When You Become a Certified Tile Installer, You Are Recognized as A Professional
The Ceramic Tile Education Foundation (CTEF) provides the Certified Tile Installer (CTI) certification test which shows you are a trusted professional. Take the written test online at home and the hands-on test at Coverings ‘17 in Orlando, FL. Pass both and become a CTI. Get a nationally-recognized, industry-backed certificate that consumers trust when selecting a tile installer.
We interviewed Mike Weaver with Trendsetter Tile & Stone, Inc. to explain the process. Mike is Region Four Director for the National Tile Contractors Association and holds Certified Tile Installer (CTI) #146 since 2009.
“D&B Tile was a big part of my certification. I was on their list of approved contractors. They told me about the certification and explained that it was a hands-on and a written test that can be taken online. There is a pushback on taking tests, but this was definitely worth it.
“The CTEF provided us with a field manual, which is similar to a workbook where you learn about substrate preparation, the different types of wallboard and grouting and caulking techniques.
“Everything you need to know to install tile correctly is there. I knew I would come out smarter by getting involved and taking the tests. Unlike the county test, it had a hands-on portion. Becoming certified gave me a boost with my customers. I was young at the time and had to overcome the fact that many older contractors competed against me with years of experience. But they weren’t certified like me. The CTEF certification impressed customers. I was able to articulate things and explain them in a way to customers that I couldn’t do before. I was really impressed to learn why we do the things we do when we install the tile.
“Garrett Gaspart and I became business partners about five years ago. Trendsetters has been in business since 2007. We specialize in bathrooms and focus on details. We consider ourselves problem solvers. I try to keep the communication strong with the customer. I know they don’t do this often and we don’t expect them to understand porcelain and ceramic tile and any concerns I would have in installing their tile.
”I recommend this to contractors because you will learn something when you get involved in this process. Personally, I am a better contractor because of the certification process. You don’t know what you don’t know until you study and prepare yourself for the exams. You’re testing yourself. It’s going to help you identify how good you really are and will bring you deeper into the community. It makes you more inclined to be involved with industry organizations which gives you stature and recognition with your customers and others in the community.
“You can display the CTEF logo on your shirt or your truck and letterhead. You are recognized as a professional. D&B Tile has advocated continuing education for installers. We appreciate their commitment and feel it improves the industry. They want to make sure you use the tools and supplies purchased from them properly. Better installers will improve the image of all of us in this profession.
“Being a tile installer is a process. You start as a helper and then become a tile mechanic, and eventually, you are a lead installer. Then you will become your own installer. Continuing education never ends. Bad habits form and by getting involved in the programs offered by D&B and CTEF you stay current. As you grow, your business grows. Learning is critical to success in this business. Also, you need to realize that the certification stays with you. It isn’t left with the company you are working for. The certification is for you. This puts you at the head of the line when you move up the ladder.
“If you haven’t already made plans to do so, register today for Coverings ‘17 The Global Tile & Stone Experience to be held April 4-7 at the Orlando Convention Center. Register for the test at Coverings and get a $200 discount – You pay only $295 Pass the written & hands-on tests, you get $1,500 in manufacturer’s coupons. That’s $1,500 – $300 (one day’s labor) – $295 (registration) = Over $900 in your pocket
“You will need a minimum of two years experience as a full-time lead installer and the ability to review written plans, do prep, layout, cutting and fitting, installation, sealant, and detail the project without assistance.
“Visit www.ceramictilefoundation.org to register on their secure site. With proof of taking the test, D&B Tile will reimburse you for your test and one night hotel expenses during your stay at the Coverings event. You don’t have to pass the test, just take the test and D&B will reimburse you so all the way around you don’t lose anything.
For additional information contact any of D&B Tile’s nine tile showroom locations. Act now to reserve your spot and advance your career. Become a Certified Tile Installer!