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CTEF Blog - About Tile Education and Installer Certification

Top 15 Tips for #BecomeaCTI Success

[fa icon="calendar"] Feb 11, 2020 8:30:00 AM / by CTEF Blog Team

CTEF Blog Team


What are your top tips for becoming a CTI? 

The CTEF Certified Tile Installer program is regularly described as the toughest 25 square feet you'll ever have to tile. It's intense, but not impossible if you're prepared.

To that end, here are our 15 top tips for success, including advice from Mark Heinlein CTI #1112. We invite you to share yours and we'll add them to the list.

Top 15 Tips for #BecomeaCTI Success

1. Download the CTI Information Kit

Before getting started with Mark Heinlein's advice to successfully complete and pass both the written and hands-on portions of the CTI program, let's address pre-work.

If you haven't already, do download the CTI information kit. It includes all the information you need to get started in becoming a CTI. Yes, that means you will see sample questions from the tile installation online open-book exam and the evaluation score sheet used during the hands-on Certified Tile Installer test

Learn More About Becoming a Certified Tile Installer Click Here to Download the CTI Kit. 

2. Explore the FAQs

If you still have questions, check out the Frequently Asked Questions.

3. Learn About the Benefits of Being a Certified Tile Installer

If you aren't yet convinced of the benefits, check out blog articles that highlight the stories of individual CTIs:

>> See the Qualified Labor Series

>> Read 5+ Benefits of Being a Certified Tile Installer

4. Subscribe to the CTEF Blog

Have you subscribed to the CTEF Blog? You should. You'll receive a link to a new article every Tuesday. the focus is on tile installation best practices, and installer success stories. 

Click to Subscribe to the CTEF Blog!

5. Understand What's Involved During the Hands-On Portion of the CTI Evaluation

Sometimes, seeing is believing especially when it comes to a hands-on tile installation evaluation. Luckily, the amazing Sal DiBlasi recorded the two following videos that you'll find educational:

>> Video Details Hands-on Certified Tile Installer (CTI) Test

>> Grading the Toughest 25 Square Feet of Tile You'll Ever Install (Video)

6. Watch the Free Online Training Course Videos

Definitely check out the Free Online Training Videos available on this website.  There, you'll find nine videos worth watching. 

1. Safety - Chapter 2 from the CTI Manual

2. Vapor Retarding Membrane - Chapter 7 from the CTI Manual

3. Backer Boards - Chapter 7 from the CTI Manual

4. Walls - Chapter 10 from the CTI Manual

5. Floors - Chapter 10 from the CTI Manual

6. The Trowel & Error Video

7Grouts - Chapter 11 from the CTI Manual

8. Sealants - Chapter 11 from the CTI Manual

9. Time Management

7. Register to Become a CTI

By this point, you should be ready to register. Go to the Certification Events Calendar and pick the date/location that works for you.

If you aren't sure when to register for the Hands-on portion of the Certified Tile Installer program, don't worry! Simply register for the CTI Certification Self-Study Written Test (at the top of the calendar), complete the written portion and then contact Cathey McAlister via email to let her know which CTI event you will attend.

(Note that you'll regularly find new events/locations added to the calendar.)

Click to Register for the CTEF Certified Tile Installer Program

Please note the following items:

  • Angle grinders and circular saws will not be permitted at the hands-on test site.
  • Cell phones will not be permitted at the hands-on test site.
  • If you have severe nut allergies, please be aware that food served during training and testing events may have been stored with nut-based products. Please don't assume food is nut-free. 

8. Look for Your CTI Study Materials

This is where things get more serious. In fact, Mark Heinlein considers it critical that you do this preparation in the order listed below.

As soon as you register, be on the look out for your study materials, and information to access the written test. You'll also receive an email with directions on how to access an enhanced version of the online training videos.

If you don't receive anything, immediately let Cathey McAlister at CTEF know!

9. Study Your Materials

As soon as you receive your study materials, actually study them. Read through the CTI Manual; take the practice questions.

These study materials matter and will help you.

10. Take the Written Test

Next, schedule a quiet block of time to take the written test, and take it.

As a reminder, you need to complete (and pass) the written test before taking the hands-on test.

11. Don't Forget to Watch the Videos

Spend time with the online training videos. Watch them all. Don't blow off watching them. Go back and watch the videos again.

12. Attend the Hands On Orientation

Don't skip the orientation session on the day before your hands-on test. This is your opportunity to ask questions. Get to the testing site on time to set up.

13. The Night Before the Hands On Test

Digest what you heard during Orientation. Make a plan for the test. 

Then, go to bed early so you are well rested.  Don't party.  You can party when you pass.

14. Hands On Testing Day

Eat a good breakfast. 

Get to the testing site on time.

Take the hands on test.

15. Congratulate Yourself

Yes, you should congratulate yourself at the end of the day. You just worked on the toughest 25 square feet of tile installation.

Thanks, Mark!

What Would You Add to this Top 15 Tips for #BecomeaCTI Success?

Your turn. What would you add to this list? What helped you to #BecomeaCTI?

Thanks for reading!


Learn More About Becoming a Certified Tile Installer Click Here to Download the CTI Kit. 

Topics: About CTEF, Certified Tile Installer Program

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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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