The National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA), in partnership with the Ceramic Tile Education Foundation (CTEF), has announced details on a new interactive event taking place at Coverings 2018 in Atlanta, Ga, May 8 to 11.

The “CTI Challenge,” a live event designed by Scott Carothers, CTEF director, is slated to take place between rival teams, both consisting of NTCA members and Certified Tile Installers. The Challenge will begin Tuesday, May 8 and conclude on Wednesday, May 9.

“This is a new event at Coverings,” said Carothers. “In the past, CTI Certification testing was conducted on the show floor. This year, we opted to showcase the skills our CTIs possess and emphasize the importance of standards and methods. Our challengers will be judged on how well they stayed within installation guidelines, their practice of standards/methods and finally, the overall quality of their work. Each team has the exact same project to create (wall and floor) and each will be segregated, unable to see what each other is doing. Neither team will know what they will be creating until Tuesday morning.”

The CTI Challenge Competitors, who have light-heartedly dubbed this event “East versus West”, include: Jason McDaniel, Stoneman Construction LLC (Portland, Ore.) and Shon Parker, Hawthorne Tile (Portland, Ore.); and John Martin, Martin’s Custom Tile (Decatur, Ill.) and Greg Twarog, Surfaces 15 (Chicago, Ill.).

The Certified Tile Installer (CTI) program is a comprehensive testing of the skills and knowledge of experienced tile installers, which includes a multiple-choice exam and a hands-on test. Both are based on current industry standards and best practices for producing a sound installation that exhibits good workmanship. The tests, therefore, require that both the observable and non-observable characteristics of a finished installation are executed properly.

“The CTI Program and this Challenge were created to give back to our industry,” said Bart Bettiga, NTCA’s executive director. “Developing the next generation of skilled installers and promoting quality craftsmanship remains the top priority of the NTCA and the CTEF. The energy and excitement driving this new event makes it the perfect workforce development initiative for recruiting new bodies to the profession, while motivating experienced installers to reach higher levels of performance.”

The CTI Challenge will take place in the Installation Experience exhibit as part of The Construction Zone (Hall C, Booth#8401).

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