The Ceramic Tile Education Foundation’s (CTEF) Certified Tile Installer (CTI) program is the only nationally-recognized ceramic tile installer certification program that is standards-based and comprehensively evaluates hands-on skills.

Additionally, it is the only program funded by the leading tile industry associations and supported by the domestic and international tile manufacturing community.

Launched in 2008, the CTI program addresses one of the tile industry’s greatest challenges: providing a way for consumers to identify a skilled and knowledgeable installer. The CTI program provides a means for installers to prove their skills and promote themselves to potential clients and employers.

“The ability for an installer to assure the customer of his or her skill and knowledge is crucial to the growth of our industry,” stated Scott Carothers, CTEF executive director. “By encouraging consumers to use only the best-qualified installers, the CTI program’s goal is to raise the quality of installations and give consumers more confidence in choosing ceramic tile over another floor covering.”

To further promote certified installers, a full-color brochure listing all CTIs is included in the new 2011 TCNA Handbook for Ceramic Tile Installation. CTIs are listed by company, state, preference for residential or commercial projects, and willingness to travel (locally, regionally or nationally).

Since its inception in 2008, 546 installers representing 26 states have been certified, and the goal is to have a total of 1,000 installers certified by the end of this year. At Coverings 2011, 18 additional installers took the CTI exam in the CTEF installer certification area.

“None of this would be possible without the generous support of CTEF sponsors, who despite the current economy stepped up and made a commitment to installer training and certification,” the organization says, including:

Signature Sponsors: ASCER (Spanish Ceramic Tile Manufacturers’ Association), Ceramic Tiles of Italy, Coverings, Crossville, Inc., Ceramic Tile Distributors Association (CTDA), Daltile, Florida Tile, Laticrete, National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA), Schluter Systems, and Tile Council of North America (TCNA)

Platinum Sponsors: Florim USA, Marazzi USA, Porcelanite-Lamosa, and United States Gypsum Durock/Fiberock

Gold Sponsors: Custom Building Products, Georgia-Pacific DensShield, Interceramic, National Gypsum PermaBase, and Vitromex

Silver Sponsors: Ironrock, MAPEI, and Noble Company

Bronze Sponsors: MagBacker, Quarry Tile Co., and Summitville

For more information about CTEF or the CTI program, visit www.tilecareer.com, or contact CTEF at 864-222-2131.