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A valued trade

image L-R: John Cox, owner of Cox Tile Inc. and his son Cody Cox.

SAN ANTONIO - At age 12, John Cox was taught how to read a set of blueprints by his father, an ironworker. Cox and his father at one point built a 3,000sqft house together from the ground up.

 

 

 

    “I learned a lot of skills that have transferred into what I do through that experience,” said Cox.
    During Cox’s early college years – and before he was owner of San Antonio-based Cox Tile Inc. – he had wanted to be a wildlife biologist.
    “I went to Stephen F. Austin when Nixon was president. There were a lot of grad students that didn’t have jobs because there was a freeze on all the government jobs,” explained Cox. After Cox asked the dean what his chances were in finding a job within his field, the Dean confirmed his chances were slim.
    Cox moved back to San Antonio and enrolled in San Antonio Community College while figuring out his next move. Meanwhile, Cox’s mother was working for a homebuilder.
    “I asked her while I was attending SAC, ‘Can you ask some of the guys in the trades if they will hire me to help as a part timer?’ She said the tile guy would hire [me].”
    Cox then found himself working for a father-and-son tile contractor.
    “In between that, I had become friends with a builder. He would call me for small side jobs,” added Cox. The same friend giving Cox work asked him why he didn’t start his own business.
    “I was dating my now wife at the time and said, ‘What’s the worst that can happen? If I don’t make it, I’ll go back to work for someone.’ That was in 1981 and I haven’t looked back since.”
    Thirty-eight years later, Cox and his charismatic personality are still running things at Cox Tile. Cox especially thanks his wife Lori, who from the inception of the business has been his rock and support system and what Cox calls “a part of the Cox Tile story.”
    Cox Tile is a primarily high-end residential tile, stone and marble contractor. The company prides itself on doing things the correct way by following the Tile Council of North America handbook. They also take pride in the fact that they still do mud work on walls in bathrooms and floors, and they even provide linear drains. Cox Tile staffs around 12 employees, with 50 percent consisting of installers who are not subcontractors. They also sell comfort with their radiant floor heating, something Cox has sold for 20 years.
    “We are selling comfort. We are not selling it as a primary heat; we are selling it as a comfort product,” said Cox.
    Cox Tile has also worked on high-profile jobs such as the murals at the
Briscoe Western Art Museum and Witte Museum.
    “It was cool because both tile murals depict how the water evolved all through the history of San Antonio.”
    Cox’s thorough tile knowledge originated when he attended seminars and workshops at a very early age. In his 20s, Cox joined The National Tile Contractors Association.
    “When I joined the association, I became very involved and moved up to being on the Board of Directors. I was president in 2009-2011. I am still on the executive committee. That is the single best check I have ever written towards my business because it elevated my confidence,” shared Cox.
    Cox instilled that confidence to his family of two daughters and son, Cody Cox, who works at Cox Tile.
    The company is also big on giving back to the community. Cox Tile donated its services for Operation Give Back, Gary Sinise Foundation and the Eddie Moreno project in San Antonio.
    Cox wants the company to continue to give great value to their clients. This year will certainly be another valued year. The couple’s common phrase at the office is, “Fulfilling a request, performing a task – that’s commonplace. Crafting and ambiance, stimulating awe – that’s creativity.”
    Cox Tile is a tile contractor located in San Antonio. –lv


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Carol Wiatrek meditor@constructionnews.net