Sika welcomed 23 installers to a training and testing event in its Davenport, Florida, facility on November 16 and 17. Installers from all over the state participated in grout installation training and the Ceramic Tile Education Foundation (CTEF) hosted evaluations for its Certified Tile Installer (CTI) program.

The event was conceived when Sika National Technical Manager John McIntyre and National Sales Manager Ken Johnson were contacted by three installers who wanted to retake the CTI hands-on test. There were no tests scheduled through CTEF in Florida for the rest of the year, so McIntyre and Johnson organized the event to provide grout training and the CTI evaluation the following day. News of the event at Sika’s facility spread and the attendee list quickly grew to 23 installers coming from as far as 200 miles away.

Attendees learned proper grout application and cleaning methods on the first day. Each installer received preset tile boards on which they practiced the methods and best practices McIntyre and Johnson demonstrated. The group experienced firsthand the unique features and benefits of the various products as they worked ready-to-use, epoxy and high-performance grouts into the prepared joints.  A highlight for many in attendance was noting the absence of grout release when cleaning SikaTile-825 Epoxy Grout and SikaTile Ultima Grout off unglazed porcelain mosaic.

Day two saw three installers take CTEF’s CTI hands-on test.  The installers needed to satisfactorily complete a variety of complex processes essential to proper tile installation. Preconstructed floor and wall frames were prepared for installers to level, apply tile, grout and caulk using SikaTile products. When the evaluations concluded, all three installers passed.

“We have found that there is great value in partnering with CTEF to provide installers with training before CTI evaluations,” said Sika Senior Product Manager Tom Carroll. “We aim to provide an ideal environment for installers participating in the CTI program to deliver their best work. And by preceding the evaluations with product training, it provides installers at all levels of experience with a solid understanding of the performance and features of top-quality grouts that they can apply to future jobs. It is part of Sika’s and CTEF’s shared pledge to elevate the tiling industry through education.”

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