Frequently Asked Questions

What areas do you service?

We serve nearly all of the Central Coast in San Luis Obispo County, including serving Paso Robles, Templeton, Atascadero, Morro Bay, Cayucos, Cambria, San Simeon, Santa Margarita, San Luis Obispo, Avila Beach, Shell Beach, Pismo BeachArroyo Grande, Los Osos, and Grover Beach.

Do you provide free estimates?

Absolutely! At Copher Tile & Stone, we strive to make the process of obtaining an estimate as simple and convenient as possible. While we do not offer free estimates in the traditional sense, we have implemented user-friendly options to help you get a rough idea of the costs involved for your project. 

To start, we have a dedicated “Pricing” page on our website. By visiting this page, you’ll find valuable information and guidelines that will give you a general understanding of our pricing structure. It’s a great starting point to get an initial estimate. 

For a more accurate and personalized estimate, we have a “Get a Quote” feature on our website. There you’ll be prompted to upload a few photos of your space. This allows us to visualize and better understand the scope of your project.

Following the photo upload, you can schedule a convenient 30-minute phone consultation with our team. During this discussion, we’ll have the opportunity to discuss your vision in detail and address any questions or concerns you may have.

By combining the information from the photos and our conversation, we can provide you with a more accurate estimate tailored specifically to your project. Once you are ready to move forward, we can then schedule a job site consultation and provide you with a contract.

If you have any further questions or require additional assistance, please don’t hesitate to reach out. We’re excited to help bring your vision to life!

Related reading: Bathroom Tile Installation: How Much Does It Cost?

How long does it take to install tile?

The time it takes to install tile can vary depending on several factors, such as the size of the project, the type of tile being installed, the complexity of the design, and the condition of the existing surface. As experienced tile installers, Copher Tile and Stone strives to complete installations efficiently without compromising quality.

For smaller residential projects, such as a bathroom or kitchen backsplash, installation can typically be completed within a few days to a week. This includes the time required for surface preparation, tile layout, adhesive application, tile setting, grouting, and final cleaning.

On the other hand, larger projects like full shower surrounds, flooring, or extensive wall installations may take longer, often ranging from a couple of weeks to several weeks. These projects involve additional steps such as subfloor preparation, leveling, and possibly the use of specialized equipment.

It's important to note that each project is unique, and our team at Copher Tile and Stone is dedicated to providing accurate time estimates based on the specific requirements of your project. We prioritize open communication, working diligently to ensure timely completion while maintaining the highest standards of craftsmanship.

How long do I have to wait for tile cure time?

The cure time for new tile installations can vary depending on the type of tile, adhesive used, and environmental conditions. It's important to allow sufficient time for the tile and adhesive to fully set and cure before subjecting the installation to regular use.

While there is no universal cure time applicable to all situations, here are some general guidelines.


In most cases, we recommend waiting at least 24 hours before walking on newly installed tile floors. However, this can vary depending on the factors previously mentioned.

Showers and Wet Areas

Showers and wet areas typically require more time to cure before being exposed to water. It is common to wait at least 48 to 72 hours before using a newly tiled shower. This allows the adhesive and grout to fully cure and ensures a durable and waterproof installation.

It's important to note that these are general guidelines. Talk with your installer and always refer to the manufacturer's instructions for the specific products used in your installation. To ensure the best results, any recommendations we make regarding the proper curing time will be tailored to your project.

Where is a good local place to look at a selection of tiles?

Glad you asked! We aim to ensure that you have access to a wide range of top-notch tile options and receive excellent customer service throughout your tile selection process.

We highly recommend the following tile distributors and showrooms who have demonstrated their commitment to quality, reliability, and customer satisfaction—values and standards which aligns with our own.

In the San Luis Obispo area: 

Tileco Distributors

Tileco Distributors is a well-established tile supplier in San Luis Obispo County. They provide a vast range of tile products, including ceramic, porcelain, natural stone, and glass tiles. Their showroom displays a diverse collection of styles, colors, and textures to suit different design preferences. They are located in San Luis Obispo at 2140 Santa Barbara Street. 

Visit the Tileco Distributors website.

In North San Luis Obispo County: 

Tyndall Tile

Showcasing a wide range of options, the Tyndall Tile showroom is a great place to find the perfect tile for your project. Their knowledgeable staff offers excellent customer service. They are located in Atascadero at 6700 El Camino Real.  

Visit the Tyndall Tile website.

Remember to check the business hours and availability before visiting these places. It's always a good idea to call ahead or visit their websites for more information on their product offerings and services.

What is the difference between floor tile and wall tile?

The main difference between wall tile and floor tile lies in their intended use and specific characteristics that make them suitable for their respective applications. Here are the key distinctions:

  1. Durability: Floor tiles are designed to withstand heavier foot traffic and impact compared to wall tiles. They are typically more durable and able to withstand the weight and pressure exerted by people walking or moving objects across the floor. Wall tiles, on the other hand, are not subjected to the same level of stress and are generally lighter and less dense.  Floor tiles may be used on walls, but it is not advisable to use wall tile on floors. 
  2. Slip Resistance & Texture: Floor tiles commonly have a textured or slightly rough surface to provide traction and minimize the risk of slipping. They have a higher slip resistance rating, which means they are designed to be safer to walk on, even when the floor is wet. In contrast, wall tiles are often smoother and have a more polished appearance since they are not typically walked upon. They do not require the same level of slip resistance since they are not typically subjected to the same conditions.
  3. Design and Aesthetic Considerations: While there are no strict rules regarding design, floor tiles tend to be more neutral and less intricate since they are often selected to complement the overall décor and style of the space. Wall tiles offer greater design flexibility and can feature more intricate patterns, textures, and colors to create visual interest and enhance the aesthetic appeal of vertical surfaces.

It is important to note that some tiles can be used for both wall and floor applications, depending on their specific characteristics and the requirements of the project. However, it is essential to consider their intended purpose and select tiles that are suitable for the specific application to ensure long-lasting durability and functionality.

What should I look for when hiring a tile installer?

When hiring a tile installation contractor, there are several key factors to consider. To ensure you find a reliable and skilled professional, here are some important aspects to look for:

  1. Experience and Expertise: Look for a contractor with extensive experience in tile installation. They should have a track record of successfully completing projects similar to yours. Ask for examples of their past work or request references to verify their skills and craftsmanship. This will give you an idea of their style, attention to detail, and overall quality of work.For example, we have a collection of project images, as well as a case study gallery.
  1. Proper Licensing and Insurance: Ensure that the contractor holds the necessary licenses and permits required by your local jurisdiction. Additionally, verify that they have adequate insurance coverage, including liability insurance and worker's compensation, to protect you and their workers in case of any accidents or damages.
  1. References: Ask for references from previous clients. Reach out to these references to inquire about their experience working with the contractor, the quality of workmanship, and their overall satisfaction.
  1. Knowledge of Tile Materials and Techniques: A professional tile contractor should have in-depth knowledge of different tile materials, installation techniques, and industry standards. They should be able to provide guidance on selecting the right tiles for your project and offer advice on design options, tile layout, grout lines, and more.
  1. Clear Communication and Professionalism: Effective communication is crucial for a successful working relationship. The contractor should be responsive, attentive to your project requirements, and able to clearly explain the installation process and timeline. Professionalism, punctuality, and the ability to meet deadlines are also important qualities to look for.
  1. Written Estimates and Contracts: Request a written estimate outlining the scope of work, materials to be used, and associated costs. Review the estimate to ensure it is reasonable and comprehensive. Once you select your contractor, ensure that all project details, including timelines, payment terms, and warranties, are clearly documented in a written contract. 
  1. Certifications and Memberships: Choosing a tile installer who is a Certified Tile Installer (CTI) and a member of the National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA) is of utmost importance for customers.

    The CTI certification signifies that the installer has undergone rigorous training, passed comprehensive examinations, and demonstrated proficiency in the tile installation craft. This certification ensures that the installer possesses the necessary skills, knowledge, and expertise to handle tile projects with precision and quality.

    Additionally, being a member of the NTCA further emphasizes the installer's commitment to professionalism and industry standards.

    By selecting a CTI and NTCA member, customers can have peace of mind knowing that their tile installation will be executed by a skilled professional who adheres to the highest standards of craftsmanship, ensuring a beautiful and durable result that will stand the test of time.

Adam Copher is a Certified Tile Installer from the Ceramic Tile Education Foundation (CTEF). The CTEF CTI program is the only third-party assessment of installers skills and knowledge that is recognized by the tile industry. Many tile installers lack knowledge of industry standards. The test is far more comprehensive than the state licensing test for CA tile contractors. It also includes a hands-on portion of the test.  This test has a 60% failure rate, which demonstrates the knowledge required to successfully pass the test.

Adam is also a member of the National Tile Contractors Association. 

By considering these factors, you can make an informed decision when hiring a tile installation contractor who is skilled, reliable, and capable of delivering high-quality work for your project.

Related reading:

Is tile a healthy choice?

Ceramic and porcelain tile is made from natural ingredients and free from toxic chemicals that can make you sick.

Tile is the smart choice for a healthy home from the ground up! It is a hypoallergenic flooring option, naturally resistant to dust and other harmful pollutants that are known to cause a variety of health issues.

If you suffer from allergies or asthma, tile is a great choice. It is impervious, meaning it is inhospitable to dust mites, bacteria, fungi, mold and other irritants.

If you're looking for healthy flooring options, you'll need to know about volatile organic compounds (VOC). Harmful VOC gases can cause headaches, nausea, and nose, eye and throat irritation. VOC emissions are also a leading cause of “sick building syndrome”. Tile is inherently inorganic, emitting zero VOCs, unlike virtually all other types of flooring. 

Tile is also a solid material meaning tile does not contain the binders like formaldehyde common to other flooring and wall surfaces.

Tile is also free from polyvinyl chloride (PVC), a resin commonly used in other surfaces to improve mechanical flexibility and heat stability. PVC contains phthalates and organotin, both regularly a subject of concern and discussion among health experts. To learn more, read this article: PVC Dangers and Healthy Alternatives.

Is tile a green choice?

Tile is a sustainable, Certified Green building material. 

When it comes to longevity, no other floor and surface covering choice can compare to tile. Properly installed tile can last for many generations. As a zero-waste manufacturing material, tile is the most eco-friendly choice. 

Ceramic tile is plastic-free and completely recyclable.

There are many tile options available that are made from recycled materials. Find some examples here or here.

Tile is energy efficient. Its inherent thermal mass reduces peak heating and cooling, which helps moderate temperature swings in your home. This means less work for your HVAC system and more energy savings for you.

Manufacturers of tile have the lowest carbon footprint of any flooring choice! Tile manufacturers typically use materials found within 500 miles of manufacturing facilities, dramatically reducing the energy and emissions that come from long-distance shipping of materials.

Will my tile go out of style?

Tile is a classic choice for the floor and surface coverings in your home. Over the centuries, tile has represented the perfect union of art and architecture. The richness of tile adorns our greatest buildings and historical icons. Whether you are looking for a durable surface or something with a wow factor, there are a wide variety of elegant tile styles available that can stand the test of time.

Is tile waterproof?

The short answer is no.

Why is this important? Many types of tile are porous. Even if the tile itself is nonabsorbent, water can still find its way into the installation through the grout lines and into the substrate, resulting in numerous potential problems, including water damage, structural damage, and mold or mildew problems.

Your shower will be exposed to an average of 1,100 inches of water per year. In comparison, the average rainfall for Seattle, Washington, is 36 inches per year! 

When considering a tile contractor to construct and install your tile shower or bathtub surround, keep that mind. Choose a contractor who has a plan for waterproofing that meets industry standards. 

What types of tile are on the market today?

Porcelain Tile

Porcelain tile is impervious, meaning its water absorption is 0.5% or less. A great choice for any application, porcelain is easy to maintain and very durable.

Ceramic Tile

Similar to porcelain, ceramic tile is fired clay. Ceramic is not fired as hot and long as porcelain, making it a softer product. Ceramic tile also absorbs water at a much higher rate, making it a poor choice for most outdoor applications.

Mosaic Tile

Mosaic tiles are usually 1/4” to 3/8” thick and typically mounted on sheets with other mosaic tiles.

Encaustic Tile

Encaustic tile, often referred to as cement tile, is decorated with colored clays, inlaid, and fired.

Gauged Porcelain Tile Panels/Slabs (GPTP)

GPTP is a large-format tile that is gauged to a certain thickness, often only half the thickness of standard tiles. The lighter weight helps ease the burden of transport and opens opportunities installations with load bearing limitations.

Natural Stone Tiles

Natural stone tiles are cut from naturally occurring material, such as travertine, marble, granite, slate, flagstone, etc.

Feature Tile

Whether a single tile that differs from the surrounding tiles or a set of tiles in a specific area of a room, feature tile is used to make a design statement. It can express your artistic taste and beautify your home. The unique choices are virtually endless! 3D tile, metallic tile, and stone-look tile are just a few of the options.

What are some tile terms?

Brick joint or Running Bond

Tile installation with each row offset, typically with half its length. (If the side to be offset is greater than 15”, a maximum offset of ⅓ is recommended.)


Trim tile with a radius on one edge, used for finishing a tile edge.


An underlayment material used as a substrate for tile. Some backerboards are waterproof and some need to be waterproofed for proper shower construction.


The material used for filling tile joints.


A satin or matte finish. The surface has little or no gloss.


A detectable change in elevation between the edges of tiles sharing the same grout joint, in other words, a tile or tiles is higher or lower than neighboring tiles.


An underlayment material, usually in the form of a sheet or trowelable liquid applied to the substrate prior to tile installation. A couple of common uses of membranes would be to isolate substrate cracks from the tile and mortar (crack isolation membranes) and waterproofing (waterproof membranes).

Thinset Mortar

A blend of cement, sand, and additional compounds to add strength and improve adhesion of the tile and substrate. 

Rectified Tile

A tile that has had all edges mechanically finished to achieve a more precise facial dimension. 


Various shapes of bases, caps, corners, moldings, angles, etc. to finish or trim tile.

What are some professional organizations in the tile industry?

  • ANSI, American National Standards Institute, a standards development organization.
  • ASTM American Society for Testing and Materials International, a standards development organization.
  • NTCA, National Tile Contractors Association, Established in 1947, the National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA) is a nonprofit trade association dedicated to the professional installation of ceramic tile and natural stone.  It is widely recognized as the largest and most respected tile contractors association in the world.
  • TCNA, Tile Council North America. TCNA is a trade association representing manufacturers of ceramic tile, tile installation materials, tile equipment, raw materials, and other tile-related products.  
  • Coverings, The largest event dedicated strictly to tile. Experience nine miles of the latest tile and stone trends.
  • CTDA, Ceramic Tile Distributor Association,
  • CTEF, Ceramic Tile Education Foundation is a non-profit institution that provides education and training to tile industry professionals.
  • TCAA, Tile Contractors Association of America.
  • TCA Team, The TCA Team, a subsidiary of the TCNA, was launched to address the growing demand for tile installation consultations, inspections and expert witnesses.
  • Tile Heritage Foundation, For research and preservation of ceramic surfaces

How do I test whether my tile needs to be sealed?

Many types of natural stone tile and other porous tiles need to be sealed periodically. Here is a simple test you can do to determine whether it is time for a reapplication of sealer. Put a few drops of water on the surface. Wait for a few minutes. Check to see if the surface has absorbed the water. If it has, then it is time to reseal. If the water drops remain on the surface, then your existing sealer is still working.

Is there a way to make my tile earthquake-proof?

California sees more earthquake damage than any other state, according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS). Such damage includes cracked tiles. Your tile installer can place a fracture membrane under your tile to absorb some of the shock and minimize cracking. This may not prevent cracks completely if the earthquake is severe.
If your tile is already in place and has cracks, we may be able to remove damaged tiles and set replacement tiles. Hopefully you purchased extras when the tile was installed.

Cracking that looks like a long, continuous crack going across a series of tiles from one end of the room to the other is different from an isolated crack here or there. Without going into all of the technical details, chances are if you see this type of crack, you are dealing with a bigger problem hidden underneath the tile.

To learn more about your options, read our article, Tile Repair vs Tile Replacement.
Contact us today!