Our recent blog article titled "Should Tile Installers Become Certified?" has generated robust conversation on the CTEF Facebook page since it was published on September 3rd. It has also raised questions that need to be addressed about the qualifications for both the Certified Tile Installer (CTI) program and the Advanced Certifications for Tile Installers (ACT) program.
If you've spent any time in the tile industry, care deeply about quality tile installation, and embrace installing tile according to industry standards, you will have heard of Scott Carothers, director of certification and training for the Ceramic Tile Education Foundation (CTEF).
And, if you follow the CTEF Blog, you’re surely familiar with the ‘Ask Scott’ article series.
However, if you're new to tile and just exploring tile installation certification, Scott is someone you will soon encounter and quickly appreciate for his deep knowledge, high standards and intense passion. Not to mention his firsthand involvement in certification, both for the Certified Tile Installer (CTI) program and the Advanced Certifications for Installers (ACT) program.
Should tile installers become certified?
If you are serious about your calling as a tile installer, yes, you should become a Certified Tile Installer (CTI).
If you aren't, chances are high that you aren't reading this article or even asking yourself the question.
Are you a tile contractor? Do you have at least two years of experience as a full-time lead tile installer? By experience we mean that you have full responsibility for substrate prep, layout, along with properly installing underlayment, tile, grout and sealant materials. If yes, consider becoming a Certified Tile Installer (CTI).
If you're curious about tile installation certification and the benefits it offers homeowners, specifiers as well as tile installers, you'll want to watch "Certification in Action," a 6-minute video embedded at the end of this article.
The video answers questions such as:
- How do you choose a tile installer or contractor?
- How can you be sure the job will be done correctly?
- Why should you hire a certified tile installer?
Just in time for Coverings, we've created the Tile Installer Credo which consists of ten core tile installation beliefs.
If you've been following this blog, you're probably familiar with them as these are principles we don't take lightly. These beliefs keep us up at night; they motivate us to be active in the tile industry and seek out every opportunity to make believers of all those who still doubt and don't follow the industry standards and best practices for installing tile.
Here they are. Will you help us get the word out?
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?
Yes, there's a labor shortage out there. But that's not a reason for abandoning standards and hiring just anybody. You need Qualified Labor - especially when it comes to tile setters or installers. Why? Because tile isn't just a decorative layer in home or commercial buildings. It must meet specific standards so that it performs as it should over time.
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.
If you're already committed to delivering the best quality and customer service, how can you strengthen your reputation? In the case of Brekhus Tile & Stone, the solution was simple: ensure that as many installer employees and subcontractors as possible become Certified Tile Installers, and apply to the National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA) to become a part of the Five Star Contractor program.