The Advanced Certifications for Tile Installers (ACT) program was created through the combined efforts of six leading organizations in the tile industry: the Ceramic Tile Education Foundation (CTEF); the International Masonry Institute (IMI); the International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers (IUBAC); the National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA); the Tile Contractors' Association of America (TCAA) and the Tile Council of North America (TCNA).  

The intent of the ACT certification program is to provide a level of consumer confidence for tile installation procedures that exceed ANSI standards and TCNA guidelines for floor and wall.  ACT certified installers represent the pinnacle of performance in the tile trade and maintain a level of excellence superior to non-ACT certified installers.

ACT is not a training program; it evaluates the skills and knowledge of tile installers and currently offers certifications in seven specific areas of tile installation:  

  • Grouts
  • Large Format Tile & Substrate Preparation
  • Membranes
  • Mortar (Mud) Floors
  • Mortar (Mud) Walls
  • Shower Receptors 
  • Thin Porcelain Tile 

An installer may choose to become ACT certified in one or more of these areas.

ACT certification in each area is granted upon successful completion of a written online test - designed to measure the installer's understanding of applicable ANSI specifications and TCNA recommended methods - and a field test conducted by trained, third party evaluators who assess the installer's skills under real life conditions. 

Installers wishing to become ACT certified must be pre-qualified in one of two ways:

  • Be a Certified Tile Installer (CTI) through the Ceramic Tile Education Foundation; or

  • Be a journeyman tile setter who has successfully completed the apprenticeship program conducted by the International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers

For more information on ACT certification and to obtain test dates and locations, visit:





I am an architect / designer. How will ACT benefit my project?

By requiring installers with one or more ACT certifications, you can be assured that the installers on your project have proven their advanced skills and knowledge of this area of the craft, and you should expect nothing less than a premium installation and performance.


I am a tile contractor. How will ACT benefit my business?

By certifying your key installers in the ACT certifications, you will be part of an elite group of contractors eligible to bid projects requiring ACT certified installers. With a movement toward increased focus on quality installation practices, your designation as an employer of ACT certified installers will support and enhance your company's other certifications, positioning your company as a leader in the tile industry and opening doors for increased work opportunities.

In addition to ACT, what other certifications are available to my company?

ACT and CTI certifications reside with individual installers.  In addition, there are two well-respected industry programs that certify the company as a whole.  One is the Five Star Contractor program offered by the National Tile Contractors Association. The other is the Trowel of Excellence certification program offered by the Tile Contractors' Association of America.  These company certification programs are recommended in the TCNA Handbook as evidence of a contractor's qualifications.  

HomeGroutsLarge Format TileMembranesMortar (Mud Floors)Mortar (Mud Walls)
Shower ReceptorsThin Porcelain Tile