The Ceramic Tile Education Foundation was created in the later part of 1996 at the suggestion of the Tile Council of North America (TCNA). Other supportive industry organizations such as the National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA), Ceramic Tile Distributors Association (CTDA), and foreign trade partners Ceramic Tile of Italy (Italian Tile Producers) and Tile of Spain (Spanish Tile Producers) had long realized that the absence of an educational organization was and would continue to impact the ability to sell product in the American marketplace.
The attrition of the current tile industry workforce at the rate of several thousand per year, also served to compound the problem. A review of current available curriculums and educational programs found that the available programs were sorely in need of updating or of a proprietary nature.
Armed with funding from the Coverings Tile & Stone Exposition and other industry partners, the decision was made to create from scratch numerous educational and training courses to assist the industry in the sales and installation of ceramic tile products. The Ceramic Tile Education Foundation, a 501 C3 non-profit organization was created for this purpose.
The CTEF's training center is a 9,000 square-foot facility designed to meet the growing demand for ceramic tile-related and hands-on installation courses.
Each work area contains a tub and shower, which are used as a practice area for tile setting, waterproofing, and shower pan programs.
The CTEF warehouse contains an extensive inventory of products donated by manufacturers to provide each student with the opportunity to learn the basics of floor and wall tile installation
The commitment of the Tile Council of North America and the National Tile Contractors Association will assure continuance of CTEF programs for years to come at a very modest price. Manufactures have also been generous with financial donations and/or materials without which the programs would not be possible. Consider in each class, thousands of dollars of materials are installed and removed to make way for the next group of students. Some become quite attached to what, in some cases, becomes a work of art.