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This article will teach you everything you need to know about requirements for the C-54 license,
"A ceramic and mosaic tile contractor prepares surfaces as necessary and installs glazed wall, ceramic, mosaic, quarry, paver, faience, glass mosaic and stone tiles; thin tile that resembles full brick, natural or simulated stone slabs for bathtubs, showers and horizontal surfaces inside of buildings, or any tile units set in the traditional or innovative tile methods, excluding hollow or structural partition tile" - CSLB.GOV
The C-54 license is the classification required in the state of California for all persons looking to bid on ceramic and mosaic tile projects where the cost of labor and materials exceeds $500.
Yes you do.
If your bid including cost of materials and labor exceeds $500.
The C-54 license exists in the state of California to protect consumers and ensure that anyone contracting for specialized services is qualified and registered with the Contractors State License Board.
Sometimes referred to as tile or tile installation contractors, mosaic contractors or tile installers the duties of tile contractors often include:
To get a C-54 License you will be tested on various areas of expertise, so you will want to make sure that you are familiar with all aspects of this specialized trade.
A tile contractor is legally not allowed to bid on a project that falls outside of the spectrum of design, installation or repair of mosaic and tile.
The Contractors State License Board (CSLB) is the governing body for all contractors in the state of California.
Their sole responsibility is to protect the consumer public and ensure that anyone charging over $500 for construction services is qualified and registered with the state of California.
The C-54 License is issued to flooring contractors by the CSLB.
The CSLB administers applications, exams, and maintains a database of all active and inactive contractor license numbers which are public domain.
Tile contractors in California must prove a minimum of 4 years journeyman level experience and pass a two part state exam with the Contractor State License Board.
To qualify for an exam date you must meet the the following requirements:
You must also have:
Journeyman level experience means that you have worked unsupervised full time for a flooring company, or for a contractor that holds the C-51 License.
The CSLB will want to see four full-time years over the last ten years. The years do not need to be consecutive, but they do need to be four years in total.
The following people may be used as Qualifying Individuals to sign off on your experience when applying for the C-54 license:
Your Qualifying Individual will also need to provide a brief but detailed description of your knowledge and skillset.
The way this description is written will be critical to whether or not your application is accepted. For example:
“Alex did the tiles in our bathroom” is not descriptive enough.
The CSLB will want to see something like:
"Alex has installed and cut mosaic tile, he has done grouting, surface prep, mixed mortar, demolition, disposal, and slab installation" etc.
You must be prepared to submit documentation supporting the experience you claim to have.
The Contractors State License Board gives you a few ways that you can prove your experience.
The CSLB receives thousands of applications per month so there is a good chance they won’t document your experience but if you are one of the applicants that get reviewed you will need to be ready to submit something.
The CSLB does not accept pictures of projects.
The time it takes to get your application processed and assigned a test date fluctuates throughout the year.
Typically you can expect:
I have seen some situations where applicants got their test date sooner and some where they got their test date much later.
The most common reasons your application would get held up are:
The Current CSLB fees are:
Having a criminal record in no way stops you from getting a C-54 License. I have personally helped guys with all types of criminal records obtain multiple licenses.
The key is to be honest on the application, even if the felony or misdemeanor happened years ago and even if it was expunged.
BE 100% HONEST ON THE APPLICATION, because they will see everything anyway when you do fingerprinting. The CSLB handles criminal records on a case by case basis.
Remember, their responsibility is to protect the public. In my experience, they primarily concerned with criminal charges associated with: Fraud, Forgery and Embezzlement.
The exam will be:
The Ceramic and Mosaic Tile (C-54 license) Examination is divided into five major sections:
1. Planning, Estimation, and Material Selection (19%)
2. Installation Preparation (19%)
3. Installation and Repairs (34%)
4. Specialty Tile Installation (16%)
5. Safety (12%)
Currently there are CSLB testing facilities in the following cities:
The CSLB gives you 18 months after your application is accepted to pass both examinations.
You must wait three weeks before retaking the state exam ($60 per retake) A 70% score will be required to pass.
Learn more about the Contractor License Law Test
Some things to remember:
Be as prepared as you possibly can.
Studying just 10 mintues a day consistently can dramatically increase your chances of passing the test on your first try.
Focus on and study ONLY the information that you need to pass the C-54 License exam.
If you don’t have the 4 years required journeyman level experience to get a C-54 license, your journey begins here.
Tile installation is a highly lucrative industry and contractors that specialize in this trade command top dollar.
Generally someone looking to become a Tile Contractor would want to look into an apprenticeship or certification program.
For a detailed explanation on this process, check out my article: Apprentice vs Journeyman.
Reading construction blueprints is a critical skill for tile contractors. The ability to quickly interpret designs and make cost calculations will greatly assist you going forward.
Blueprint Reading Skills are also critical to pass the General Contractor exam. Check out this Blue Print Reading Course for a basic introduction to the concepts you will want to know about.
Understanding how to safely contain lead-based paint when altering structures built before 1978 is required by the Environmental Protection Agency.
The most profitable tile contractors are ones that position themselves as the experts and are the most knowledgable and helpful to their clients.
Learn how to get EPA Certified in 8 Hours.
Getting the C-54 License can be a huge step up in your career if you are looking to start your own company or become an RMO for an existing company!
The key is to take action and follow these steps from beginning to end.
If you have found this article helpful feel free to drop a comment below and be sure to check back for updates!
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