Each issue, we ask a flooring industry professional 10 Questions. This month, we chatted to Ian Hebblewhite, Special Finishes Manager, The Preparation Group.

called The Guidon-dor which brings together all different disciplines of motorsport and pits everyone against each other in Supermoto.

Proudest professional moment though must be when I had completed the floor restoration in the House of Lords lobby. I still feel proud whenever I see it on TV which, thanks to Brexit and now another election, is a regular occurrence. (It could do with being done again now though really).

Q4 Q1

What was your first job? When I was still at school, I

started as a Saturday boy at a local Honda & BMW Motorcycle dealership. I’d be picked up every Saturday morning on the back of a motorcycle by the store manager who lived in my village. A great start to the day for me as I had a love for anything motorcycle! On leaving school I was offered a full-time position there to include BMW technical training, which ultimately gave me my BMW Technician qualification.

Q2 Q3

How did you get into the industry?

A close family friend was a stonemason and he required a labourer one weekend to assist with a marble floor restoration job in London, so I offered. He asked me to join him full time and since that favour, shotblasting, planing, grinding and polishing has been my life.

What has been your proudest moment?

I’m torn really with this one. In my social life my proudest moment has to be back in my motorcycle racing career. In 1998 I was British Supermoto Champion and also top British Rider in a European event


If you could hire any one person to be part of your

team, who would it be and why? It would have to be a guy I worked with 20 years ago, Protacio Yap. He was a champion and together we were the dream team. When I had my own company, I desperately tried to find him but was told he’d returned home to the Philippines. If you see this Protacio, give me a call!


What’s the best advice you could give to

someone new coming into the industry? Very simply, it’s going to be hard work. Always listen to advice, even if you’re sure you know best, because there’s always someone that knows more. You never stop learning in this industry.

Q6 Q7

If you could be any character from film or

TV who would you be? It would have to be Tony Stark [Iron Man]. He’s got it pretty good.

What do you think are the positive and negative

aspects of the flooring trade? There are many positives, the main one has to be that you are delivering a product that pleases a customer every day when they walk on their floor. There are unfortunately many negatives too. Mostly centred around cost cutting and poor workmanship.

Never a truer statement than ‘You get what you pay for’.


What do you think the future holds for

flooring design? I think the possibilities in product design, different materials and installation techniques are pretty endless. However, no matter how great a flooring option may be, it all needs to start with great floor preparation! One thing I’ve learnt over the years, never scrimp on the prep. You might think you’re saving a few pounds but when you have a failure, those saved pounds pail into insignificance in comparison to the costs you now face.


If you weren’t in flooring, what career

would you choose? I’d be involved somewhere in the motorsport world. As I used to race, I still have great passion for competitive motorsport. I have many friends in that world and follow numerous different disciplines of racing.


Jason Spangler, Flooring Division

Manager, Wagner Meters asked: If you won the lottery, would you continue working in your current capacity and why/why not? Ten years ago, yes. However, I think now if my numbers came up, I’d have to slope off to warmer climes (sorry PPC). I enjoy my role at The Preparation Group but I am at that point in my life that if I won the big one, I’m young enough (just) to go and enjoy some extravagance, travel and maybe some irresponsibility.

Check out next month’s issue to see what Ian asked our next industry professional…

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