Frequently Asked Questions

What Areas do You Service?

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

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. Simply click on this button, and 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!

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. However, 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.

What is the Cure Time Before I Can Use My New Tile (shower, floor)?

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

  1. Floors: In most cases, it is recommended to wait at least 24 hours walking on newly installed tile floors. However, this can vary depending on factors such as the type of adhesive used, humidity levels, and temperature. It is best to consult with your tile installer or refer to the adhesive manufacturer's instructions for specific curing recommendations.
  2. 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. Again, always refer to the manufacturer's instructions for the specific products used in your installation.

It's important to note that these are general guidelines, and cure times can vary. Factors such as the size and thickness of the tiles, the type of adhesive and grout, as well as environmental conditions, can affect the curing process. To ensure the best results, we will offer recommendations of the proper curing time and specific guidance tailored to your project.

Where is a Good Local Place to Look at a Selection of Tile?

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, which aligns with Copher Tile and Stone's values and standards.

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. 

In North San Luis Obispo County: 

Tyndall Tile: Their showroom showcases a wide range of options, and their knowledgeable staff offers excellent customer service to assist you in finding the perfect tile for your project. They are located in Atascadero at 6700 El Camino Real.  

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 as well 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 and have a higher slip resistance rating. 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.


  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. Portfolio and References: Request to see a portfolio of their completed tile installation projects. This will give you an idea of their style, attention to detail, and overall quality of work. Additionally, 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, and grouting techniques.


  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. The CTEF Certified Tile Installer (CTI) program is the only third-party assessment of installer skill and knowledge that is recognized by the tile.  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. He 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.

Why Tile is the Healthy Choice?

Tile is 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! Tile is a hypoallergenic flooring option, naturally resistant to dust and other harmful pollutants that are known to cause a variety of health issues. Tile is a great choice if you suffer from allergies or asthma. Tile is impervious, meaning it’s inhospitable to dust mites, bacteria, fungi, mold and other irritants. Tile is inherently inorganic, emitting zero VOCs. VOC’s are emitted by virtually all other types of flooring. VOCs are harmful gases that can cause headaches, nausea, and nose, eye and throat irritation. VOC emissions are also a leading cause of “sick building syndrome”.  Tile is also a solid material meaning tile does not contain the binders common to other flooring and wall surfaces- binders like formaldehyde. Tile is also free from 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. PVC link.

Why Tile is the Green Choice

  • Tile is a sustainable building material, Certified Green. 
  • No other flooring or wall covering choice can compare to tile when it comes to longevity. When installed correctly Tile will last for many generations. This combined with tile being a zero-waste manufacturing material maked it the most eco-friendly choice when it comes to flooring or wall coverings. 
  • 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. Tile’s inherent thermal mass reduces peak heating and cooling, which helps moderate temperature swings in your home. This means less work for you 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.

Why tile is the Classic Choice?

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 for your flooring or something with a wow factor, tile can and should fulfil both desires!

Is Tile Waterproof?

Short answer No. Why is this important? When considering a tile contractor to construct and tile your shower or bathtub surround please keep in mind that your shower will have an average of 1100” or water ran per year, in comparison the average rainfall for Seattle Washington is 36” per year! Make sure that whomever you choose to install your new shower tile has a plan for waterproofing before installing tile!

Types of Tile

  • Porcelain Tile, porcelain tile is impervious, meaning its water absorption is 0.5% or less. A great choice for any application. 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, tiles having a facial area of less than 9 in². Typically mounted on sheets or strips with other mosaic tiles.
  • Encaustic Tile, tile decorated with coloured clays, inlaid and fired. Often referred to as Cement Tile.
  • Marble Tile, marble that has been cut into tile sizes.
  • Gauged Porcelain Tile Panels/Slabs; Large format tile that is gauged to a certain thickness, often only half the thickness of standard tiles and up to 63”x 126”.
  • Natural Stone, tiles cut from naturally occurring material, travertine, marble etc.
  • Feature Tile; tile that is used strictly to make a statement, express your artistic taste and beautify your home. The choices are endless and as unique as you are! 3D tile, metallic tile, stone-look tile are just a few of the options.

Tile Terms

  • Brick joint or Running bond, Tile installation with each row offset, typically with half it’s length. (If the side to be offset is greater than 15”, a maximum offset of ⅓ is recommended.
  • Bullnose, trim tile with a radius on one edge, used for finishing an edge.
  • Backerboard; An underlayment material used as a substrate for tile. Some backerboards are waterproof and some need to be waterproofed for proper shower construction.
  • Grout; the material used for filling tile joints.
  • Honed; a satin surface with little or no gloss.
  • Lippage; A detectable change in elevation between the edges of tiles sharing the same grout joint.
  • Membrane; An underlayment material, usually in the form of a sheet or trowelable liquid applied to the substrate prior to tile installation. A couple common uses of membranes would be to isolate substrate cracks from the tile and mortar (crack isolation membranes), waterproofing (waterproof membranes).
  • Thinset mortar; A blend of cement, sand, and additional compounds to improve adhesion and add strength. 
  • Rectified Tile; A tile that has had all edges mechanically finished to achieve a more precise facial dimension. 
  • Trim; Various shapes of bases, caps, corners, mouldings, angles etc. to finish or trim tile.

What Tile Organizations Exist?

  • 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, 
  • 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
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