Certifying tile installers can only help the flooring industry. The bar has been raised by consumers as well as the industry and it’s time to recognize those who are not only talented but committed to their profession. I thought it would be a good time to get an update on the industry.
I was lucky enough to get an Interview with Scott Carothers, Executive Director of the CTEF.
Scott, what is the Ceramic Tile Education Foundation?
The Ceramic Tile Education Foundation (CTEF) provides education and installer certification for professionals working in the ceramic tile and stone industry. We are a non-profit organization supported by stakeholders from all industry segments, including contractors, manufacturers, and the major domestic and international trade associations.
How did you get to the CTEF?
I was hired to institute a tile certification for the CTEF. Certification is necessary to differentiate installers and to help customer make better hiring decisions.
Why has certification become so important to consumers?
Consumers have never had a way to distinguish one installer from another. They never knew who had the knowledge and the right experience. Now they can go on our website and verify the installers. It’s voluntary but we have to find a way to raise the bar. There are 155 questions that involve knowledge and standards as well as best practices for our industry.
How does the certification work?
This is not a training program, it’s a way to verify the skills that the installer already has. The installer registers on-line and has a study guide with the ANSI standards and the TCNA handbook. They can take the online classes as many times as they like before they take the written test. Someone from the CTEF like myself can go to their hometown and evaluate their hands on skills.
Tell us a little about the C.T.E.F.
1 member from the Tiles of Spain, One from the Italian manufacturers, 2 manufacturer reps and one from the C.T.D.A.
The mission from the mid 90’s was to provide non-proprietary training and education to the ceramic tile industry. this eventually grew into a certification or validation of skills and knowledge of successful tile installers from the USA. The program is brand new but we are getting great results.
The A&D community is using some of our specifications in their plans and many of the Universities are requiring that the tile installers be certified.
We hope to have 700 installers certified by the end of the year. We are hoping that it will become a standard and that all installers will have to be certified. This will mean less problems for consumers and for the industry.
For further information on the certification program, contact Scott Carothers below.
Scott M. Carothers, Executive Director,Ceramic Tile Education Foundation
Phone: 864-222-2131, Fax: 864-222-1299, Cell: 814-931-8453