Pendleton, S.C. -- The Ceramic Tile Education Foundation (CTEF) has published its schedule for certification and training in 2018. The schedule includes Certified Tile Installer (CTI) hands-on testing as well as three intense, hands-on tile installation training courses held at CTEF’s Pendleton, SC training facility.

“Understanding and Installing Ceramic Tile” (basic training) will be held: February 19-23; August 6-10; and November 5-9. “Mortar Shower Base and Waterproofing” will be held: February 23-24; August 10-11; and November 9-10. And “Ceramic Tile Inspection” will be held August 21-23.

For 2018, the CTI testing program has been vastly expanded through the Regional Evaluator program with tests taking place around the U.S. in addition to those held in Pendleton, S.C. New test locations and dates are regularly added, listed on the CTEF website.

“We are very grateful to our tile industry partners and test location hosts for supporting the expansion of the CTI program,” said Scott Carothers, director of training and education for CTEF. “Everyone in the tile industry agrees that the pool of talented and certified installers needs to increase dramatically to handle the amount of new work on the horizon. Working with our team of partners and hosts, we are getting that accomplished.”

This year’s hosts include: CTEF, (Pendleton, S.C.); Emser Tile (LaVista, Nev.); Collins Tile and Stone (Ashburn, Va.); Daltile (San Antonio, Texas); Schluter Systems (McCarren, Nev.); The Masonry Center (Boise, Idaho); The Tile Shop (Haltom, Texas); The Tile Shop (Schererville, Ind.); The Tile Shop (West Allis, Wis.); The Tile Shop (Indianapolis, Ind.); and Virginia Tile (Kansas City, Kan.).

The CTEF’s Certified Tile Installer (CTI) program is the only third-party assessment of installer skill and knowledge recognized by the tile industry. It offers homeowners 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 tile on a full-time basis. This means having full responsibility for substrate prep, layout, coordinating 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 offers no instructional classes,” said Carothers. “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 and a hands-on test which is conducted at regional locations across the U. S. The hands-on portion of the test begins at 7:09 a.m. and must be completed by 4 p.m. Installers should arrive at 6:30 a.m. in order to get their tools set up and be ready to start the test at 7:09 a.m.

The CTEF, which sponsors the CTI program, is supported by all segments of the ceramic tile industry.

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