tile layout
- Best practices for tiling.
Review Floors - Chapter 10 from the CTI Manual
This is a 13:54-minute video.
In this module, you will learn about tile installation on floors. At the end of this course, you should know:
- General guidelines for the floor substrate before tile installation.
- Tile layout
- Time-saving techniques to enable more productivity
The Trowel & Error Video
This is a 6:35-minute video that focuses on how to properly apply the mortar.
Troweling mortar when installing tile is fundamentally critical to the proper installation of tile. When thin-set mortar is incorrectly applied, the installation will many times fail. More likely than not, the tile will break. Not a good situation for the customer and a terrible one for everyone involved in installing tile correctly.
Review Grouts - Chapter 11 from the CTI Manual
This is a 5:31-minute video.
In this module, you will learn about proper grouting practices. At the end of this course, you should know:
- How to read and understand the manufacturer’s recommendations
- How and what PPE is to be worn during the grouting process
- How to install and clean up the grout joints
Review Sealants - Chapter 11 from the CTI Manual
This is an 8:44-minute video.
In this module, you will learn about sealant joints and their proper placement. At the end of this course, you should know:
- The different types of sealant
- Proper joint use and placement
- How, where, when, and why sealant joints are necessary
This is a 7:07-minute video.
In this module, you will learn about time management and how to better use the time allotted for the CTI hands-on test and the everyday job site. At the end of this course, you should know:
- The definition of time management
- How to plan each job in your head before beginning the job
- Make a plan for each job and practice each part of the job requirements
- Time-saving installation techniques
Final Thoughts About Becoming a Certified Tile Installer
Your test day is just like a scheduled job. Show up before the appointed time, get situated, and mentally prepare yourself for the work ahead. It is your time.
Finally, have a plan and stick to it. Get plenty of rest the night before the test. Being worn out before beginning the test will seriously jeopardize your ability to work efficiently and effectively. A clear head improves your ability to think about the task ahead and to do the work correctly the first time.
We wish you well in your testing process. Use your time wisely.