SAN DIEGO, CA -- The University of Ceramic Tile and Stone (UofCTS) has provided training to over 1,000 tile installers over the last several years by providing the online course, “Tile Installer Thin-set Standards (ITS) Verification.” Those who have completed the course include union and non-union installers. The ITS course is available in both English and Spanish, so there have been many English speaking installers, as well as Spanish speaking installers from around the world who have taken the course. The course is also available in a Canadian version. Also, many technical service representatives of manufacturers and distributors, as well as architects and general contractors, have taken the course so they can be aware of the current industry installation standards, methods and practices.

The Tile Installer Thin-set Standards (ITS) Verification course instructs installers, setters and finishers on industry standards and practices, manufacturers’ requirements and proper installation methods for various tile applications that apply to ceramic, porcelain, stone and glass tile, among other types of adhered tile materials. The course also teaches how to inspect and prepare substrates and tiles, how to achieve full thinset contact, and points out quality workmanship requirements and practices. This course is also meaningful to architects, general contractors, distributors, manufacturers, consultants, inspectors and owners that recognize the value of understanding industry installation standards, practices and methods.

The intent of the course is to teach tile installers and others the current installation standards, methods and practices so we can avoid installation problems and failures. Industry consensus groups create the standards so that we can avoid reoccurring problems known to the industry. It is critical that tile installers know the standards so they can avoid the potential problems and the negative advertising consequences that problems bring to our industry and reputations. 

With the floor covering industry’s growing concern with the shortage of qualified installers, the UofCTS ITS Verification course is an effective and practical solution to being able to train tile installers in a short amount of time.

There is a lesson on special tile applications that includes a detailed section on how to install gauged porcelain tile panels/slabs. The lesson thoroughly reviews the product characteristics, the tools and substrated conditions needed for installing these large tile panels, as well as the methods for installing these tile panels for both floor and wall applications. It is loaded with photos, video clips and animations.

The special tile application lesson also includes a section on how to construct tile showers, which includes shower pans, curbless showers and steam showers. There is an expanded section on how to install glass tile and mosaics, and a section on how to install tile in swimming pools and other water features.

There is a section on preparing substrates that covers the tile layout process and options. There is a section in the tile installation methods lesson that reviews the types of tools used and needed in a tile installation.

There is lesson on grouting. It covers the types of grouts, including cementitious grouts, pre-mixed grouts and epoxy grouts, and how to apply them. It also shows the different grouting methods from using rubber floats to grout bags.

The UofCTS ITS Verification course takes about five hours to complete. Students have 24/7 access and can come and go as they please during their 14 days of access. Tile installers who complete and pass the course can use the acronym “ITS” alongside their name designating them as ITS Verified. This verification is good for two years, at which time they need to take the updated ITS Verification course to continue to be up-to-date on the industry standards and practices, and to continue being ITS Verified. Like in any other legitimate professions, tile installers need continued education in order to stay current with changes in the industry and with the changes in industry standards. 

UofCTS also offers other courses that will educate your employees on tile and stone, including Understanding the Basics of Ceramic Tile, Understanding the Basics of Natural Stone, and The Complete Guide on Developing Tile & Stone Specifications with Architects. The Tile and Stone courses teach the basics in terms of terminology, uses, applications, selection, maintenance and avoiding problems. They also have a sales emphasis, teaching the employee how to professionally interact with their clients. These courses are good for showroom or sales reps. It is also good for installers, project managers or architects and designers. The Developing Tile & Stone Specifications with Architects course teaches how to write a “bullet proof" specification to avoid value engineering, how to develop relationships with architects, and how to track and get the order.

UofCTS Online courses are available through many key organizations in the tile and stone industry, where members receive special discounts. Courses can be purchased through CTDA at, Fuse Alliance at, NTCA at, TTMAC at, or at the UofCTS website at

As is clearly understood by successful businesses, the fastest way to increase profits and avoid problems is through education. Once installers or employees are trained, they will become more confident, credible and effective in their jobs. With proper training, there will be less costly failures and problems, resulting in more profit and repeat business. The return on your investment is never ending. 

To see video previews of each of the courses, visit the website at To view the ITS English, course go to ITS English Video. To view the ITS English course, go to ITS Spanish Video.

Tuition is only $150 per person and once registered, students have 14 days to complete the course, which is accessible online, 24/7. Students can print a personalized certificate when they have passed all lesson assessments with a score of 80% or better. Upon passing the course, the student is provided a link to download a student reference guide that contains all of the key information from that respective course. Volume discounts are available.