Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile

Welcome to John Bridge / Tile Your World, the friendliest DIY Forum on the Internet


Advertiser Directory
JohnBridge.com Home
Buy John Bridge's Books

Go Back   Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile > Tile & Stone Forums > Professionals' Hangout

Sponsors


Reply
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Unread 10-10-2021, 07:49 PM   #16
cx
Moderator emeritus
 
cx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Boerne, Texas
Posts: 93,778
The CTEF was set up as a training facility for tile professionals. They had a variety of courses for various aspects of the trade. The product manufacturers provided, at no cost, all the products needed for the hands-on portions of the various classes. Some manufacturers used the facility for their own proprietary training courses, Schluter being one of the better known.

The goal was training tile installers. Folks paid for the training, except for the manufacturer sponsored courses. The training was not inexpensive, 'specially considering the travel involved, but I thought it reasonable. I took a couple courses there, most notably the full five day Tile Inspection course when our own Dave Gobis was running the place.

Then the focus of the CTEF changed from one of training tile installers to one of certifying already trained tile installers. This was supposed, somehow, to be a serious benefit to the trade. I didn't understand how that was going to work. I still don't.

At the time (I forget how many years ago, now) we were told about how the certification was going to change the industry and how one day the product manufacturers would only sell their products to certified installers and how architects and major building contractors would hire only certified installers on their projects and that the certification process would allow the CTEF to operate in the black. We were also told that the CTEF would still be primarily a training facility and would still offer the same courses as before.

Some years ago, when it was still my practice to attend all the national tile organization technical committee meetings, on behalf of this website, I would chat with the new director of the CTEF and ask about ongoing training. I'd ask him to send me his records of all the classes that had actually made during the past year (public information) and he would promise to send me the information. I would ask to see the breakdown on how much money was being spent on training as opposed to certification. He would promise to send me the information. I've yet to see any of that data, so I really don't know what was going on at the CTEF then and know even less these days.

But, when I'd visit the CTEF website - been years since I've done that - I would see far fewer classes advertised. And, of course, no way to know how many of those classes ever met.

And at the various technical meetings and trade shows I've chatted with the reps or owners of some larger tile installation companies and ask if they were seeing more bids coming their way and being won because they had paid to send their installers to be certified and advertised such. At the time, that did not appear to be the case. Perhaps it's different now? I don't know. Been out of touch with the industry too long.

My biggest concern with the change in direction is that now that the CTEF is concentrating on the certification program, where can someone who sincerely wants to further his education and training as a tile professional go for such education and training? I know there are at least a couple online training offerings, from the CTDA and the UofCTS and such, but where can a girl go to get up to her elbows in thinset mortar or fat mud? That was available at the CTEF and I wish it still were. Perhaps it is and I'm just too far out of touch? If so, now that we're on the public forum, I'm sure somebody will straighten me out in short order. I'd really like to be wrong about the current state of the matter.

That's a very condensed version of what I meant, Lou. Let the discussion continue.
__________________
CX

Y'ALL NEW VISITORS READ THIS HERE!

Last edited by cx; 10-11-2021 at 12:19 PM. Reason: Typo
cx is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 10-11-2021, 10:32 AM   #17
Dave Gobis
da Man!
 
Dave Gobis's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Racine, WI.
Posts: 5,645
My focus in building CTEF was strictly education, I left in 2008 when my wife reached retirement. That was always the plan. I still believe education is the way.
Dave Gobis is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 10-12-2021, 01:54 PM   #18
John Bridge
Mudmeister
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Rosanky, Texas
Posts: 68,444
Send a message via AIM to John Bridge
Here's another vote for education.

First of all, the "tile industry" is way bigger than the NTCA, the CTEF, the TCNA and all the other acronyms thrown in. Anyone who has operated in a large city (as I did) will affirm that. I dealt with several large products distributors in the Houston area, and I can tell you that maybe one-tenth of the people actually in the business knew anything about the acronyms I've listed above. I've been out of it since 2010, so things might have changed somewhat.

I don't know what the answer is, but until we're able to get down the the rank and file, not a lot is going to change.

What we here at JBF have tried to do, and continue to try to do, is educate consumers so that they have a better chance of selecting qualified contractors to do their work.

Last edited by John Bridge; 10-13-2021 at 10:07 AM.
John Bridge is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 10-12-2021, 04:17 PM   #19
Just In Tile LLC
Registered User
 
Just In Tile LLC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: East Texas
Posts: 1,523
I had a great group of old school mud men show me the trade and am very fortunate in my education and upbringing...but we did a lot of work not by the book. Flat liners, very little back buttering, no straight line combing, not really prepping a slab for flatness. Even saying all that they truly cared about the craft of tile and I learned a lot of what choices to make to make tile look good and prep as far as what is important to get RIGHT as far as square and plumb.

Once I joined this forum, I became obsessed with reading about job failures and the WHY of tile and what works and what doesn't and the WHY. This forum has done more for the tile trade than words can express for me personally.

Having read through one of John's first books his approach and attitude to the trade is always sprinkled with humor and humility and I think truly that is what will bring people to be better. We ALL have done stuff wrong and to remember where we came from when we give out information to others I think will always produce the best result.

*steps off soap box*
__________________
Justin
"Being world class means knowing you're good, but never satisfied you're good enough"
Just In Tile LLC is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 10-13-2021, 10:18 AM   #20
John Bridge
Mudmeister
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Rosanky, Texas
Posts: 68,444
Send a message via AIM to John Bridge
Geez, where are you at in East Texas, Justin? I might just come over and give you a big kiss. Well, maybe not quite that. . . .
John Bridge is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 10-14-2021, 03:05 AM   #21
jondon
Hershey Pennsylvania Tile Contractor
 
jondon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Annville - Pennsylvania
Posts: 6,180
Send a message via AIM to jondon
Many I have known fell into doing tile. My father was a jack of all trades as I would growing up but when he would work he wouldn't let me help. He wanted to get it done and I might mess something up. Had he given me a shot I would have gotten into working with my hands early on. The times are different and I have the patience to teach people because I am not in a hurry.

Experience will always be the best teacher. I learn the most working around other tile setters collaborating traveled around the US to pick up knowledge that has been my greatest asset. Working around guys such as Shaun Haley where I truly learned mud in Cali and working in Laguna Beach. Others such are Artzen Frankenstickin. He saw things no one else did, called people out. But he and others shaped me into who I am.

Lastly this forum and I always say it took me to a new level of doing tile. I would not be where I am without it. As for the NTCA and the rest, they are money makers look how the manufacturers pump money into them for advertising. The little guy isn't much more than a monthly membership fee. The 5 Star program I was going to join until I realised it's all about dollar signs and the good ole boy network. When that happened I exited.

Getting back to the certifications, again they won't hurt you. They are only as good as what you already bring to the table in your skill level and who you are. Did it change my life no, did the JB Forum change my life YES. What I put into this forum was my time and yes time is value. I got a lot out of it and met a lot of amazing people who I still am in touch with.
__________________

Jon Donmoyer

JD Tile

CTEF Certified Installer #825

Custom Tile Installation in Hershey & surrounding areas

Serving Dauphin, Lebanon, Berks, Chester, & Montgomery Counties PA
jondon is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 10-14-2021, 10:24 AM   #22
Dave Gobis
da Man!
 
Dave Gobis's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Racine, WI.
Posts: 5,645
Jon, I am going to disagree with you on your assertion NTCA is all about the money. I have been a member many years, since 1983 or 4. I served several years on the Board. NTCA spends all their money on betterment for the contractor. There is no pot of money used for other purposes. All the emplyees are paid reasonable salaries with normal benefits. It is not unlike a business owner, there is no overtime, which is commonly required. Everyone flies Coach. Each employee is dedicated to the cause devoid of any financal consideration. I am not overly excited about the 5 Star program because it smacks of marketing. On the flip side of that coin, the contractor deserves something if he goes through all those hoops. Everyone in the organization gives of themselves and in some cases their own money. I will be more than happy to arrange a complete finacial review of the organization if you so desire.
Dave Gobis is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 10-16-2021, 03:12 PM   #23
Tiger Mountain Tile Inc
Registered Muser
 
Tiger Mountain Tile Inc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Issaquah, Washington
Posts: 7,059
I'm not in-the-know, but a lot of the education is now through NTCA University. They've put a lot of work into this program.

I don't really know where things are with CTEF education but the CTI program is alive and well.

There are no shortage of opinions when it comes to certification. But this is the direction the industry has chosen to go. You can get on board or get left behind. If you're a younger person in the trade I think certification will pay off for you. But that's just another opinion.
__________________
James Upton DIYTileGuy.com
Tiger Mountain Tile Inc is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 10-17-2021, 05:11 AM   #24
jondon
Hershey Pennsylvania Tile Contractor
 
jondon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Annville - Pennsylvania
Posts: 6,180
Send a message via AIM to jondon
I agree with all Jim just said. Education in any trade is critical. Hands on is how many of us got into tile we didn't plan it but it just happened. Had any programs been available when I was young it wouldn't have done any good because I was in the mentality I had to go to college which I did but had no passion for it.

Speaking of education unfortunately in our votech we don't have tile and that's what we need to change. We have carpentry, plumbing, electrical, masonry but no tile. Tile really is it's own entity, you'll find that out when you do it full time, so that's something I want to push for. Even have some training in my own shop to teach the basics.

Nothing beats experience that's where we really learn and get challenged. Certs are good but hands on in the environment is how we grow. Different job every week or 2 for most of us so variety, new customer, new job, is what we thrive on.
__________________

Jon Donmoyer

JD Tile

CTEF Certified Installer #825

Custom Tile Installation in Hershey & surrounding areas

Serving Dauphin, Lebanon, Berks, Chester, & Montgomery Counties PA
jondon is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 10-17-2021, 08:37 AM   #25
cx
Moderator emeritus
 
cx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Boerne, Texas
Posts: 93,778
Problem with that NTCA University, Jim, is the same as with the others I mentioned that are online venues. While I'm all for teaching the technical aspects of the trade, I still maintain that there is no substitute for the hands-on portion of the education process in a trade like tile installation.

That's the important part that I think has been lost with the change in the CTEF.
__________________
CX

Y'ALL NEW VISITORS READ THIS HERE!
cx is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 10-17-2021, 10:32 AM   #26
Dave Gobis
da Man!
 
Dave Gobis's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Racine, WI.
Posts: 5,645
Received numerous inquiries and tried the VoTec route JD, had 5 going at one time. Gave them the curriculum, equipped, and supplied them. Four died after the first year, the fifth in KY went two years. Best and longest VoTec program, Upstate New York prison system. Had the lowest Recidivism rate of any program. I never told anyone about that one publicly.
Dave Gobis is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 10-17-2021, 11:16 AM   #27
cx
Moderator emeritus
 
cx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Boerne, Texas
Posts: 93,778
Good thing, then, that nobody visits this website, Dave.

How long ago was the prison program, or is it still active?
__________________
CX

Y'ALL NEW VISITORS READ THIS HERE!
cx is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 10-17-2021, 02:19 PM   #28
Just In Tile LLC
Registered User
 
Just In Tile LLC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: East Texas
Posts: 1,523
Hah John, I think sipping a beer solving the worlds problems will suffice.

My realities on the day to day of the tile trade are probably vastly different from most being a small town setter. Where I’m at I’m experiencing people moving away from city life with the culture shock of no city life contractors. I try and fill that void with professionalism and quality that is to be expected from city folk. Having been a So Cal tile guy I understand the demands asked of me.

Honestly I’m in paradise when it comes to demand, competition, and perception of the area. I don’t expect it to last too long, but sure is nice to be in an area as it grows larger and be the go to guy (talk of the town) tile guy for transplants.
__________________
Justin
"Being world class means knowing you're good, but never satisfied you're good enough"
Just In Tile LLC is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 10-17-2021, 09:50 PM   #29
Lou_MA
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 1,078
I stopped by my local voc tech about 5 years ago to inquire about any students or graduates that might want to join my company.

Was told the school dropped their masonry program the previous year after enrollment dropped down to a single student. I don’t know how many years the program had been running before that.
__________________
Lou
Lou_MA is online now   Reply With Quote
Unread Yesterday, 03:13 AM   #30
jondon
Hershey Pennsylvania Tile Contractor
 
jondon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Annville - Pennsylvania
Posts: 6,180
Send a message via AIM to jondon
Quote:
posted by Dave Gobis:
Received numerous inquiries and tried the VoTec route JD, had 5 going at one time. Gave them the curriculum, equipped, and supplied them. Four died after the first year, the fifth in KY went two years. Best and longest VoTec program, Upstate New York prison system. Had the lowest Recidivism rate of any program. I never told anyone about that one publicly.
Dave that is interesting, my hat is off for your effort I have talked about it but haven't acted. My feeling is for the programs like being in HVAC, plumbing, carpentry, so on so forth these are established. When you get into these trades you are an apprentice unless you grow up doing it second generations, 3rd. You get to experience it. Tile I believe you apprentice when you are in the union. Many of us as stated get into tile because we try it, work with someone, really grasp it and realize our skill is with our hands. On top of that we have a certain artistry to do layout have ideas.

Tile is something we don't have to have I think this is where the missing element is. Its a luxury, most have fibreglass showers and other types of flooring. You have to have heat and a/c of some sort. Masonary isn't as desirable because certain areas of the US you are not gonna work in the winter though you can work inside. I think tile is just a different animal and I respect all you who do it or have done it. It's not an on/off it works it doesn't work type a trade. It requires a lot of thought every day, while preparing, you miss one aspect and.... well you all know the challenges. To do it right and with passion I find is rare.

Nothing will ever beat hands on training and there is not enough of it. I am going to do my best to train people who have an interest, work over the Summer. Right now I am thriving doing it myself but once I slow down I want to do more training. Forensics is interesting as well I have incorporated that aspect into my game now. I have written up evaluations for homeowners with new homes and failed showers to arm their lawyers. Just too many uneducated installers. GC needs to be more educated as well just as homeowners. Problem is when you have a home built you don't get to pick your tile installer the down side of a new home. I don't see this every changing. This is the type of trade people fall into, they don't dream growing up they want to do tile.
__________________

Jon Donmoyer

JD Tile

CTEF Certified Installer #825

Custom Tile Installation in Hershey & surrounding areas

Serving Dauphin, Lebanon, Berks, Chester, & Montgomery Counties PA
jondon is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Stonetooling.com   Tile-Assn.com   National Gypsum Permabase


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Wavy tile edges...pros and cons? Optiguytom Tile Forum/Advice Board 6 10-04-2021 04:28 PM
Union Pros and Cons Please geetpicker Professionals' Hangout 29 09-01-2008 05:39 PM
Tile or cultured marble shower??? Pros and Cons please starlight Tile Forum/Advice Board 1 05-20-2005 01:14 PM
Porcelain tile...pros/cons KNA Tile Forum/Advice Board 6 12-05-2004 08:51 PM
Tile in Kitchen...Pros vs Cons Shower Rookie Tile Forum/Advice Board 22 06-14-2002 05:20 PM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:19 AM.


Sponsors

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright 2018 John Bridge & Associates, LLC