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Make no mistake,  I have no intention of becoming a ‘Litchfield County Gentleman Farmer’, however there is a delightful gang of baby goats and a bunch of chickens at the local (and locally owned) service station; a stop there to say hello to my new friends is one the first things I do when I go to my new very old house.

I am anxious to spend the night in the country, but before I move anything into my new house (including me) I am refinishing the floors.  However, refinishing the floors is not a matter of a simple sand, stain and polyurethane.  The floors are not the tongue-in-groove floors I typically see in my New York City projects, there are an entirely different animal.  I need an expert…


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Ed Wilke  –  Floorworks Inc  –  Ridgefield, CT.

A gentleman named Ed Wilke came highly recommended, but I was warned he was a bit of a mad scientist – and this turns out to be true!

Ed is very passionate and extremely knowledgeable about wood floors, knowing much more than any floor finisher that I have ever worked with.

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In my initial, and subsequent walk-throughs of the house with Ed I learned a lot about the floors, including that most of the floors in the house are probably original.

The floors on the first level are a mix of Red Oak and White Oak wide planks (8-10″ wide) which were likely to have been locally milled from trees taken from the property when the house was first built in 1835.  In three of the four bedrooms upstairs the floors are wide planks of Pumpkin Pine, and the fourth white Oak.

Although the floors are very beautiful, given their very long life it is understandable that on close inspection, these very old floors have seen better days.  In some places they have been poorly patched, in other places the wood is split, scars from previous alterations of the heating system are pretty numerous, and in the Living Room someone had put in standard tongue-in-groove strip oak flooring that looked very out-of-place, and recent finishing had standard clear polyurethane everywhere with no stain

Starting this Monday and for the next ten days Ed and his crew will be removing the out-of-character tongue-in-groove and replacing it with 10-12″ vintage White Oak floor boards, installing the new boards flush to the adjacent area, repairing the floors throughout and more.


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Obvious poor repairs will be re-repaired with a Dutchman where the damaged area is removed and another piece of similar wood is set in its place. Some split boards will be entirely replaced, as well as all of the door saddles.

All of the floors will be refinished to a rich warm medium-dark brown using dye, polymerized tung-oil and satin wax – the ‘mad-scientist’s’ proprietary approach.

Ed enthusiastically assured me that the finished floors can, and WILL be beautiful!

I will be sharing the results created by the Mad Scientist and his team very soon.

Stay Tuned!