Specifying Qualified Installers
Tile: It’s the go to finish when you are looking for
high fashion and high function. But you might not
get either if you leave it to just anyone to install.
Unlike plumbing, electrical, and structural masonry
trades, tile installers and the tile contractors that
employ them are not generally required to meet
minimum trade craft criteria to be in business.
The difference between trained, experienced
installers and inexperienced installers is noticeably
reflected in their work, and the difference between
a quality contractor and a deficient one is relected
in their service and business operations. Together,
contractor and installer transform your concept into reality.
Architects and specifiers are strongly encouraged
to include language in job specifications requiring
qualified labor and enforce this with the general
contractor. See the Tile Council of North America Handbook for a list of industry recognized pre-qualification programs for installers and contractors such as the CeramicTile Education
Foundation Certified Tile Installer Program,
the ACT (Advanced Certifications for Tile Installers)
Program,the NTCA 5-Star Contractor Program,
and the TCAA Trowelof Excellence Program.
General Contractors can help deliver a quality
tile installation by fulfilling contractor qualification
requirements in job specifications. When not
included, utilize internally developed qualifications.
Require proof of qualifications to be included
with all project bids. Thoroughly compare
estimates frombidding contractors before
awarding contracts. Often, higher estimates
reflect better materials and additional necessary
components and tasks, like substrate preparation
and movement joints.
Homeowners should not hesitate to ask contractors
for proof of insurance, their license (where required),
and their installation qualifications. Thoroughly
interview bidding contractors and check several
references. Take the timeto ensure they have a
proven track of record of success in performing the
work needed in your specific application.