In mid-2009, Leo Robitaille asked his staff at Masterpiece Wood Floor, Inc. to take a 10 percent pay cut and "trust me."

Today, his 18 employees are receiving a 15 percent pay increase and Masterpiece is expanding.

By the new year, the New Milford company will have a second location at Riverbend Design Studios, now under construction at 137 Ethan Allen Highway in Ridgefield.

"When everyone was retrenching, cutting back on advertising and letting workers go, I spent on advertising and sat down with my staff," Mr. Robitaille said. "I told them, `You have to go out and get the work. It's not going to just walk in the door.' "

Mr. Robitaille has built his custom flooring company up from scratch.

Ten years ago, he was working out of a home office with a small work crew. Today, he has a showroom at 221 Danbury Road, an 18-member staff and a fleet of 10 trucks.

From European hard-oil flooring to the latest bamboo and cork floors, Masterpiece offers an array of high-quality flooring and eco-friendly products for finishing and sanding.

"The green concept is snowballing in popularity," Mr. Robitaille said. "Our finishes are of resin bases. We even offer recycled flooring. The floor in the main showroom is of recycled barnwood."

Throughout high school, Mr. Robitaille worked at his brother's wood flooring business. During college, while earning a business degree, he refinished and installed wood floors in circa 1700s homes in Vermont.

"I know about the business," he said. "The creative end of it gets into your blood. At the end of the day, the intrinsic value of the finished job is what it's all about for me."

New Milford resident Sheila Easley had Masterpiece Wood Floor refinish and restore the floors throughout her home. Impressed with the company's quality of workmanship, she had them redo the floors in one of her rentals.

"I thought it would be a horror with dust everywhere when they did my home," Ms. Easley said. "When they said dustless -- they produced less dust than I accumulate living in the house for two weeks."

Ms. Easley said, along with the quality of the job, she liked that once the crew started, they worked straight through over the weekend, getting the entire job done. And the cost was reasonable.

"I've had remodeling done in the past and been left hanging with a half-done job for days," she said. "I've recommended Masterpiece to friends and neighbors since."

Masterpiece Wood Floor, Inc. is located at 221 Danbury Road (Route 7) in New Milford.

For more information, visit the website www.masterpiecewoodfloor.com or call 860-355-3020.