In 1979 George Gilbert began “Gilbert’s Carpet Service,” an installation business that worked with other area carpet store. Several years later, in 1984 while in Arizona Tom Gilbert, brother to George began also working full-time in installation. Two years later Tom returned to Michigan and became a partner in the company, which then became incorporated. A supply shop was placed in the basement of an area carpet store in 1990, where supplies were sold and there was a binding machine to bind area rugs for all local flooring stores.
In 1991 the first retail store opened in the plaza across from the current store on Northland Drive, and coined the company name “Gilbert’s Floor Covering.” Also in the early 1990’s Dawn Gilbert, wife of Tom Gilbert began working in sales for “Gilbert’s Floor Covering.” The Company went to Georgia to help build relationship with the big carpet mill however, do to a lack of credit “Gilbert’s Floor Covering” was turned down. Shortly after this, the Company became competition to all area stores that they had installed for and gained a builder’s (Lakin Construction) commitment for apartment complexes which helped with the business plan and banks become more responsive.
A second area was leased in the plaza in 1993 to expand the business, and one year later “Gilbert’s Floor Covering” started “Bare Furniture.” From 1991 to 1995 sales had doubled so the following year a new building was constructed increasing the square footage from 6,000 to 12,000, and in 1997 the staff increased from three (3) employees to six (6).
Bare Furniture was sold in 1997 and in 1998 “Gilbert’s Floor Covering” became part of Carpet’s Plus Color Tile, then the store was remodeled for additional show room space increasing to 15,000 square feet. Over the next two years RuthAnne Gilbert, wife of George Gilbert started fulltime in the business and a computer system was installed.
In 2003 Carpet’s Plus Color Tile of Rockford was started in partnership with two other owners. Dawn after taking sometime away from work began back in the business fulltime in 2004. In 2008 the staff increased to ten (10) employees.