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CTEF Blog - About Tile Education and Installer Certification


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Fight Subpar Tile Installation Says John Trent CTI #277

[fa icon="calendar'] August 15, 2023 8:30:00 AM EDT / by CTEF Blog Team posted in Qualified Labor Series

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Horrified about subpar tile installation? Become a Certified Tile Installer. That's according to John Trent CTI #277, a former tile installer, and former territory manager for Schluter Systems since 2012. He was one of those subpar installers who now encourages all installers he meets to become Qualified Labor.

John is next in the CTEF Blog series about Qualified Labor based on an article in TileLetter.com titled John Trent: Certification - fighting the good fight against sub-par installations.

Note that this article is part of the CTEF classics, capturing valuable insights from the first CTIs.

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CTEF Online Auction: 8/20 through 8/27. Mark Your Calendar!

[fa icon="calendar'] July 18, 2023 8:30:00 AM EDT / by CTEF Blog Team posted in About CTEF

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Are you getting ready to stock up on tile installation tools, products, and materials? If yes, please mark your calendar for the August CTEF Online Auction.

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How to Install Tile with Electrical Radiant Heating

[fa icon="calendar'] July 4, 2023 8:30:00 AM EDT / by CTEF Blog Team posted in Installing Tile TIps

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Tile is a natural for radiant heating.

However, installing tile with radiant heating can get overwhelming when you realize that the Tile Council of North America (TCNA) Handbook includes multiple methods that address this type of installation. The details vary somewhat depending on the structure you are working on and which type of heat source your radiant system uses - hydronic or electrical.

  • On ground concrete
  • Above ground concrete
  • Wood subfloor/joist system

Fortunately, Mark Heinlein CTI #1112 and National Tile Contractors Association Training Director, Technical Trainer / Presenter shares his expertise in this article.

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What to Expect From an NTCA Experience With CTEF

[fa icon="calendar'] June 6, 2023 8:30:00 AM EDT / by CTEF Blog Team posted in About CTEF

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An NTCA Experience is genuinely priceless. That's why it's included in the CTEF Auction. It allows you to experience what makes the tile industry special.

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Elevate Your Reputation With Tile Certification: Martin Brookes Explains

[fa icon="calendar'] May 23, 2023 8:30:00 AM EDT / by CTEF Blog Team posted in Certified Tile Installer Program

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Are you wondering how to elevate your reputation in the marketplace? If you install tile, the ideal way is through the CTEF tile certification programs.

Martin Brookes is the owner of Heritage Marble & Tile in Mill Valley, California. He's involved in the National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA) including as past president, is a Five Star Contractor, and is a strong supporter of the CTEF tile certification programs.

He has seen firsthand how certification affects the entire ethos of his business. Certification has enabled Heritage Marble & Tile to stand out not only as highly reputable and expert but also as the San Francisco Bay Area Premier Tile Installation Company.

We caught up with Martin to learn more.

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Coverings 2023: Advanced Certifications for Tile, Hands-On Demos

[fa icon="calendar'] May 9, 2023 8:30:00 AM EDT / by CTEF Blog Team posted in About CTEF, Tile Education & Training

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Did you attend Coverings 2023? If you did, we hope you visited the CTEF booth where tile installation education and certification were prominently displayed! More specifically, CTEF demonstrated Sealants, Mosaics, and Troweling for Coverage, and Walked Through Gauged Porcelain Tile Panel Test for Advanced Installer Certification (ACT).

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Why Should You Take the CTI Test? Contractors Respond

[fa icon="calendar'] April 25, 2023 8:30:00 AM EDT / 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.

This is a classic from 2018 that is as relevant now as it was then. You'll find the responses organized into 10 themes.

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

[fa icon="calendar'] April 11, 2023 8:30:00 AM EDT / by CTEF Blog Team posted in Installing Tile TIps, Hiring a Tile Installer

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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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Take Wally the Gator Home With You

[fa icon="calendar'] March 28, 2023 8:30:00 AM EDT / by CTEF Blog Team posted in About CTEF

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Have you met Wally the Gator?

He's ferocious, looks ready to lunge at you, and his teeth come alive. He's also the most magnificent work of tile art you can imagine, and you might be the lucky one to take him home.

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When to Avoid Hiring a Tile Contractor: 10 Warning Signs!

[fa icon="calendar'] March 14, 2023 8:30:00 AM EDT / by CTEF Blog Team posted in Hiring a Tile Installer, Installation + Design

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When you're hiring a tile contractor, you expect to have the work done right the first time. Unfortunately, you don't always have the benefit of seeing the contractor's work beforehand and realizing what you need to avoid (see How Not to Install Tile on Floors, Walls, and in Showers).

That's why we've put together these warning signs to help you avoid hiring a tile contractor who is poorly qualified and more of a tile "placer." (Definition: tile placer - a person who does not have the skills, knowledge, and experience to install the job correctly.)

That way, you can rest assured that the beautiful tile installation in your mind's eye has every opportunity to become reality and bring you delight for years to come.

Special thanks to Sal DiBlasi for basing a video on this article. ♥

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Certified Tile Installer Mike Corona says,

You don't become a tile installer or a business owner overnight. It takes time, enthusiasm, pride, reliability, respectfulness, a willingness to learn, and dedication. No two jobs are the same; each one has its own unique nuances. As a qualified installer, you need to be able to communicate how to deal with those nuances and qualify yourself to not only meet but exceed expectations. Being qualified will exponentially increase your value and you will have endless opportunities.

Mike Corona CTI #923 Corona Marble and Tile

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Mike Corona CTI #923
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