I usually have a couple of projects going at any one time; that way, when I get the shits with one I can move onto another and come back to the first later with a refreshed attitude ("It can't be nearly as bad as the one I've just done..."). One of these projects has been renovating the kitchen, the majority of which I did earlier in the year (see blog) and which, with a change of flooring, I have finally finished (yay!).
Originally, I discovered, the floor had been partly polished wood (in the dining section) and probably lino (in the kitchen), which had been glued straight onto the original, unsanded floorboards. At a later date, someone had covered the entire lot in masonite sheets (3 x 4 feet each, held down by nails every couple of inches around the edges and a couple in the centre of each sheet for good measure) and a most interesting pink/beige lino - not the old linoleum lino, but that plastic sheet stuff that wears easily and rips when you move a fridge across it incautiously (oops... d'oh!). Did I mention it was pink? Eeeeuw...
On one of my weekly trips to the recycling centre at the local dump, I noticed that someone had donated a truckload of Italian tiles in various sizes and colours, and so I dug around and eventually got together a sufficient number to do the kitchen floor (the dining area now just has a wooden floor like the rest of the house). $10 a box, 17 tiles in a box (they're quite large, at 31 x 15 cm), tile cement left over from the bathroom renovations last January, and a couple of tubes of pale fawn silicon - I think I got out of it for just under $100, if you include the flapper disk for the angle grinder that was necessary to remove some of the more obvious unevenness on the wooden floor (which, you must remember, had never been sanded back with the rest of the floors in the house). Smug mode kicked in when I found the same tiles at the local hardware shop for $7 each - I'd paid about 60 cents... love my recycling centre!
Stripping off the old floor took a couple of nights, a pinchbar, clawhammer, much bad language (but no broken fingernails!); the actual laying of the tiles took a couple of hours (and 24 hours for the tile cement to dry), and then I siliconed the gaps between them and have ended up with a tiled floor that has only a few silicon cat paw prints on it ( which will scrub off) and is NOT PINK!!
Looking back, it really was pretty easy - I can't imagine why I didn't do it earlier! Now, there's the entrance room to be tiled, the back stairs to be sanded back and oiled, and my bedroom ceiling to be done; and I need to clean out the shed, do a bit of gardening... Stuff it - I'll have another cup of coffee first and surf the 'net for a while. THEN I'll get into it!