The University of Ceramic Tile and Stone (UofCTS) just released an updated version of the course “Tile Installer Thin-set Standards (ITS) Verification.” Both the U.S. and the Canadian version of this course were updated, as well as the Spanish version. The updated course offers a comprehensive review of the current industry installation standards, methods, and practices for ceramic, porcelain, glass, concrete, and natural stone tiles. Besides the industry standards being updated, the updated course has two new lessons and other expanded sections.

The intent of the course is to teach the current installation standards, methods, and practices so as to avoid installation problems and failures. It is critical that tile installers know the standards, so they can avoid the potential problems and the negative advertising consequences that problems bring to our industry and reputations. With the Floor Covering Industry’s growing concern with the shortage of qualified installers, the UofCTS ITS Verification course is an effective and practical solution to being able to train tile installers in a short amount of time.

The new lesson, Special Tile Applications, includes a detailed section on how to install gauged porcelain tile panels, also known as thin tile panels. The lesson reviews the product characteristics, tools and substrated conditions needed for installing these large tile panels, and the methods for installing these tile panels for both floor and wall applications. The Special Tile Application lesson also includes a section on how to construct tile showers that includes shower pans, curbless showers, and steam showers. The How to Install Glass Tile and Mosaics and How to Install Tile in Swimming Pools and other Water Features have also been expanded. The new section, Preparing Substrates, covers the tile layout process and options. There is also a new section in the Tile Installation Methods lesson that reviews the Types of tools needed in a tile installation, and a new lesson on Grouting, which covers the types of grout and how to install them, including cementitious, pre-mixed, and epoxy grouts. It also shows the different grouting methods from using rubber floats to grout bags.

The UofCTS ITS Verification course takes approximately five hours to complete. Students have 24/7 access and can come and go as they please during their 14 days of access. Tile Installers who complete and pass the course can use the acronym “ITS” alongside their name designating them as ITS Verified. This verification is good for two years, at which time they need to take the updated ITS Verification course to continue to be up-to-date on the industry standards and practices, and to continue being ITS Verified.

UofCTS also offers two other courses that will educate your employees on tile and stone: “Understanding the Basics of Ceramic Tile” and “Understanding the Basics of Natural Stone.” Both courses teach the basics in terms of terminology, uses, applications, selection, maintenance, and avoiding problems. But they also have a sales emphasis teaching the employee how to professionally interact with their clients. This course is good for showroom or sales reps, as well as installers, project managers, architects, and designers.

The updated course is accessible from mobile devices and available through many organizations in the tile and stone industry, where members receive special discounts.

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