I've been fielding a lot of calls lately asking about how to find a good tile guy. I'd love to do all the tile work in the world, but it's not possible! Obviously, there is a void in the market for conscientious, skilled, responsive tile installers and they are hard to find by 'word of mouth' This business is more than just labor, you're buying the whole horse, so be sure that horse can RUN!
So, how do you find a great (not good) Tile installer....two simple questions when interviewing a tile guy.
"Do you reference the TCNA manual?"
"Are you a CERTIFIED TILE INSTALLER?"
What is the TCNA manual? The TCNA (Tile Council of North America) manual is a 450 page reference book that standardizes the tile industry. It is the rule book for all tile installers. In my experience most tile guys don't even know what it is. If you're talking to one of those guys and you have a technical project, turn him around and walk him out the door because chances are you're dealing with the 'fly by night' type.
A Certified Tile installer has had his or her skills tested by a live evaluator and has taken a 150 question written test verifying their knowledge of ANSI (American National Standards Institute) standards. This test is EXTREMELY difficult so you can be guaranteed the tile installer will use building methods and techniques confirmed to work by a committee of experts and years of testing.
If you haven't found a tile guy to speak with in your area, I recommend going to www.Tile-Assn.com and entering your coordinates into their website and they will direct you to a tile installer that is a member. At the very least a TCNA member will have access to all the resources being part of the organization provides, which are many and very useful to a legitimate installer. Resources like training, industry updates, consultation and this book!!
An even better method to guarantee your installation turns out flawless and that it will stand the test of time is to go to the Ceramic Tile Education Foundation.
Go to ceramictilefoundation.org click on "Find an Installer" Type in your zip code and Certified tile installers will magically appear! Do yourself a favor and ease your mind...Hire Certified (LIKE US!) You'll be glad you did!