I’m a homeowner looking to have tile work done on my new home. I’ve had bad experiences with poor tile installations on my last house. We had a shower that leaked and caused an extensive amount of damage. How can I know if the contractor I hire this time is qualified and will do a good job?
Begin by locating a National Tile Contractors Association Member contractor. Through their professional association, these companies are connected to the highest levels of the tile industry and own the recognized tile industry standards, methods and best practices that guide their installations to success. Then require a Ceramic Tile Education Foundation Certified Tile Installer (CTI) to perform the installation. These persons are known to the tile industry as Qualified Labor and have proven their ability to understand and apply tile industry methods, standards and best practices through an aggressive written and hands-on certification process. They can be located in your area by exploring these links:
- For NTCA Members: http://www.tile-assn.com/search/custom.asp?id=2759
- For CTEF CTIs: https://www.ceramictilefoundation.org/find-certified-tile-installers
- For more information about Qualified Labor in the tile industry: https://whytile.com/qualified-labor/
When you interview any tile contractor:
- Ask them if they own and use the TCNA Handbook and ANSI Standards. Ask them which Handbook method they will use to construct your project. This will help you determine if the contractor you are interviewing owns and uses the recognized industry standards that will produce a great-looking and long-lasting installation for you.
- Ask them if they are a CTEF Certified Tile Installer (CTI) or if they hold Advanced Certifications for tile installations (ACT). Tile installers have been critically examined by the only nationally-recognized, third-party training and certification foundation on their knowledge of the recognized methods and best practices, and their ability to use them to produce a great-looking and long-lasting installation. A CTI will have a unique number assigned by the Ceramic Tile Education Foundation.
- Ask them if they are a member of their professional association. For tile contractors, it is the National Tile Contractors Association. Detailed technical support based on tile industry standards is a hallmark benefit of contractor membership.
- Ask them if they are licensed to work as a tile contractor by their state’s licensing board. (Not all states require licensing.)
- Ask them for references and a portfolio of work. Call their references. Review their portfolio. Preparation is everything. Ask them what type of prep work they will do before installing the tile.
Following this process should help you locate and employ a contractor that will perform the best installation for you.