Ricky Cox, Memphis Tile and Marble
Thomas Cox started Memphis Tile and Marble in 1968, “so the business was in my blood early in life,” says his son, Ricky Cox, who began working full-time for his dad 20 years ago. After “literally starting at the bottom as a tile helper,” he says, Cox eventually moved into tile installation, then into the business side of contracting. Now the company president, he is a certified tile installer through the Ceramic Tile Education Foundation and is active in the National Tile Contractors Association, which has designated Memphis Tile and Marble as a Five-Star Contractor. The firm is also a member of the West Tennessee Homebuilders Association.
Q: What factors contribute most to your success in the field?
A: Being able to keep our installers up to date on the ever-changing installation methods and managing each job efficiently.
Q: What is one of the most expensive and/or challenging home issues you’ve helped remedy?
A: Shower leaks. We get calls daily about these leaks. They can cause a lot of damage and are a huge pain for any homeowner. Also, having to deal with insurance companies on whether or not they cover a leaking shower is a constant battle.
Q: How would you advise a homeowner to prevent or avoid having such an issue?
A: Make sure you have a quality plumber and tile contractor who know the ins and outs of installing a shower pan. New products on the market now replace the traditional PVC pan liner. These products will eventually eliminate the old system, making for a much better installation.
Q: What is the most valuable tool for a tile-setter? And the most popular product?
A: The most valuable tool may be knee pads. Without them, a tile setter is doomed. The most popular product, especially in the winter, are radiant-heated floors.
Q: What should a consumer look for when selecting home service providers to assist with repairs and projects in your field of expertise?
A: Here are seven tips: 1) Get references from other homeowners; 2) ask to see similar work in person; 3) ask the distributor about the contractor’s knowledge and payment practices; 4) ask the contractor if he follows the Tile Council of North America’s handbook for ceramic tile; 5) ask what trade associations the contractor belongs to; 6) ask what training or certifications the installers have obtained; 7) ask if the contractor can easily explain why the materials being used were chosen.