The Ceramic Tile Education Foundation (CTEF), which provides education and installer certification for professionals working in the ceramic tile and stone industry, has published a thorough online guide to finding tile installers specifically geared to homeowners.
“Finding a qualified tile installer can be challenging for homeowners who want someone with the experience and knowledge of how to install tile correctly, without taking shortcuts,” said Scott Carothers, director of training and certification for CTEF. “They deserve an installation that looks beautiful and performs flawlessly long after that installer is gone. Hiring someone with the proper skill level to do it right the first time is critical to the ongoing use of tile products. That’s why we’ve put together this in-depth guide which focuses on the importance and value of using qualified labor.”
Qualified Labor for Tile Installation
Qualified labor refers to having the most qualified professional perform the specified scope of work rather than basing the decision on the lowest price. The lowest price almost always fails to provide a quality installation complete with unmet consumer expectations.
The Tile Council of North America (TCNA) Handbook committee strongly recommends using installers who have demonstrated their commitment to their craft and taken the time to stay current with the latest materials and methods. Because tile is a permanent finish, the lowest bid should not be the driving factor, but rather who is the most qualified to perform the scope of the work specified.
The Handbook further defines qualified labor as being provided by the following non-profit organizations and programs:
- The Advanced Certifications for Tile Installers (ACT),
- The Ceramic Tile Education Foundation (CTEF),
- The International Masonry Institute (IMI) Contractor College Program,
- Journeyman Tile Layer Apprenticeship Program,
- The Marble Institute of America (MIA) Accreditation for Natural Stone Tile Installation Contractors,
- The National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA) Five Star Contractors Program,
- The Tile Contractors’ Association of America (TCAA) Trowel of Excellence Program.
From a technical perspective, qualified labor means having successfully demonstrated a tile installer’s skills that meet tile industry standards and best practices. That is what the Certified Tile Installer (CTI) program does. 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. It is the only third-party assessment of tile experience and knowledge.
Certified Tile Installers routinely demonstrate the knowledge, skill, experience, time management abilities and other traits needed to produce high-quality, long-lasting, successful installations using tile industry standards and methods along with time-tested proven best practices which are in place in the United States.
An In-depth Resource Available in Two Formats
The CTEF Homeowner Guide to Finding a Qualified Tile Installer is available online in two formats:
- A 31-page pdf document that can be downloaded and read
- An in-depth web page that can easily be read and/or scanned regardless of device whenever it’s needed.
All visuals in the guide represent actual Certified Tile Installer (CTI) installations.
The Certified Tile Installer Program
The CTEF Certified Tile Installer (CTI) program is the only third-party assessment of installer skill and knowledge which is recognized by the tile industry. It offers homeowners peace-of-mind that their tile installer has the right skills to complete a successful tile installation.
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. Certification is the validation of the skills and knowledge of the men and women who presently are installing tile successfully in the United States.
To qualify for the CTI Program, installers must have at least two years of experience as the lead installer setting ceramic tile on a full-time basis. This means having full responsibility for substrate prep, layout, coordinating with other trades along with properly installing underlayment, tile, grout and sealant materials.
The Ceramic Tile Education Foundation (CTEF) which sponsors the CTI program is supported by all segments of the ceramic tile industry. CTEF is headquartered in Pendleton, South Carolina, near Clemson University and near the offices of the Tile Council of North America (TCNA).
To access the guide, please visit https://www.ceramictilefoundation.org/homeowners-guide-to-hiring-qualified-tile-installer.
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About the Ceramic Tile Education Foundation
The Ceramic Tile Education Foundation (CTEF) provides training education and installer certification for professionals working in the ceramic tile and stone industry. Certification programs include the CTEF Certified Tile Installer (CTI) program which is the only third-party assessment of installer skill and knowledge to be recognized by the tile industry, and the Advanced Certifications for Tile Installers (ACT). For more information, visit https://www.ceramictilefoundation.org.
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