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CTEF Blog - About Tile Education and Installer Certification

Have You Attended the Tile Industry's Total Solutions Plus (TSP)?

[fa icon="calendar"] Nov 5, 2019 8:30:00 AM / by CTEF Blog Team

CTEF Blog Team

Have You Attended the Tile Industry's Total Solutions Plus (TSP)?

Are you familiar with Total Solutions Plus (TSP)? It's a yearly event that brings together the ceramic tile industry to network and learn from one another. It's also a testament to the high level of collaboration that exists within the entire industry.

No wonder you see "Partners in Progress" prominently highlighted!

Perspective on Total Solutions Plus

Here's what makes TSP stand out.

1. TSP = CTDA + NTCA + TCNA + TCAA

It's not typical of many industries to have organizations focused on different aspects of an industry to coordinate and collaborate on a yearly meeting. However, when it comes to the tile industry, collaboration is what stands out and that's why Total Solutions Plus is brought to you by the four tile industry associations:

  • CTDA, the Ceramic Tile Distributors Association
  • NTCA, the National Tile Contractors Association
  • TCNA, the Tile Council of North America
  • TCAA, the Tile Contractors' Association of America

What this means is that, when you attend TSP, you interact with a wide range of tile industry participants:  union and open shop, large and single-operator businesses, distributors, manufacturers and installers, not to mention different business levels.

You'll meet people actively involved in their associations and committees as volunteers, first-time participants wanting to learn more as well as long time supporters wanting to discuss specific industry issues and opportunities.

Finally, with long networking breaks, TSP is an ideal setting for meeting those people and discussing with them critical industry topics ranging from ANSI and industry standards, tile installation methods, and more based on the meeting's topics. This is a friendly, passionate crowd.

Example: NTCA Technical Committee Meeting

Here's an example that NTCA's Mark Heinlein CTI #1112 shared on Facebook in Tile Geeks:

National Tile Contractors Association Technical Committee meeting at Total Solutions Plus - Craig Harimon CTI #1255 is addressing the NTCA’s Technical Committee regarding critical construction of wet area installations.

"If you are not yet familiar with who attends and addresses our tile industry’s committees - take a look at what is happening right now at the National Tile Contractors Association Technical Committee meeting at Total Solutions Plus - Craig Harimon CTI #1255 is addressing the NTCA’s Technical Committee regarding critical construction of wet area installations.

The people in this meeting are many of the incredible leaders of the tile industry looking out for all aspects of tile installations and tile contracting and installing.

To learn more about our industry, I suggest getting involved with our professional association and meet the people who bring publications such as the NTCA Reference Manual together to benefit us all."

2. Just as the Tile Industry Evolves, so Does TSP

General Contractors provide perspective on the tile industry and how to jointly address marketplace needs 

2019 marks the tenth Total Solutions Plus event. In that time, the event has grown to over 600 attendees and to include all four industry associations. All four are committed to expanding the influence and reach of the tile industry in this country.

In 2011, NTCA Executive Director Bart Bettiga stated,

"In partnership with the CTDA and the TCNA, Total Solutions Plus proved to all attendees that we are united as an industry. It was so powerful to see contractors, distributors and manufacturers interacting with each other during this groundbreaking week in South Florida. With over 450 people in attendance, the future looks bright for this leadership conference."

Furthermore, the location changes each year to enable members in different locations to attend.  This year it was in Nashville, Tennessee. It has been in Texas, Washington, DC, and California, to name a few places. 

Even more important, the topics covered change to reflect current priorities and to include different perspectives. For example, 

  • Sessions with General Contractors to provide perspective on the tile industry and how to jointly address marketplace needs 

Sessions with General Contractors to provide perspective on the tile industry and how to jointly address marketplace needs 

  • Sessions with project designers to better understand specifications for tile vs. other products
  • Sessions with participants from different associations to discuss education and training in union and open shop environments, for example, and how to attract and retain new talent as well as retrain existing talent.

Learn what's important when specifying tile on commercial projects.

All sessions provide valuable perspective! Imagine hearing leaders in tile installation discussing their greatest failures and what they learned from the experience.

3. The Associations Hold Critical Meetings During TSP

Total Solutions Plus serves as the Annual Meeting for these tile associations and offers the opportunity to hold Board Meetings. (CTEF's Board met during TSP.)

You'll also find technical committee meetings taking place, many of which include representation from across the associations. For example,

The level of collaboration is intense.

You'll also find breaking research or other relevant industry developments shared during this event.

Woody Sanders at Total Solutions Plus

4. TSP Celebrates the Achievements of the Tile Industry

During TSP, you'll celebrate tile industry achievements and meet the people behind those achievements.

During Total Solutions Plus 2019, the industry recognized Lee Callewart CTI #1454 of Dragonfly Tile and Stoneworks as the first ever NTCA Tile Setter Craftsperson of the Year.

Lee Callewart CTI #1454 of Dragonfly Tile and Stoneworks, the first ever NTCA Tile Setter Craftsperson of the Year

5. TSP is Serious Yet Fun

Finally, but not least in capturing what makes Total Solutions Plus a must-attend tile industry event, is how much fun you can have at this event.

Whether it's touring a tile manufacturing facility, singing karaoke, learning about new products during the Tabletop exhibit and reception, reminiscing with old and new friends or simply learning about the industry, 

The tile industry has an amazing sense of humor and you see it reflected throughout Total Solutions Plus.

Below you see Mark Heinlein and Lee Callewart both showing off Lee's company t-shirts.

Mark Heinlein and Lee Callewart both showing off Lee's company t-shirts.

And, you get to interact with many talented CTIs!

Below, you see the team from A+ Tile & Stone proudly displaying their CTI logos.

The team from A+ Tile & Stone proudly displaying their CTI logos

Will You Be Attending the Next Total Solutions Plus?

We hope so as we think you'll find it incredibly valuable. If you care about the tile industry and want to become involved, TSP is a great way to learn more. The industry associations need your help.

Thanks for reading!

 

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

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