‘Great’ tiling firm making a splash

Darren Nockall'Director, Great Northern Tiling Company
Darren Nockall'Director, Great Northern Tiling Company
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It is a name that used to embarrass Darren Nockall and Mark Howden when they set up the Great Northern Tiling Company 14 years ago.

But after years of “crazy hours” and learning from their mistakes the company is making a splash.

GNTC has created eight full time jobs so far this year - taking the head count to 20. And increasingly prestigious jobs keep rolling in.

The firm, based on Holbrook Industrial Estate, Sheffield, is starting this week tiling Tom’s Kitchen at St Katharine’s Dock, London. Tom Aitken is the youngest British chef to have won 2 Michelin stars.

Other clients include Dior, Harrods, Heathrow Airport, Strada, Cafe Rouge, Center Parcs, Birkdale School in Sheffield, multiple shopfronts across the country for Wilkinson after it rebranded to Wilko, and Pizza Express.

And not forgetting the swimming pool at Goldensands in Mablethorpe, which earned the company runner-up in the Tile Association Awards.

Darren said: “I came up with the name when there was just two of us and it was a bit embarrassing. But that’s where we wanted to be. Now I feel we are growing into it.

“What’s great is that we’re getting more and more repeat business which shows we’re doing a good job.

“Much of our work is through personal contracts, although we’ve updated the website so it’s a professional shopfront for our business.

“We have had a tough three or four years but now we’re ready to reap the benefits and expand.

“Another turning point was two-and-a-half years ago when we took a leap of faith we couldn’t really afford and hired contracts manager Robert Johnston.

“His experience took us to another level.”

GNTC has taken on a tiling apprentice full-time and has an apprentice estimator.