The University of Ceramic Tile and Stone (UofCTS) is launching its newest online course, “Understanding the Basics of Natural Stone.” It offers a comprehensive look at the stone industry - from ancient uses and geology to quarrying, fabrication, installation and advice on how to win over customers.

Understanding the Basics of Natural Stone has been created with salespeople, installers and design professionals in mind as well as business owners. The course is conveniently available online, which makes it very cost effective for companies to train staff members and customers. There are no travel expenses or lost productivity, and it is accessible wherever there is an Internet connection. Students can log on 24/7 and can set their own pace.

The UofCTS has taken care to cover the subjects that anyone working with stone should know. The course’s Table of Contents includes: Introduction and History of Natural Stone, Stone Geology and Formation, Stone Quarry Mining, Stone Processing and Fabrication, Stone Countertops, Stone Installations, Vertical Applications: Exterior Veneers and Interior Walls, Stone Selection and Design, Stone Care and Maintenance and Giving the Customer a Choice.

One of the main themes throughout the stone course is: “knowledge equals sales.” “For example, the more a salesperson knows about the product, the easier it will be to communicate the benefits or drawbacks to the customer,” stated UofCTS. “The more information a customer has, the more he or she is likely to make an intelligent decision, thereby avoiding false expectations and potential problems. Ultimately, training your sales force leads to more sales and more profit for the company.”

Industry leaders who previewed Understanding the Basics of Natural Stone gave the course positive reviews. “What I just witnessed is my last 24 years of education presented in a two- to three-hour-long course,” said John C. Grubb of Charles Luck Stone Center. “We realize the value of being the ‘total expert’ in the field. It really does work and gives you the edge over your competition if you can lead clients to a great decision.”

To see a video preview of the Understanding the Basics of Natural Stone course visit the Web site found on the online training courses page.

Tuition is $115 per person, and once registered, students have 14 days to complete the course which is accessible online, 24/7. Students can print a diploma, worthy of framing, when they have passed all lesson assessments. The UofCTS also offers volume discounts.

In addition, UofCTS is providing the Ceramic Tile Distributors Association (CTDA) with a customized version of the course, “CTDA Online: Understanding the Basics of Natural Stone.” CTDA offers a special price for its members. Visit for details.

The UofCTS is the training division of Ceramic Tile and Stone Consultants (CTaSC) and is committed to developing training programs for the ceramic tile and stone industry utilizing the latest and most effective technology and learning methodology. Launched in 2004, Understanding the Basics of Ceramic Tile has already enjoyed success with trade and design professionals for several years. The UofCTS also provides live classroom training and jobsite training.

CTaSC specializes in ceramic tile and stone consulting in North America and internationally, and it provides forensic failure inspections, expert witness testimony, quality control services, market research and business planning consulting to the ceramic tile and stone industry.

For further information about the UofCTS training services, contact Joseph L. Russ, E-Learning and Training Director at Joe@UofCTS; call toll free at 866-669-1550; or visit the Ceramic Tile and Stone Consultant’s Web site at