Qualified Labor – April 2017
For John Mourelatos, CTI testing is about proving your skill as a professional
Raising the bar and learning time management skills are bonuses of the CTI test
By Terryn Rutford, Social Structure Marketing
John Mourelatos recently became a Certified Tile Installer (CTI) in January after successfully completing the hands-on portion of the test at The International Surfaces Event (TISE West) in Las Vegas. After 20 years in the tile industry, Mourelatos knew that in order to take his company to the next level he needed to get certified.
“My goal to become a CTI started shortly after the program was developed,” Mourelatos said. He tried to get enough interest to bring testing to his home city of Tucson, but after failing for several years, he decided it was time to take the test however he could. “Ed Siebern, my installer of 12 years, and I are now the first and only Certified Tile installers in our area of Tucson, Arizona!” Mourelatos noted.
Mourelatos Tile Pro Inc. was founded by Mourelatos in 2004. It has three employees including Mourelatos, two of which are now CTIs. “I was interested in [becoming certified] not only to support the CTI program, but also to take my skill to the next level, to demonstrate that I am dedicated to continuing education in our industry,” Mourelatos said. Certification is especially important in places like Tucson where there is no institutional standard for tile installers. Because of this lack of formal standard, Mourelatos said, “I feel it is imperative to support continuing education opportunities locally and nationally.” He added, “I am working on coordinating more awareness about the value of educational opportunities as well as CTI and ACT (Advanced Certification for Tile Installers) in my area.”
Mourelatos works hard to further the goals and vision of the National Tile Contractor’s Association (NTCA). He has been an NTCA member for 11 years. Five years ago he became an Arizona State Ambassador, and more recently joined the NTCA Membership and Training and Education Committee. “I believe that the NTCA is working hard to help the tile contractor succeed in business and installations,” Mourelatos said. “And I want to be a part of that. I want to bring that back to my local area and share it with other contractors and installers.
Mourelatos believes in the value of becoming a CTI. “Being able to demonstrate your skill in a testing
environment by a third party,” said Mourelatos, “that shows the value of the CTI program.”
Such an exam is only valuable if it really tests the mettle of those taking it. Mourelatos stated, “The CTI test challenges your skills in all facets of ceramic tile installation, from the details of prep work, the layout, cutting and installing of the tile, to the finish work.” Moreover, Mourelatos believes time management is a key lesson of the CTI test. “A well-managed day can bring production up to a profitable level,” he said.
Mourelatos encourages all tile installers to take the CTI. “I think that today’s tile contractors are continually striving to define their company’s strength and to show the benefits of hiring a qualified installation company,” Mourelatos said. “The CTI and ACT programs set the bar higher for installers to demonstrate their knowledge, which will result in respect for the tile installation trade. In this day and age of 30-minute ‘How to Install Tile’ sessions at your local hardware store, CTI and ACT help in proving your skill as a professional.”