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Good Prep Work is Key to Porcelain Tile Perfection

Essex-based John Simons is just one of Porcel-Thin’s approved tiling contractors. Having worked wonders with our thin porcelain tiles on a number of domestic and commercial projects since 2015, John knows what he likes and his sensational tiling skills speak for themselves.

Star feature in an entrance hall created by V-TA Tiling in Oxshott using marble effect porcelain tiles

When the realisation dawned that office work was not for him and that a trade was more up his alley, inspired by his grandad who was a plasterer, John started on the career path of a professional tiler and soon founded V-TA Architectural Tiling. Since 1987, John has offered skilled tiling services – which range from preparing and installing extra-large format porcelain tiles to designing and laying intricate mosaics – to customers in Essex, Greater London and the surrounding areas.

Now an avid reader of Tile & Stone Journal (also one of Ray’s top reads) – which helps him to keep up-to-date with the tiling industry and its innovations – had a friend’s tiler dad not put in a good word for John and helped him to score a 3-year City & Guilds apprenticeship back in the 80s, we might not have the pleasure of his panache with porcelain tiles today. The hands of fate, and a little nudge from his friend and fellow tiler Gary Walsh, have resulted in John working with the Porcel-Thin team for the past two years and, together, we have provided expert tiling services to a wealth of interior designers, developers, specifiers and architects throughout the South East.

Garage floor

One of John’s all-time favourite contract projects was the installation of floor tiles to a garage and hallway in Oxshott, Surrey. Asked why this particular tiling project struck a chord, John replied: “It's the first time I'd been asked to do something like that. For the hallway, the client wanted a centre piece like a star. So, I came up with the design, cutting it all by hand on site, and made it work. As for the garage, it was something a bit different – running LED strip lights and mirrors between the tiles which gave a great effect.”

When tapped for his top tiling tip, John, who is a big fan of Porcel-Thin’s Book Match collection and is particularly skilled at installing tiles with a mitred edge, said: “Large-format tiles help to create a seamless room and being ultra-thin makes them lightweight – easier to handle and install. The key to using Porcel-Thin is good prep work. As long as the walls and floors are flat and level, the tiles will look great.

If you are looking for an expert to install porcelain tiles, either in your home or in a commercial setting, please check out our recommendations on the Porcel-Thin Approved Tiling Contractors page. 


Katy Lassetter

18th July 2017

Beautifully tiled wetroom by V-TA Tiling featuring Porcel-Thin marble effect tiles
The amazing Pulsate tile installation by V-TA Architectural Tiling
Photo mosaic tiles of a human head installed in a wetroom by V-TA Architectural Tiling
Intricate tile detailing created by John Simons of V-TA where wood effect floor tiles meet green hexagonal tiles