The Certified Tile Installer (CTI) program administered by the Ceramic Tile Education Foundation (CTEF) is a comprehensive testing of the skills and knowledge of experienced tile installers which includes a 155-question, multiple-choice, open-book exam and hands-on test. Both are based on current industry standards and best practices for producing sound installations that exhibit good workmanship. The tests – considered validation of ability and not a training program – require that both the observable and non-observable characteristics of a finished installation are executed properly.
Installers who pass the written and hands-on exams receive a certificate, an identification card and most importantly, marketing materials developed by CTEF. For example, certified installers may display the CTI logo on business cards, vehicles, and clothing. Additionally, CTEF provides promotional brochures that encourage consumers and general contractors/builders to use certified installers.
“In less than four years, the Ceramic Tile Education Foundation (CTEF) has validated 750 members through the Certified Tile Installer (CTI) program,” said Scott Carothers, CTEF executive director. “While this is quite an accomplishment, we realized that for the CTI program to achieve critical mass, it must move up to the next level quickly. For 2012, the goal is to confirm 200 more CTIs in one year, effectively totaling 1000 qualified installers. The ultimate goal of the CTI 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.”
Another benefit of being a CTI is that the 2012 TCNA Handbook includes language that recommends the use and specification of qualified installers, validated through a number of programs and measures, including the CTI test. In addition, similar language has been added to MasterSpec, published by Arcom, that includes references to the importance of qualified labor in the Installer Qualifications section of the Division 9 specifications for tile work. (www.masterspec.com). Brandishing one’s CTI qualifications sets installers apart from the crowd and sets the stage for lucrative work.
The cost of the CTI exam is normally $295, but current NTCA members in good standing receive a $100 discount, so CTI testing registration is only $195. What’s more, all installers who pass the CTI exam get to pick $300 worth of manufacturer’s free product coupons.
For more information about the testing protocols, visit www.tilecareer.com/Certification.htm or www.tile-assn.com/Member/CTEFCertification.aspx?mid=92.