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Old 07-21-2012, 08:30 PM   #1
eblumer
EJ Flooring
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Columbia, Missouri
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Professional organizations

What organizations do you belong to? I'm learning about various programs out there that may help with business, but I don't which ones are better than others. What actual benefits are there to joining something like TCNA or CTEF?
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Old 07-21-2012, 08:57 PM   #2
tileguynky
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The Tile Council of North America, Inc. is a trade association representing North American manufacturers of ceramic tile, tile installation materials, tile equipment, raw materials, and other tile-related products. The Ceramic Tile Education Foundation (CTEF) provides education and installer certification for professionals working in the ceramic tile and stone industry. Both are supported by companies that have a vested interest in the betterment of the tile industry as a whole.

The NTCA, National Tile Contractor's Association is non-profit trade organization serving every segment of the tile and stone industry.

Are you a tile installer? If we know in what way you are involved in the tile industry, we can help in your search of the right trade organization for you.

As an installer, I belong to the NTCA and my local HBA ( Home Builders Association).

Also, can you put a name in your signature, also tell us a little about yourself.
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Old 07-21-2012, 09:38 PM   #3
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Eric, if you'll type either of those acronyms into the Advanced Search feature and ask for Titles you'll find a good bit of discussion about each. Same with NTCA.
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Old 07-22-2012, 12:17 AM   #4
eblumer
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Talking

I am a tile setter in Columbia, Missouri. I am a little slow right now, and have been using this down time to read as much as I can about improving my techniques. There were some jobs I would not do for fear of liability (mud pan showers at the top of that list), but after attending a Schluter seminar recently I know custom showers are in!

There aren't any stores in or around my city (about 110,000) that stock Schluter, nor do they seem interested in it, so I am in the process of getting a retail side to my business as well. I have a distributor lined up that sells all types of tile as well as full line of Schluter and Laticrete My wife attended the class with me and feels confident she could explain to somebody how the Schluter system works, and she loves helping people, as do I.

I don't have the means right now to join every organization that some of you are apart of, and I see the benefits of about all of them. When my wife and I attended the class, our instructor Andy mentioned something about joining a club for $150 I think that would generate $400 savings toward CTEF. Is there such a program out there?
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Old 07-22-2012, 12:56 AM   #5
Higher Standard Tile
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Eric if you join the NTCA you pay $500 a year but get back way more in vouchers from manufacturers. Click on the NTCA logo in my signature for more info.

If you take the CTEF certification test you also receive vouchers to offset the cost.
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Old 07-23-2012, 06:37 AM   #6
jcsa
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Associations

Eric,
There are two contracting associations. The NTCA and the TCAA. The TCAA is union contractors only. The NTCA is composed of non-union and union contractors. The NTCA is the largest in North America and i would venture to say largest in the world. The CTEF does not have a membership. It has certified installers, but no active membership.

I would encourage you to look at local assocaitions to help with networking. We recently joined the ASID as an industry partner. Why designers you may ask? They are a great source of the type of work we pursue. Participating in any organization is the key. If you join and are not active, you have wasted your money. "Opportunity doesn't knock on your door, you have to knock on opportunities door."

You may want to look at what any association has to offer and see what the return benefits are. The cost of the NTCA membership is offset with product vouchers. You will actually make money by becoming a member with the product vouchers. There also is a payment plan that makes it easier on your pocketbook if you decide to go that route. Hope this helps. John Cox
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Old 07-24-2012, 10:47 PM   #7
Brady Wimer
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Eric--

I am here in town, too. Unfortunately, most all people care about here is price. It's a shame but it's true, but I have been flooring here for 12 years and I promise I know of what I speak. That does not mean there are no good paying tile jobs around town, there are, but they are not easy to get ahold of. Columbia is very "good old boy network" and referral based.

As far as Schluter products go, quite a few stock Ditra, and most carry the drains. However, there is not a single store in Columbia that stocks Kerdi. I needed some the other day and went to about 8 places with no luck. I never messed with mud pan showers either until using Kerdi. Now they are no problem at all (I also use Paul from Cabot and Rowe's method for doing the shower bases--it works awesome). It's pretty easy to sell people on a Kerdi shower too, or so I have found--this is assuming you can get in the door to try and make the sale.

Please don't take me as being negative on Columbia. I am not. It's a great town with a LOT of disposable income and very recession resistant. The economy is good here--you just have to get out and hustle. I promise that hanging around here will make you a MUCH better tile setter. This place did wonders for me and I have become good friends with some people on here over the years. The people here are first rate and genuinely care about helping you get better because it helps the trade overall.

Concerning joining any organizations, I do not belong to any, but they can be a great resource. As John Cox said, you have to use them though. I have been to CTEF and it was great. The good news is that a lot of "tile guys" around town are total hacks. There is room for people who do quality work here. There are some great installers here too that make my work look like something Brian took a picture of in a Florida strip mall.

Lastly, I am in year 12 of doing this here in town and I am NOT your competition. I have all the work I want, from the people I want to work for, so don't hesitate to ask any questions.
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Old 07-25-2012, 10:44 PM   #8
eblumer
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Brady,
If you are looking for someone that sells Schluter here in town contact me. I am trying to set up a store that keeps stock of Kerdi and Laticrete setting materials in addition to some really great tile. I would love to be able to help you out.
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Old 07-25-2012, 10:50 PM   #9
Kilauea
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Eric,call me tomorrow around lunchtime.I can explain to you in depth the benefits of both CTEF and NTCA.


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Old 07-25-2012, 10:55 PM   #10
eblumer
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I start a job at 12:00 tomorrow central time. Can I call you around 11:00 tomorrow?
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Old 07-25-2012, 11:06 PM   #11
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Can i call u too LT?
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Old 08-23-2012, 06:17 AM   #12
RambLee
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Hey, Brady. I was more interested in ASID. I understand that you joined as an Industry Partner but did you do a regional, national or local partnership? And what benefits have you noticed from your membership? Are there many designers in your area that are partnered with ASID that prefer you to other installers based on your membership?
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Old 08-23-2012, 06:48 AM   #13
jcsa
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Asid

Brad,
We have been an industry partner for about a year. Have we received any work from it? Yes.It has not been a huge amount, not yet, but i beleive it will pay dividends. One suggestion, you have to attend any and everything that they put on! This is the only way people will get to know you. There is a designer that was a past president, that we have done a great deal of work with before we joined. I saw her and told her we had joined, she got excited. She has helped with breaking down the barriers and reccomending us to other designers. This has helped a bunch. If you do not attend any meetings or functions, save yourself the money and do not join. They are a tight nit group and do not venture outside the box unless they have a need to. I make sure i tell any designer that we are a industry partner and you can automatically see the barrier dropped. Hope this helps. J.C.
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Old 09-02-2012, 08:23 PM   #14
Ken
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You can see what professional organizations we're apart of by visiting our website.
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Old 09-02-2012, 08:26 PM   #15
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How come it doesn't say John Bridge Forums on there, Ken?
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