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Do you have at least two years of experience as the lead installer setting ceramic tile on a full-time basis? In our definition, experience refers to having full responsibility for substrate prep, layout, coordinating with other trades along with properly installing underlayment, tile, grouting and sealant materials.

If yes, consider becoming a Certified Tile Installer (CTI).

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 United States.

The CTI program includes two separate tests.

  • The first is an online open-book exam which is taken at home or the office as the installer’s schedule allows.
  • The second is a hands-on test which is conducted at regional locations across the United States. The hands-on portion of the test begins at 7:09 am and must be completed by 4:00 pm. Installers should arrive at 6:30 am in order to get their tools set up and be ready to start the test at 7:09 am.

The CTI program is strictly a test of the installer’s skills and knowledge and offers no instructional classes.

However, many installers who have completed the CTI tests have said that reading and studying the written materials was very valuable and also assisted in the completion of the hands-on test.  Installers have also said 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 hands-on test is being offered at TISE 2017 in Las Vegas, NV and is sponsored by the Ceramic Tile Education Foundation (CTEF).

What is CTEF?

If you’ve not heard of the Ceramic Tile Education Foundation (CTEF), it provides education and installer certification for professionals working in the ceramic tile and stone industry. By the way, the CTEF Certified Tile Installer (CTI) program is the only third-party assessment of installer skill and knowledge which is recognized by the tile industry.

CTEF also offers the Advanced Certifications for Tile Installers (ACT).

Advanced Certifications for Tile Installers (ACT)

In order to take the ACT certification tests, an installer must be pre-qualified by either being a CTI or a journeyman tile setter who has successfully completed the apprenticeship program conducted by the International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers (IUBAC).

ACT certification in each area is granted upon successful completion of a written online test – designed to measure the installer’s understanding of applicable ANSI specifications and TCNA recommended methods – and a field test conducted by trained, third party evaluators who assess the installer’s skills under real life conditions.

Ready to Become a Certified Tile Installer?

The CTI hands-on test will be conducted in Las Vegas on Wednesday, January 18th and Thursday, January 19th, 2017 during The International Surfaces Event (TISE).

To register, please visit, select the test date of your choice, make your payment, and you will receive study materials.

We look forward to seeing you at TISE!

Scott Carothers – Director of Certification and Training, CTEF

Scott is responsible for the creation of the Certified Tile Installer (CTI) program, and is involved in the creation of the Advanced Certifications for Tile Installers (ACT) program as well as providing training to others in the tile industry.

He has been involved in the ceramic tile industry for over 36 years and was the owner of a successful retail and installation firm prior to coming to CTEF. He has served as President of the NTCA, Chairman of the NTCA Technical Committee, been named the NTCA Tile Person of the Year in 2005, and the Ring of Honor recipient in 2013. He is a voting member of the ANSI and the TCNA Handbook committees.