Davenport, Fla.—Sika, a global supplier of specialty industrial chemicals, welcomed 23 installers from all over the state to its facility here for a two-day event focused on training and testing, held November 16 and 17. Sika partnered with the Ceramic Tile Education Foundation (CTEF) to host evaluations for its Certified Tile Installer (CTI) program. The day before, Sika conducted thorough grout installation training using its comprehensive SikaTile line of grout solutions.
“We have found that there is great value in partnering with CTEF to provide installers with training before CTI evaluations,” said Tom Carroll, senior product manager, Sika. “We aim to provide an ideal environment for installers participating in the CTI program to deliver their best work. And by preceding the evaluations with product training, it provides installers at all levels of experience with a solid understanding of the performance and features of top-quality grouts that they can apply to future jobs. It is part of Sika’s and CTEF’s shared pledge to elevate the tiling industry through education.”
The event was conceived when Sika national technical manager, John McIntyre, and national sales manager, Ken Johnson, were contacted by three installers who wanted to retake the CTI hands-on test. As there were no tests scheduled through CTEF in Florida for the rest of the year, McIntyre and Johnson said they organized the event to provide grout installation training and the CTI evaluation the following day. News of the event at Sika’s facility spread and the attendee list quickly grew to 23 installers coming from as far as 200 miles away.
Attendees learned proper grout application and cleaning methods on the first day. Each installer received preset tile boards on which they practiced the methods and best practices McIntyre and Johnson demonstrated. The group experienced the unique features and benefits of the various products as they worked ready-to-use, epoxy and high-performance grouts into the prepared joints. According to the company, a highlight for many in attendance was noting the absence of grout release when cleaning SikaTile-825 Epoxy Grout and SikaTile Ultima Grout off unglazed porcelain mosaic.
Day two saw three installers take CTEF’s CTI hands-on test. The installers needed to satisfactorily complete a variety of complex processes essential to proper tile installation. Pre-constructed floor and wall frames were prepared for installers to level, apply tile, grout and caulk using SikaTile products. When the evaluations concluded, all three installers passed.