Guidelines for Ceramic Tile and Stone Tile
What to Look Out for When Using a Tile Installer
Donato Pompo CTC, CMR, CSI, CDT, MBA
Copyright ® 2007 - 2012 Ceramic Tile And Stone Consultants, Inc. All rights reserved.
The information contained in this document is meant to provide general guidelines for homeowners that
hire a professional tile installer. It does not address all applications, situations or conditions.
Always follow industry standards and manufacturers’ recommendations for the
tile and installation products that are being used.
Hiring the right installer is the difference between a delightful result and a nightmare. Most installers don’t go to school to learn the trade, so even with good intentions mistakes are made, because they don’t know the industry standards and they don’t fully understand the complexity of the work. So as a homeowner it's important that you act as the quality control inspector, making sure that industry standards and manufacturers’ instructions are followed. It's essential that you do your homework and learn what’s required for a successful tile installation so you can avoid unwanted problems.
One of the things you can do is request that tile installers are "ITS Verified" through the University of Ceramic Tile and Stone (UofCTS). The Tile Installer Thin-set Standards (ITS) Verification course teaches installers the industry installation standards and methods for tile thin-set applications. ITS Verified installers are tested annually on their knowledge and understanding of tile industry installation standards and methods. Their certificate expires annually so verify they are current by looking at their certificate.
This certificate doesn't guarantee the installer has the skill set or will do good work, but it verifies they took the course and demonstrated they learned and understood the standards. Learn more here.
For high risk applications such as showers, pools and spas, exterior decks, and exterior facades/veneers, a quality control plan is highly recommended. CTaSC provides customized installation specifications and quality control services. Donato Pompo is a certified Construction Document Technician who can provide architectural specifications for larger projects. Learn more here.