Not only do retailers such as Avalon Flooring value Certified Tile Installers, but, in becoming certified, tile installers can gain more and better customers. If you're not certified, what are you waiting for?
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This story starts with a text message from a newly certified tile installer - Marcos Rezende CTI #1523, Owner of Mister M Tile in New Jersey and pictured above in front of Avalon Flooring's Ocean Township, New Jersey store.
Marcos sent the text message you see below to Robert Showers, Director of Estimator Sales at Avalon Flooring, during The International Surface Event (TISE) trade show in Las Vegas, as Robert was speaking with CTEF's Scott Carothers.
He was excited about having gotten his first tile installation job as a result of being a CTI and wanted to let Robert know.
Furthermore, Marcos' new client found him using the CTEF CTI zip code locator.
Can you imagine how pleased Scott was to hear this good news?
He was even more excited when he learned that Robert had urged Marcos to take the test to become a Certified Tile Installer.
We caught up with Robert to ask him questions about CTIs and Avalon Flooring, and the company's commitment to hosting CTI testing events.
Avalon Flooring's Robert Showers Discusses the Importance of the Certified Tile Installer (CTI) Program
CTEF: Robert, what is Avalon Flooring's specialty?
RS: We are a flooring company with 15 locations in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware.
We service the retail, contractor, builder and commercial segments with a variety of products and services.
Approximately 40% of our business is based on tile and natural stone.
CTEF: What is your role with Avalon?
RS: I started with Avalon in June 2007 as the Ceramic Tile Installation Manager and was promoted in 2012 to the Director of Ceramic Tile Installations where I oversaw all tile related installations throughout the company and worked closely with installers on a day to day basis.
Most recently, I have been promoted to the Director of Estimator Sales, which still includes being involved in the installation process.
CTEF: How did you learn about the Certified Tile Installer program?
RS: I met Scott Carothers a few years ago at a Schluter Seminar in South Carolina and had the opportunity to visit the CTEF testing facilities at Pendleton, South Carolina.
As a result, I had my perceptions broadened about the overall tile installation process and how much more it involves than just taking
CTEF: Why do you believe in CTEF?
RS: I believe in the CTEF because of its main objective to provide education and promote qualified tile installers within the industry.
I also think their work to raise the overall view of the tile installation trade is equally as important.
CTEF: Do you urge tile contractors to become certified as a matter of course?
RS: I urge contractors to become certified for themselves and their business.
It is a way to confirm the work they do every day and it truly sets them apart from the “run of the mill” or “guy with a truck” installers.
CTEF: Why? How does this help you at Avalon Flooring?
RS: We want to make sure that our customers have the best experience from beginning to end.
We promote installation with all of the products we sell and match that with a 12-year installation warranty which separates us from our competition. Having the most qualified installers ultimately provides a better customer experience in our eyes and by sponsoring certifications like this, we can help the installer and our retail customers – it’s a win-win for everyone!
CTEF: So, you work with other CTIs?
RS: We currently have 8 CTI-certified independent subcontractors who do work for Avalon.
It all goes back to delivering the best experience for our customers and leaving them with a tile project that is a quality installation and that they can enjoy for years to come.
CTEF: Is that why Avalon Flooring hosted the hands-on portion of the CTI test at its Cherry Hill NJ facility?
RS: Absolutely. Avalon Flooring focuses on delivering the best customer experience every time and that includes a quality installation by a certified installer who is recognized as that in the industry.
For that reason, we not only urge installers like Marcos to become certified, we also sponsor the hands-on testing by hosting it in our Corporate Headquarters in Cherry Hill.
CTEF: Robert, why did Marcos listen to you?
RS: Marcos and I have been working together for quite some time now and he has participated in a variety of Avalon Flooring contractor events and training opportunities at our locations.
He understands the value of certification and how it sets him apart from his competition and furthers the success of his business.
CTEF: What is Marcos' relationship with Avalon?
RS: Marcos is the owner of Mister M Tile Installers based out of West Long Branch, NJ. His company has been doing work with Avalon Flooring as one of our subcontractors.
He has even worked with us on renovations in our showrooms.
CTEF: Thank you, Robert, for your commitment to the CTI program and congratulations to Marcos Rezende for becoming a CTI!
Are You Ready to Set Yourself Apart by Becoming a Certified Tile Installer?
If you haven't already, consider becoming a Certified Tile Installer (CTI). As a CTI, you set yourself apart from the crowd and know how to anticipate tile installation problems before they occur. Do it right the first time and get paid accordingly.
If you need additional reasons to do so, read Why Should You Take the CTI Test? Contractors Respond.
Listen to flooring retailers like Avalon's Robert Showers. Become a CTI like Marcos Rezende.
Thanks for reading.