PENDLETON, SC -- CTEF, the Ceramic Tile Education Foundation, has scheduled its first Certified Tile Installer (CTI) hands-on testing event for 2021 at The Carpet & Tile Warehouse in Vero Beach, FL, on Saturday, February 20, 2021. CTEF provides education and installer certification for professionals working in the ceramic tile and stone industry. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, CTEF had to cancel all 2020 certification and training events, effective March 2020.
“Scheduling this first CTI hands-on testing event is a testament to the importance of CTEF’s mission and the support of the entire tile industry,” said Scott Carothers, director of certification and training for CTEF. “The pandemic has reinforced the importance for the tile industry to have a pool of talented and certified installers available to handle the amount of new work on the horizon.”
CTEF has created a four-page Certified Tile Installer COVID-19 policy, which will be in effect during installer orientation, set up and hands-on testing and will coincide with the location’s state and local guidelines. Per CDC guidelines, the following procedures will be in place:
- Face masks will always be worn by the evaluator, installers and hosts.
- Social distancing will be in place during orientation, set up and the operation of the test.
- No-touch temperature readings will be administered at the beginning of each day.
- PPE (Personal Protection Equipment) must always be in place.
- Tools and equipment may not be shared.
“We are very grateful to Deby and Robert Winter of The Carpet & Tile Warehouse for supporting the CTI program especially during these unprecedented times,” Carothers said.
The Certified Tile Installer Program
The CTEF CTI program is the only third-party assessment of installer skill and knowledge, which is recognized by the tile industry. It offers owners, whether residential or commercial, 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 U.S.
To qualify for the CTI Program, installers must have at least two years of experience as the lead installer setting ceramic and porcelain tile on a full-time basis. This means having full responsibility for substrate prep, layout, coordinating the tile installation with other trades along with properly installing underlayment, tile, grout and sealant materials.
“The CTI program is strictly a test of the installer’s skills and knowledge; it is a self-study course which offers no instructional classes,” Carothers said. “However, many installers who have completed the CTI tests say that studying the written materials was very valuable and assisted in the completion of the hands-on test and that the CTI Manual provided the correct methods for tile installation which may not have been the way they installed tile in the past.”
The CTI program includes two separate tests:
- An online open-book exam, which is taken at home or the office as the installer’s schedule allows.
- A hands-on test, which is conducted at regional locations across the U.S. The hands-on portion of the test begins with an hour-long orientation class the day before the hands-on test to provide the installers with all the information they will need, get their tools in place and have their questions answered. Installers arrive on test day 6:30 a.m. to complete their final set up and be ready to begin. The test starts at 7:09 a.m. and must be completed by 4 p.m.
The written test must be successfully completed before participating in the hands-on test.
Those interested in registering for the February 20, 2021 hands-on testing event at The Carpet & Tile Warehouse in Vero Beach, FL, should go to https://www.ceramictilefoundation.org/events.
More certification events are forthcoming for 2021.