Leadership Letter: Why CTDA is a lot more than ceramic tile Certification, Education, Stone, & Mold
May 1st, 2006

May-June 2006

If it seems as though I have a “laundry list” of topics to discuss here, it’s true. There’s a lot going on in CTDA and the industry and all of it is important to you and to growing your business.

Today’s marketplace encompasses ceramic, glass and stone tiles, setting and installation materials, tools, education and training. CTDA is prepared to help you meet each of these challenges with a growing family of association tools.

Certification & training

CTDA has always been your key to industry education. As the industry grows in both complexity and dollar volume, CTDA’s role has become increasingly important in delivering information, education, and training. Many of you already use Tile Training in a Box and the Shade Variation Program. Now the association is about to offer yet another option.

While many of us were busy working our way through the trade show floor at Coverings in Orlando, a number of CTDA members were graciously “testing” the CTDA Certified Ceramic Tile Salesperson (CCTS) examination. We genuinely appreciate their time and commitment to this important venture.

CTDA developed the certification program as the next step in industry education and training. Employees who have successfully earned the CCTS demonstrate to consumers and competitors that they have the industry knowledge to help customers make informed and appropriate material choices. The certification curriculum includes Basic Selling Skills, Tile Specific Selling Skills, and Installation Basics.

You’ll learn more about the official launch of certification in the months ahead, but it represents just one aspect of CTDA’s interest in industry education.

The role of stone

I’m sure many of you noticed the growing role of stone at Coverings. Industry experts estimate that the total of the US stone supply and imports for 2006 will be valued at $6.8 billion manufacturers’ dollars.

CTDA has also responded to the surging role of stone in the marketplace by adding valuable stone educational materials to Tile Training in a Box. The new stone section is substantial, including Stone Types and Usage, Characteristics, Common Applications, Tools, Installation Procedures, Sealing, and Care and Maintenance. TileDealer magazine continues to add coverage of stone materials and the stone marketplace.

The Mold issue

Perhaps one of the most important panels at Coverings covered the growing concerns over mold and its impact on the industry. Although it has always been present in the environment, current construction methods have led to moisture problems which have in turn led to sometimes significant mold infestations. The cost of remediation is substantial. Mold presents a health hazard to individuals with allergies or other sensitivities to it. Industry standards regarding installation should alleviate these problems. The issue promises to be as stubborn as mold itself. CTDA’s Mold Committee has been established to address this topic and continue to provide members with the latest information on mold.

Ours is an exciting and increasingly diverse business, but with an industry ally like CTDA, we’ll all manage to grow our businesses along with the industry.

Best regards,

Mark Carlson

CTDA President

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