Meet the Team: Joe Gilbert

In this feature, we speak with Joe Gilbert, F. Ball’s technical representative for the South East and surrounding areas.

Joe has worked in the flooring industry for more than a decade, including the last two years at F. Ball. His roles have exposed him to all aspects of flooring, including everything and anything from adhesives and sealants, compounds and membranes, to floorcoverings.  

He got into the industry thanks to the love of his life, as he explains:  

“My wife’s parents were in the flooring trade, so when I first met Amber, my (eventual) in-laws started roping me into a few jobs and it progressed from there.” 

Well, they do say what is meant to be, will be. What made you join Team F. Ball?  

“I really liked the idea of working for the market leader,” Joe says. “And I’ve always kept an eye on the business and had been tempted to make a move when the time was right. Like any job, it’s easy to carry on with what you’re experienced in, but I wanted a change and to learn more, so I did.”   

And what’s it like?  

“Everyone’s been great, friendly and welcoming. And the customers have been good to work with, too. I enjoy the fact the role is more site-oriented, with less office work compared to past jobs. There’s always a steady stream of new business coming through which is nice, as the diary fills itself, but it’s also very busy and keeps me on my toes.” 

Joe spends his time in and around his area, which comprises Sussex, Kent, and parts of Surrey. He continues by sharing a few prominent jobs he’s been involved in recently, including one job at Southlands Hospital in Shoreham-by-Sea:  

“It was a really complicated job. All the floorcoverings had debonded and had to be dug out and new ones installed. The original installation hadn’t included any moisture management solution and so we put forward a number of options as you need an extremely hard surface to accommodate MRI machines. It was interesting.”  

As we were curious to know more about some of Joe’s tricky jobs, he shared with us a tale about an unusual subfloor where he helped deduce what was going on.  

“We had one where there was a cement subfloor but nothing would grab to its surface. Our technical team paid a site visit and it turned out to be Xypex, an additive which locks in moisture and prevents it coming up and through. Grinding it off wasn’t a solution as it was present all the way through the subfloor, so a small area was tested by applying Stopgap 1200 over it and that worked. This is a good example of what my role is all about: contractors don’t have to go it alone, we can pop in and take a look and, between us and our Technical Services team, work out what’s going on and recommend the best course of action.”  

Joe goes on to explain what he’s been up to more recently, including his usual work visiting contractors, wholesalers and retailers and offering them support as needed. Looking ahead, he’ll be assisting at the F. Ball Centre of Excellence. He continues: “Tim Green leads the sessions, talking participants through the products and technical details and then it’s my job to assist – particularly with the more commercial aspects, such as pricing and give examples of where products might be used.”

On that note, we ask Joe about his favourite F. Ball products.  

Stopgap 1200, though I know everyone says that! I also really like Styccobond F49, our temperature tolerant pressure sensitive adhesive. There really is nothing else like it available and I recommend it often.” 

We’ve heard both are quite popular. And finally, Joe, what do you get up to when you’re not championing F. Ball products down south? 

“I’ve got three children, aged 12, 11, and 22 months, so, naturally, they keep me busy. We enjoy lots of outdoor activities, including cycling, kayaking and fishing.  

“My wife founded the Medway Street Angels (MSA), supporting homeless people and those in need in the area, so I’m involved organising bits and pieces for that.”