Have Questions About Tile Certification?

FAQs about tile certificationHere's where we share answers!

We've listed here frequently asked questions about the Ceramic Tile Education Foundation's certification programs.

If your question isn't listed here, please let us know! Use the Contact Us form and we'll get back to you as well as include your question in this list.

FAQs About Tile Certification

Read through the list of FAQs about tile certification and click on the question that is of particular interest to you.

You can also explore the Qualified Labor Series on the CTEF Blog.

Questions About Certification

Questions About the Certified Tile Installer Program

Questions About the CTI Tests

Questions About How to Promote Being a Certified Tile Installer

Questions About the ACT Certifications

 

 

FAQs and Answers About Tile Certification

Q: What is tile certification?

A: Certification is the validation of the skills and knowledge of the men and women who presently are installing tile successfully in the United States.

>> See Tile Installation Certification in Action

>> See What's the Certified Tile Installer Program?

 

Q: What certifications does CTEF offer?

A: CTEF offers two tile installation certification programs:

  • The Certified Tile Installer Program (CTI)
  • Advanced Certifications for Tile Installers (ACT)

To take the ACT certifications, you must be pre-qualified by either being a CTI or a journeyman tile setter who has successfully completed the apprenticeship program conducted by the International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers

>> To learn more about the CTI program, visit the Certified Tile Installer Program.

 >> To learn more about the ACT Program, visit Advanced Certifications for Tile Installers.

 

Q: Is the Certified Tile Installer (CTI) program a training program?

A: No.  The CTI program is strictly a test of the installer’s skills and knowledge and offers no instructional classes.  

However, many installers who have completed the CTI tests have said that reading and studying the written materials was very valuable and also assisted in the completion of the hands-on test.  Installers have also said that the CTI Manual provided the correct methods for tile installation which may not have been the way they installed tile in the past.

>> See Ensure Proper Tile Installation: Become a Certified Tile Installer

 

Q: Who should register for the Certified Tile Installer Program?

A:  Any installer may take the Certified Tile Installer (CTI) exams if he or she has at least two years of experience as the lead installer setting ceramic tile on a full-time basis. Experience as a helper, improver, grouter or finisher does not qualify toward the two-year requirement.

Experience is defined as having full responsibility for substrate prep, layout, coordinating with other trades along with properly installing underlayment, tile, grouting and sealant materials.

The CTI designation identifies the professional installer who has reached a level of proficiency to independently and consistently produce a sound tile installation that displays good workmanship.

Our grading procedure allows very little latitude for technical errors or aesthetic flaws, as we pledge to uphold certification as a meaningful symbol that consumers can trust. Typically, three to five years of tile setting experience is required to attain the knowledge and skills required.

>> Visit the Certified Tile Installer Program for more information.

 

Q: What if an installer does not install tile full-time?

A: If an installer isn't installing tile on a full-time basis, the two-year requirement applies, though more total years of installation are required to make up for the percentage of time not setting tile. For example, an installer who installs ceramic tile about 33% of the time must have six years of this experience.

Experience is defined as having full responsibility for substrate prep, layout, coordinating with other trades along with properly installing tile and underlayment materials.

While we encourage all qualified and interested individuals to take advantage of the certification program, we offer a friendly caution to those who have not been setting tile for the minimum amount of time.

  • In order to maintain the integrity of the CTI certification program, CTEF evaluators require strict attention to even the smallest of details.
  • The installer must prove he or she can competently execute all phases of installation and consistently produce finished work that is functionally sound and exhibits a high level of workmanship that will satisfy the most discriminating clients.

The grading procedure allows very little latitude for technical errors or aesthetic flaws, as CTEF pledges to uphold certification as a meaningful symbol that consumers can trust. Typically, three to five years of tile setting experience is required to attain the knowledge and skills required.

>> Visit the Certified Tile Installer Program for more information.

 

Taking the Certified Tile Installer hands-on testQ: What is involved in the Certified Tile Installer (CTI) test?

A: The CTI test includes two separate tests. 

  • The first is an online open-book exam which is taken at home or the office as the installer’s schedule allows.
  • The second is a hands-on test which is completed in a regional warehouse, normally close to the installer’s residence.

 

Q:  How much does it cost to take the CTI tests?

A: The registration cost is $495 per installer for both the online and hands-on tests. 

If the installer is a member in good standing with the National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA), he or she will be eligible for a $50 per test discount upon verification. This brings the cost down to $445. 

 

Q: Are there scholarships available to cover the cost of the tests?

A: No, but the installers who successfully complete both the online and hands-on tests, will receive a packet which includes manufacturer coupons valued at $1,050

These manufacturers see the value in the CTI program which provides the tile industry and the consumer with better quality tile installations and better qualified tile installers.

 

Q: Will these coupons really pay me back for my investment in taking the CTI tests?

A: Yes.  If the installer uses all of the coupons’ value of $1,050 minus the cost of reregistration ($495), minus the lost wages for the hands-on test day (average $300), each installer can put $255 in his or her pocket.  If the installer is an NTCA member and pays the lower cost, that places $305 in their pocket. “It Really Pay$ 2 B Certified.”

 

Q: Are these coupons really valuable or are there a lot of strings attached to redeem them?

A: There are no strings attached.  Some of the coupons are used like cash when paying an invoice, while others are for products that are used in daily tile installation.  

 

Q: How do I register for the CTI test?

A: To register for the Certified Tile Installer test, click on Register for Training and Certification.

You can also call Cathey McAlister at the CTEF office at 864-222-2131. 

Once the registration is completed with either a VISA or MasterCard, the study materials will be shipped via FedEx the same day.  Registration may also be paid with a check, but the delivery of the study books will be delayed until the check has been processed.

 

Q: What is included in the study materials?

A: Each installer will receive the Certified Tile Installer (CTI) Manual, the TCNA Handbook, and the ANSI Specifications. 

Also included with the books are directions for logging onto the online test site with a personalized link and password, a list of tools to bring to the hands-on test, the lay out instructions for the hands-on test, and a sample evaluations sheet which shows how the installed work will be evaluated.

 

Q: What is the online knowledge (written) test?

A: The online knowledge test is open-book and consists of 155 questions which are a combination of multiple choice and true/false.  The test may be taken at home or in the office as the installer’s schedule allows.

 

Q: How much time is allowed to complete the online test?

A: Each installer is provided with four hours to take the online test.  The average completion time is less than two hours.  This test however, must be completed at one time.  The installer is not able to time out and then log back in at a later time.

 

Q: How long is the hands-on test?

A: The hands-on portion of the test begins at 7:09 am and must be completed by 4:00 pm. Installers should arrive at 6:30 am in order to get their tools set up and be ready to start the test at 7:09 am.  At some locations, the host may allow installers to deliver their tools and get set up the day before the test to save time.

 

Q: What if I don’t pass one or both of the tests?

A: Each installer is allowed to retake one or both tests, if needed, at a reduced cost.  The online portion of the test may be taken at any time.  The hands-on test may be taken at a test site that is convenient to the installer.

 

Q: Will the installer be given the results of each test as soon as it is completed?

A: No.  The CTI program is a combination of the online knowledge exam and the hands-on test and is a pass/fail.  The hands-on evaluation sheets must be tabulated and combined with the score of the online knowledge exam to determine the final score.  A passing grade is 85% or higher.

 

Q: How can I promote myself once I become a CTI?

A: Installers who pass the written and practical hands-on exams receive the following packet of marketing tools that will provide consumers, architects, designers and contractors a recognizable standard of expertise:

  • Certified Tile Installer Certificate
  • Plastic Wallet Identification Card
  • Certified Installer logo
  • Consumer Brochures
  • Listing on the CTEF Website

>> Read 5 Benefits of Being a Certified Tile Installer

>> See The Future Looks Bright for Certified Tile Installers: Installation Summit 2016

>> Visit the Certified Tile Installer Program for more information. 

 

Q: How does an installer wanting to become ACT Certified become pre-qualified?

A: Installers wishing to become ACT certified must be pre-qualified in one of two ways:

 >> To learn more about the ACT Program, visit Advanced Certifications for Tile Installers.

 

If your certification frequently asked questions aren't listed here, please click here to let us know! Thanks.

 

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

 

The CTI program has been an asset to us in our business and, as far as we are concerned, the more qualified you are the better off you are!!  Arsenio Blanco (Custom Tile & Marble, Inc.) was the first tile contractor to pass the CTI in Miami Dade County when the program first began. He has close to 40 years experience in the tile industry. 

Belkis Blanco Custom Tile & Marble, Inc.

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Arsenio Blanco CTI