CTEF providing education, certification for tile professionals

Home News CTEF providing education, certification for tile professionals

PENDLETON, S.C.—Installing ceramic tile the correct way isn’t easy. Education in the proper techniques of installing tile is something many in the industry could use and are actively searching for. Well, their search may be over. According to Scott Carothers, executive director of the Ceramic Tile Education Foundation (CTEF), the organization has just what the industry needs: education and certification.

CTEF has two distinct plat- forms. Its original educational mandate continues to “provide industry-specific training courses for those wanting to learn new skills or those wanting to upgrade a skill set and acquire knowledge on new techniques and technologies.” This is the organization’s “how- to” training.

The second entirely separate mandate, originated in 2008, involves no training. Instead, it is a test to identify qualified installers for the benefit of ceramic tile consumers. This is “show me” certification graded on best practice, current industry standards and verifies individual skill and proficiency. Successful candidates demonstrate their hands-on skill and technical knowledge to gain certification.

“Quality installation is vital to the client’s satisfaction,” he said. “Hiring a Certified Tile Installer (CTI) is the first reliable yardstick consumers and specifiers have been given to successfully evaluate and compare a ‘how-to’ installation bid to an industry certified ‘show- me’ professional bid.

According to Patti Fasan, tile industry consultant, Every skilled tile contractor in America should “jump at the opportunity to prove their value and proficiency. CTEF has given the trade a vehicle to differentiate professional skill from            untrained            labor. Consumers will select a contractor based on price alone unless you give them a more reliable comparative tool.”

Carothers said CTEF’s training programs Understanding and Installing Ceramic Tile (UICT) and Mortar Shower Base (MSB) provide those new to the tile industry as well as seasoned professionals who are looking for the “why” to the “how,” with a comprehensive study of the TCA handbook and ANSI specifications and their application to hands-on skills.

The CTI program is “the validation of the skills and knowledge of the men and women presently installing ceramic tile successfully in the U.S.,” he added. “These installers are given the opportunity to confirm their understanding of the industry-accepted standards and methods used to correctly install tile. The two-day testing includes a day-and-a-half hands- on session and a half-day open book written exam.

“Certification also provides the successful candidates with a method to differentiate themselves from others in the field,” Carothers noted. “Consumers want to hire the installer best suited for their project. With the nationally recognized CTI certificate and wallet card in hand, the Certified Tile Installer has proof that he has taken the time to demonstrate he has what it takes to do the job right the first time. This win-win situation connects the installer to the consumer.”

The program is taken on the road to “allow tile installers to take the certification tests close to home, thus eliminating travel and housing costs as well as lost time away from the job,” he concluded.

For more information on CTEF, call 864.222.2131 or visit tilecareer.com.

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