Gator and I have done a lot of projects together over the years – we make a pretty good team.  We are both usually off for ten days to two weeks over Christmas and New Years, so we often take advantage of that time to knock out a big project now that we don’t have kids at home anymore.  Last year, we fenced in two pastures, other years we’ve done painting, bathroom remodels – the list goes on and on.

This year, I had in mind that we would replace the kitchen floor.  It’s really been bugging me.  I would say that the floor in the kitchen is probably the the thing I dislike most about our house.  As I’ve talked about in a previous blog, our kitchen cabinets are made from hard to find wormy chestnut wood and were taken from an old cabin that the previous owners of our house had purchased and dismantled. It definitely has a rustic look.  The floor, however, is red and green vinyl composition tile, which in my opinion, screams retro – not rustic.


Besides the look, the maintenance on VCT is lots of work.  A couple of times a year, the finish needs to be stripped, it needs to be resealed and then refinished.  And the only way to get it done right is to rent a floor polishing machine.  I don’t have time for all of that.  After the last time Gator and I spent a whole day refinishing the floor, he finally caved and said “never again!”  YAY!!!  That was my signal to start shopping!

I finally settled on a slate look porcelain tile and I even convinced Gator to get a price from the flooring store to have them install it.  That didn’t last long – as soon as we got the price for installation Gator decided that we would install it ourselves and save 65% of the price.  OK, it looked like the holiday project was all lined up for this year.

Gator threw me a curve ball though.  As it turned out, he decided that he didn’t want to do any big projects over the holidays.  He wanted for the two of us just to relax, have fun and since he has time off between jobs, he volunteered to do the project himself when I went back to work after the first of the year.  I skeptically agreed, knowing that I could help on the weekends but also knowing this project was going to be a major interruption to the functioning of my kitchen for several weeks.

So we ordered the tile and got to work on demolition.  The ceremonial “ground breaking” –


and the real work beginning


It took the better part of three weeks, but Gator came through once again!


What a difference!  He did an amazing job – he even made all new thresholds and transitions out of old barn wood.  The only problem is that now the green paint doesn’t go with the new kitchen.  I guess I’ll just add that to the project list.  I bet Gator doesn’t volunteer to do that solo….