NTCA Benefits Box – June 2012

The Certified Tile Installer (CTI) program

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.



NTCA members can receive free quotes on a variety of insurance needs through Schechner Lifson Corporation (SLC) of Summit, N.J. This members-only agreement for property and liability insurance features many benefits to NTCA member firms including worldwide liability coverage, selling-price valuation on sold inventory, workers compensation, coverage for property at job sites, and employment practices liability (harassment/discrimination). In addition, SLC has numerous loss-control and safety programs that will assist you in controlling your contractual obligations – subcontractor risk-transfer, and hold-harmless agreements. SLC can also help with travel and accident coverage, and international liability-exposure coverage. SLC offers rate discounts for general liability and worker’s compensation, and a convenient pay-as-you-go premium payment option for workers compensation.

Marc Rosenkrantz is SLC’s liaison for NTCA members. He is eager to work with you towards meeting your insurance needs through programs that are specifically tailored to your company and the tile industry.

“We met Marc at Total Solutions two or three years ago,” said Dana Collins, of Collins Tile and Stone, Aldie, Va. “After the show, he followed up with us to give us a quote on our workman’s comp policy.  We immediately made the change to go with Marc, as he was able to save us significant dollars over what we were paying our current insurance broker for this coverage. I believe his focus on the tile industry has allowed him to offer such discounts, and would encourage any contractors out there to at least get a quote, and make some comparisons.”

For more information, contact Jim Olson, NTCA assistant executive director, at 601-939-2071/[email protected] or Marc Rosenkrantz, Schechner Lifson Corporation at 1-800-279-9360/[email protected] for a free quote or to discuss your insurance needs. This one service alone could literally save you you thousands of dollars.

New Benefit: ServiceMagic

NTCA has entered into a new agreement with ServiceMagic, the nation’s leading website that connects consumers with pre-screened, customer-rated service professionals. Since 1999, ServiceMagic has matched millions of consumers with service professionals, resulting in billions of dollars in various home improvement projects for service professionals that include tile and stone contractors. ServiceMagic was recently named Colorado Technology Company of the Year and draws nearly four million unique visitors to its website each month.

ServiceMagic’s rigorous pre-screening process – including state-level licensing – gives consumers confidence in the recommendations, making it a highly sought-after resource.

As a NTCA members, you can benefit from $799 in valuable discounts when joining this highly trusted network of professionals. Discounts include:

  • FREE enrollment worth $99
  • FREE market hardware starter website worth $450
  • Pre-paid bundle options (up to $250 in value).
  • Prepay up to $750 towards future leads and receive up to 33 percent in additional leads for FREE.

ServiceMagic is conducting nationwide on television and radio campaigns, urging millions of customers to hire professionals with the Seal of Approval. This campaign and use of the ServiceMagic seal builds credibility with your customers, by showing you are screened and approved. You can use the seal on your website, and custom materials and signage.

The ServiceMagic seal carries even more weight since Meredith Corporation, publisher of Better Homes & Gardens, recently partnered with ServiceMagic to bring its free “find a pro” tool to BHG.com. This gives millions of magazine readers the ability to instantly connect with professionals like you for home improvement projects. The Meredith Women’s Network draws 16 million unique visitors each month.
Every six seconds a consumer sees the Service Magic Seal online. Wouldn’t it be great if your name was next to it? For more information, contact Jim Olson at (601) 939-2071.

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