Monthly Archives: February 2018


Certified Tile Installer – Why Homeowners Should Care

Being a certified tile installer (CTI) does not mean I’m the only qualified installer for Certified tile installer Logo, columbia Missouri, bathroom remodeling expertColumbia Missouri.  I wanted to start by being clear on that point.  Of course there are other qualified tile installers in my city, I’m not the only one.  I also know there are many installers that shouldn’t set another tile.  This post is about the process of being a Certified Tile Installer and why I think it’s a good program.  I encourage anyone to test their skills and earn their certification.  Until then, I will brag that I am the only CTI in Columbia, Missouri.  I have that going for me, which is nice.

What is a Certified Tile Installer?

A Certified Tile Installer is a lead installer with a minimum of two years full time tile certified tile installer study guides, columbia missouri, bathroom remodeling expertsetting experience.  I earned my CTI by passing a hands on test and an open book test.  The open book test I took online, I had to travel to Kansas City for the hands on portion.  My hands on test was evaluated by a member of the Ceramic Tile Education Foundation (CTEF).  The Ceramic Tile Education Foundation started the CTI program to combat the lack of skilled installers in the trade.  I know several installers that have had to make several attempts at passing their test.  Fortunately, I was able to pass my CTI on the first attempt.

What is Covered in Open Book Test?

shower installation detail, columbia missouriThe open book test is a timed test and it also consists of 155 questions.  The Ceramic Tile Education Foundation sends study materials for both the hands on and written tests.  The study materials include a field manual, ANSI Standards and TCNA handbook.  The field manual consists of 11 chapters and each chapter has a sample test at the end.  There is a lot of information to process in the books and I am a better installer for reading them.  The ANSI book also contains information about tile manufacturing and substrate requirements.  Thinset mortar and grout types are also classified by ANSI standards.

Hands On Test

completed CTI module, columbia missouri, certified tile installer

Completed CTI Module

When I got to Kansas City I could pick my own testing module.  The testing module consists of a wood floor substrate and wall studs.  It is the installers responsibility to properly cover the substrate with vapor retardant and backer board.  The evaluator uses ANSI standards to score the hands on test.  The module has only about 20 square feet of tile to install and every aspect has a feature.  The floor has a border and diamond inserts that must follow a specific pattern.  The wall consists of a straight lay pattern and it has a diamond insert.  The top of the knee wall must be properly sloped and all changes of plane must be treated appropriately.   The CTEF gives each installer a sample grade sheet, so we know what the evaluator is looking for.

Passing Grade

To receive the Certified Tile Installer certification, you must receive a cumulative score ofcertified tile installer certificate, columbia missouri, 85%.  The hands on test is worth 75% while the hands on test is worth 25%.  I figured I needed 150 or better on the  written test and 80% on the hands on.  Knowing that results typically take 3-4 weeks to get back I was curious about retaking the test.  An installer can take the test twice in six months.  If the first attempt is not successful you will be notified of your weaknesses and to schedule your makeup test.  The makeup test is not as expensive as the first attempt.  You receive your certificate if you pass, but your score is not given to you.

In Conclusion

columbia missouri, certified tile installer, qualified laborI hope you will consider hiring a qualified installer for your next tile project.  If you are in the central Missouri area I encourage you to please contact us.  If you aren’t in my area please check out the ceramictilefoundation.org and look for a Certified Tile Installer in your area.  Hiring an installer because they are considerably less expensive could be the most expensive mistake you’ll ever make.

Bathroom Remodel Ideas for Columbia Missouri Homeowners

Certified Tile Installer LogoI love when a bathroom remodel project call comes in.  Changing my customers home from what they have to what they want is very rewarding.  I thought writing a blog post with common bathroom upgrades would assist in getting the design juices flowing.  If you’re considering a bathroom remodel project, I hope you’ll consider giving us the opportunity work for you.


Keep the Bathtub or Replace with Tile Shower

Columbia MO bathtub tile surround, tileware grab bar, white subway tile surround, bathroom remodelMost realtors agree that you need a bathtub in the home.  I’m of the opinion that as long as there’s a tub in the guest bath, you don’t need another one.  I think it’s important to keep a tub in the home, many home buyers want a bathtub.  I think a quality bathtub is still a great addition versus the old one piece fiberglass unit.  Jetted tubs with a tile surround are great for many bathrooms.  The great thing about tile is that it’s so easy to personalize to your space.  Because tile is so personal, it is easy to compliment your decor.

Custom Tile Showers Best Bang for your Buck

Columbia MO tile shower, wood look tile shower, custom tile shower, bathroom remodelA custom tile shower will give you the best return on your bathroom remodel project. When I bid on bathroom remodel work in Columbia, MO, I encourage my customers to consider tiled showers.  I know every tiled shower is unique, no two showers are ever exactly the same.  Tiled showers are so unique because they have to be assembled in your home.  I think the best feature of a tiled shower is the way you can customize them.  Even a small 3×5 shower is big enough for two people.  My customers like recessed niches, custom benches and curbless showers.  If a true spa experience is what you want, I would suggest looking into a steam generator.  I can’t stress enough the importance of a proper shower build, read more about proper shower construction here.

Other Bathroom Remodel Ideas

heated tile floor, curbless tile shower, Columbia MO tile shower, bathroom remodelI know I have spent a lot of time talking about tub surrounds and custom tile showers.  One other topic I think we should look at is the rest of the bathroom.  A major upgrade that is virtually invisible is a heated floor.  A heated floor is a luxury, but one none of my customers has regretted purchasing.  Key design elements to look for are consistency.  Whatever design you choose, be sure to use that design everywhere possible.  What I mean by that is your shower faucet and sink faucet should match.  Most plumbing manufacturers even match the flush handle on your stool (a touch that won’t go unnoticed).  All the metal trim in your bathroom should also be the same color and sheen.  When I bid on a bathroom remodel consistency is something I focus on with you.

Wrapping Up

If you’re looking for bathroom remodel project ideas, stop in at legacy bath and tile on the Business Loop.  I would also love the opportunity to interview with you as well, contact us or call (573) 289-1045 to schedule your free consultation.