The Shared Role for Tile Installation Success

Tile installer and client shake hands.
Follow these tips for working with your tile installer to help ensure a successful tile installation.

Who ensures that a new tile bathroom or kitchen renovation process goes smoothly? Tile installation contractors? Homeowners? Both? Ultimately, the tile installation process depends on many factors, from the availability and quality of materials to proper installation. After tile is installed, ongoing care and maintenance concerns are usually the responsibility of the homeowner, but there are exceptions. The focus of this article is how careful planning, cooperation, and communication between homeowners and professionals like Copher Tile and Stone can result in a smooth installation process and maximize the long-term enjoyment of your new tile.

The installation process involves many steps, such as ensuring clear access, creating temporary living arrangements, doing demolition work, preparing the subfloor, protecting the surfaces and belongings beyond the work area, maintaining air quality, etc. Some of these responsibilities belong solely to the homeowner, while others are the tile installer’s, and some require collaboration of both parties. In this article, we will examine each factor and clarify expectations. 

First Things First

A few logistical matters will need to be addressed by the homeowner or property manager before work can begin.

Provide project site access. 

The tile installation team will not only need access to the project site, but they will also need to haul materials, equipment, and tools into and out of the space. For some home and property owners, providing access may be as simple as telling the installer to park in the driveway and opening the front door. For others, arrangements for access may involve providing gate codes, having conversations with your homeowner’s association and/or neighbors, making special preparations for parking, and clearing a path into and out of the home. 

Keep kids and pets safe. 

There are specific measures your tile installation team will take to ensure safety on the project site, such as keeping materials, equipment, tools, and debris confined to the designated construction area, using low-VOC materials, and installing dust removal systems, as needed. 

We prefer that kids and pets be temporarily relocated during tile installation, because construction areas contain sharp objects, chemicals, and other hazardous items. The noise and disruption to the normal routine can be particularly difficult for some kids and pets. If this is not possible, we understand, but we do insist that homeowners take full responsibility for keeping kids and pets safely away from the construction area. 

Communicate with your installers about the possibility of any unexpected encounters. For example, suppose you have arranged for your Houdini-escape-artist toddler with lightning fast ninja skills to stay with their grandparents during construction, but something comes up and the child will be present in the home for a few hours one day. Obviously, you’ll want to place baby gates and barricades between your little one and the work area and closely monitor them. But be sure to let your tile installer know about the situation, too.

Clear the workspace.

It is the homeowner’s responsibility to clear the installation area of furniture, rugs, curtains, decorative items, electronics, and other belongings.

We will move furniture, if needed, on a case by case basis. High liability items may be excluded. The furniture will need to be of a size and weight that two people can move it without any special equipment.

– Adam Copher, Owner of Copher Tile & Stone

When you move heavy or large furniture, use proper posture to avoid injury. Bend at the knees and rely on the strength of your leg muscles rather than bending in the middle and using your core muscles. Get help and use straps, dollies, ramps, sliders, and other tools, as needed, to make the work easier. Do not strain. Consider hiring a reputable, licensed, and insured moving company.

Supply water and electricity.

Tile installers need access to water for mixing thinset and mortar, cutting tiles on a wet saw, and cleaning. Electricity will be needed for tools, equipment, and lighting. We will communicate with you about our specific power requirements.


If you’re up to the challenge of removing old floor and surface coverings, we want to support your efforts by providing a few tips and tricks that will help you tackle the demo work like a pro. However, be aware that demo work may take more time, effort, and money than you imagine, and you can always leave this to us. Reading our article, DIY Demo: Tips for Removing Old Flooring and Surfaces, will help you move forward with realistic expectations. 

Temporary Living Arrangements

We always strive to minimize disruption and get your tile installation completed in a timely manner. Nevertheless, if a functional living space like your kitchen or your only bathroom becomes our work area, temporary living arrangements will be necessary.

The easiest and most ideal solution would be to transform any inconvenience associated with your tile project into an opportunity to embrace a change of pace or scenery. You can enjoy takeout, try new local restaurants, or go on a short vacation at a nearby destination.

If budget is a concern, there are other options. Plan a staycation visit with nearby family and friends or stay at home and set up makeshift accommodations.

Temporary Kitchen Tips

Set up a temporary kitchen area with a microwave, toaster oven, mini-fridge, hot plate, and coffee maker. If your tile project is part of a full kitchen renovation that includes cabinets, you can relocate an old cabinet and countertop into another area of your home and use it for your temporary kitchen. Otherwise, a folding table, buffet, or dresser will work. Use disposable plates, utensils, and cups to limit dishwashing. Set up a dishwashing station with three dish tubs: hot soapy water, hot rinse water, and a sanitizing solution (one teaspoon of bleach per one gallon water).

Temporary Bathroom Tips

In the best case scenario, you have hospitable neighbors who you know well enough to ask to use their bathroom. If you have a gym membership, you can use the facility there to shower, otherwise you will need to set up a temporary station in another area of your home for sponge bathing and other hygiene needs. Perhaps there is a local public restroom nearby. Consider investing in a portable toilet and using hand sanitizing wipes. Keep toilet paper and antibacterial cleaning wipes handy. 

We will be very mindful to communicate the timeline of our work so that you can still use portions of your own kitchen or restroom for some of the project time, if necessary and if possible. 

After Tile Installation

The homeowner or property manager is responsible for adhering to instructions regarding curing time of the installation. We always do a final cleanup to leave your new floors and surfaces looking fresh and inviting, but we do not provide ongoing care and maintenance.

To learn more about what you can do to maximize the long-term enjoyment of your new tile, visit our Warranty page and read these articles:

At Copher Tile and Stone, we handle all subfloor inspection and preparation, protect surfaces surrounding the work area, set up dust control systems, perform tile installation according to manufacturer’s instructions and recommended industry standards, and take care of construction waste disposal. If you have any questions about what to expect before, during, and after the tile installation process, please feel free to reach out.

by Alice Dean

Copher Tile & Stone proudly stays up to date on tile installation with ongoing education with Mapei Technical Institute, Ardex Academy, the National Tile Contractors Association, Laticrete, and Schluter. Copher is a Certified Tile Installer (#1644).

Do you want a quote for tile installation? Contact us online or call 805-286-7460. We are San Luis Obispo County’s preferred tile installation company, serving Paso Robles, Templeton, Atascadero, Morro Bay, Cayucos, Cambria, San Simeon, Santa Margarita, San Luis Obispo, Avila Beach, Shell Beach, Pismo Beach, Arroyo Grande, Los Osos, and Grover Beach.
Contact us today!