The National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA), in alliance with the Ceramic Tile Education Foundation (CTEF) and the Tile Council of North America (TCNA) collectively have announced 2011 goals for the Certified Tile Installer Program.

Since its inception in 2008, the Certified Tile Installer (CTI) Program has certified more than 500 tile installers, a true milestone for the industry. This year’s goal will be to extend and expand the existing roster to more than 1,000 certified tile installers by the end of 2011.

The Certified Tile Installer program is a comprehensive testing of the skills and knowledge of experienced tile installers which includes a multiple-choice 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, therefore, require that both the observable and non-observable characteristics of a finished installation are executed properly. (Note: this is a test of ability and is not considered a training event.) Installers who pass the written and hands-on exams receive a certificate, an identification card and most importantly, marketing materials developed by CTEF.

Several measures are in place to achieve this goal. In particular, the NTCA is updating its Five Star Contractor criteria to require contracting companies to employ certified installers to achieve NTCA Five Star Contractor status. Other efforts include the hiring of one person to promote certification events encouraging distributors to host such events around the country. In addition, every certified installer will be included in a special section of the 2011 TCNA Handbook for Ceramic Tile, Stone & Glass Tile Installation.

The NTCA, CTEF and the TCNA are reaching out to manufacturers, distributors and floor covering trade publications to encourage the vitality of such a program for our industry.

  “In less than three years, the Ceramic Tile Education Foundation (CTEF) has validated five hundred members through the Certified Tile Installer (CTI) program.  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,” stated Scott Carothers, executive director of the CTEF. “For 2011, the goal is to confirm 500 more CTIs in one year, effectively doubling the pool of 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.”

Additional information on details, registrations, schedules and eligibility requires can be found on