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CTEF Blog - About Tile Education and Installer Certification

How Do You Protect the Tub in a Bathroom Tile Remodel?

[fa icon="calendar'] Nov 13, 2018 9:00:00 AM / by Scott Carothers posted in Installing Tile TIps, Ask Scott

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As a conscientious tile installer, do you take the time to protect bathroom fixtures before you start your installation?

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Have You Explored WhyTile.com?

[fa icon="calendar'] Nov 6, 2018 8:45:00 AM / by CTEF Blog Team posted in Installation + Design

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Meet CTI #1500: Alex Smith of Boone, NC

[fa icon="calendar'] Oct 30, 2018 8:30:00 AM / by CTEF Blog Team posted in Qualified Labor Series, About CTEF

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As you might imagine, we love celebrating milestones especially when they reflect hard work and appreciation for the importance of installing tile correctly the first time, adhering to tile installation standards and methods, and generally making Qualified Labor meaningful.

Here's a perfect example: Alex Smith who, after not completing the hands-on portion of the Certified Tile Installer program test in 2015, returned, passed and became CTI #1500. That's a milestone from many perspectives.

We caught up with Alex to learn more about him and his love of tile installation.

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Become a Certified Tile Installer Says Bill Baptista CTI #834

[fa icon="calendar'] Oct 23, 2018 8:30:00 AM / by CTEF Blog Team posted in Qualified Labor Series

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If you're serious about installing tile as a profession, you'll become a Certified Tile Installer. That's according to Bill Baptista CTI #834, who feels strongly about certification as a differentiator.

Bill is next in the CTEF Blog series about Qualified Labor based on an article in TileLetter.com titled Bill Baptista: “Don't Be Left Behind; Get Certified”

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Back Buttering Tile: How Important Is It?

[fa icon="calendar'] Oct 16, 2018 9:30:00 AM / by Scott Carothers posted in Installing Tile TIps, Ask Scott

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Do you back butter your tile?

Back buttering tile is a highly opinionated and widely-debated topic among tile installers. Although it's recommended for natural stone tile, it's not always necessary or required to get adequate mortar coverage on ceramic and porcelain tile. So, how important is it?

To begin this discussion, we first need to define several words.  According to the NTCA Reference Manual:

  • Back butter is defined as, “the spreading of a bond coat to the backs of ceramic tile just before the tile is placed.
  • Bond is defined as, “The adherence of one material to another.
  • Coverage is defined as, “A measure of the amount of material required to cover a given surface.

According to the CTEF Certified Tile Installer Manual, Transfer is defined as, “The required adhesion of a bonding material to the tile.

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Why Do You Need Expansion Joints When Installing Tile?

[fa icon="calendar'] Oct 9, 2018 8:00:00 AM / by Scott Carothers posted in Installing Tile TIps, Ask Scott

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If you're wondering why you need to include expansion joints when installing tile, you've come to the right place. Let me explain why they are so important.

For perspective, we originally published this article in August 2016 and expansion joints continue to come up in conversation, during training sessions and also in comments.

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Why Should You Take the CTI Test? Contractors Respond

[fa icon="calendar'] Oct 2, 2018 8:30:00 AM / by CTEF Blog Team posted in Certified Tile Installer Program, Qualified Labor Series

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Why should a tile installer consider becoming a Certified Tile Installer (CTI)? We asked the community to weigh in on Facebook, so you can read about some of their reasons - in their own words - for becoming certified and Qualified Labor.

We've organized their responses into the following 10 themes.

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How Not to Install Tile on Floors, Walls and in Showers

[fa icon="calendar'] Sep 25, 2018 8:30:00 AM / by CTEF Blog Team posted in Hiring a Tile Installer, Installing Tile TIps

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Sometimes, the best way to explain how important it is to work with a Certified Tile Installer (CTI) is to show you how not to install tile on floors, walls and in showers.

This article focuses on a real-life situation where those doing the work (aka tile placers) clearly did not have the knowledge, expertise or experience to deliver a high quality tile installation. They were not CTIs.  Although originally published on 9/27/2016, it continues to speak directly and strongly about unqualified labor and the perils of poorly installed tile.

Let's explore this master bathroom installation to better understand what went wrong.

>> See Hiring a Tile Installer? Here's What to Look For.

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CTEF Is Searching for an Executive Director!

[fa icon="calendar'] Sep 18, 2018 8:30:00 AM / by CTEF Blog Team posted in About CTEF

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The Ceramic Tile Education Foundation has news to share with you! We are searching for an Executive Director to take the foundation's mission to the next level.

This represents a major milestone for CTEF. Realize that all the education, training and certification of 1,500 CTIs and many ACTs achieved this far has happened because of the intense dedication of two full-time staff members, an army of volunteers and the outsourcing of some functions. 

It's time, though, for a dedicated Executive Director.

We caught up with Bart Bettiga, Executive Director of the National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA) and member of the CTEF Board of Directors to learn more.

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Two Yes or No Questions for Hiring a Tile Setter

[fa icon="calendar'] Sep 11, 2018 9:30:00 AM / by CTEF Blog Team posted in Hiring a Tile Installer

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As you might imagine, knowing how to hire the right tile setter is a big deal for homeowners and commercial owners. That's why we developed the homeowner's guide to hiring qualified tile installers, and we'll soon have one geared toward architects, designers and other tile installation project specifiers. 

In fact, it's such a big deal that it regularly comes up as a blog article topic - for example, Mark Heinlein  NTCA Training Director and Presenter shared with us how to Qualify Your Tile Installation Contractor With These 5 Questions - as well as in comments and conversations. Hence this blog article about two questions to ask.

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