IMI and BAC, working alongside tile employer associations including TCAA, have taken a major step to expand the job opportunities of tile installers by developing a series of certifications that will help distinguish the skilled tile installer from the less-skilled. The Advanced Certifications for Tile Installers (ACT) is a new set of certifications that recognize the importance of qualified installers and the role that the installers play in the success of any tile project.

The certifications were developed by IMI, BAC, TCAA as well as the Ceramic Tile Education Foundation and the National Tile Contractors Association and the Tile Council of North America. Recent editions of the TCNA Handbook as well as Arcom MasterSpec recommend requiring qualified tile installers.

The current specialty areas of ACT are: large format tile floors/substrate preparation; mud work; showers; and  membranes. It is anticipated that additional areas will be added as the program expands. In order to be eligible for certification, an installer must meet the prerequisite of being an experienced installer (those who have completed a BAC/IMI apprenticeship program qualify); and pass a written exam and practical hands-on test.

The written test is administered through multiple choice questions and tests the installer’s knowledge on the certification topic as documented in relevant ANSI standards, TCNA Handbook and best industry practices. The installer must pass the written test to be eligible to take the hands-on test. The practical hands-on test is administered at an IMI training center, manufacturer’s warehouse or other pre-determined location. The installer is given a pre-constructed module, such as a shower base, subfloor, etc. and will install the designated components of that certification’s system on the module.

These certifications will help expand work opportunities for installers and contractors who want to distinguish themselves as highly-skilled and known for top quality work. For BAC members who are interested in becoming ACT-certified, contact IMI Director of Apprenticeship and Training Bob Arnold at

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