Tile associations raise the bar for certified installer program

Home News Tile associations raise the bar for certified installer program

JACKSON, MISS.—The National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA), in alliance with the Ceramic Tile Education Foundation (CTEF) and Tile Council of North America (TCNA), have announced 2011 goals for the certified tile installer (CTI) program.

Since its inception in 2008, the CTI program has certified over 500 tile installers, noted Scott Carothers, CTEF’s executive director. “This year’s goal will be to extend and expand the existing roster to more than 1,000 certified tile installers.”

The CTI program is a comprehensive testing of the skills and knowledge of tile installers, which includes a multiple-choice exam and hands-on test, he added. “Both are based on current industry standards and best practices for producing sound installations that exhibit good workmanship. The tests, therefore, require that both the observable and non-observable characteristics of a finished installation are executed properly. This is a test of ability and not considered a training event. Installers who pass the written and hands-on exams receive a certificate, an identification card and, most importantly, marketing materials developed by CTEF.”

Several measures are in place to achieve this goal. In particular, NTCA is updating its Five Star Contractor criteria to require contracting companies to employ certified installers to achieve Five Star Contractor status. Shannon Woodmansee, former marketing director for TCNA, is now working with CTEF to assist Carothers in coordinating the CTI program and assist distributors and hosts in planning events around the country. In addition, every certified installer will be included in a special section of the 2011 TCNA Handbook for Ceramic Tile, Stone & Glass Tile Installation.

According to Carothers, NTCA, CTEF and TCNA are reaching out to manufacturers, distributors and floor covering trade publications to encourage the vitality of such a program for the industry.

“The ultimate goal of the program is to provide the end user with a choice of an installer who has the skill and knowledge to install ceramic tile correctly the first time with

high quality at a fair price.” According to Bart Bettiga, NTCA’s executive director, in addition to what NTCA and TCNA are doing to jumpstart the CTI program in 2011, “CTEF would not be in existence without the strong support from its signature sponsors, especially the joint venture partner owners at Coverings, which, in addition to NTCA and TCNA, includes the Ceramic Tiles of Italy, Tile Of Spain and Ceramic Tile Distributors Association.”

For more on registration, schedules and eligibility requirements, visit tilecareer.com.

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