ELKO – A pair of homegrown brothers have come full circle in their careers.
From tradesmen to miners and back to tradesmen, Ramiro and Adrian Robles prefer a livelihood that provides designing and making quality home improvements. Their work requires an ancient skill; tile has been made and used since about 3,300 BCE.
“It all started a year after finishing high school in Elko,” Silver State Tile owner Ramiro said. “I’ve been at it ever since. I was working for a local contractor here and my plan was to work through a summer to go back to school and become an architect.”
He discovered he was very good at tile work and decided to stick with it rather than pursue architecture.
Meanwhile, younger brother Adrian began helping Ramiro part-time while working at Albertson’s while he was still in high school.
“He pretty much taught me everything I know,” Adrian said.
The brothers worked under a contractor for several years until Ramiro formed Unique Concepts Tile in the early 2000s. He had the business for about six years.
Then life happened, including the birth of his two sons, and the Great Recession. Work slowed down so Ramiro stopped tiling and went into mining. Adrian had a daughter and a son and did the same.
Ramiro remained in Elko, while Adrian’s 13-year mining career took him out of state to Alaska and Utah. He also worked locally for different operations.
“What’s rewarding about tiling is seeing the customer’s reaction and being proud of your final product,” Ramiro said. “In mining it’s pretty much just digging a hole or a tunnel.
The brothers agreed that mining is a good paying job. Unfortunately, the long hours and shift work gave them little opportunity to spend time with their families and each other.
“Now we can make their [the children’s] games, at least,” Adrian said, laughing.
“We still have to work hard,” Ramiro said. “But, I get to work with my brother. Plus, we get to grow facial hair now.”
While mining, the brothers continued to do tiling on the side. In late 2018 they decided to go back to what they love doing full time.
Silver State Tile offers a wide variety of tiling services. In recent months the brothers have tiled saunas, a pond and exterior patios, as well as the standard backsplashes, floors and countertops.
“We give free estimates and work to fit people’s schedules and needs,” Ramiro said.
Ramiro and Adrian are meticulous at what they do. All day long they carry and set heavy tiles and install trim. When everything is placed just so, they complete the final step with grout, creating one of the best water barriers known to man.