A year and a half after starting our renovation, we nearly have a finished kitchen. Two of the last projects to do were tiling the hearth and putting poly on the floor. I did both of those last week.
For the floor, I used a water-based polyurethane that is 'eco-friendly', ie low VOCs.
Interestingly enough, 4 litres of poly cost more than all of the oak boards (125 mm x 25 mm) we needed to cover about 15 square metres. (We bought the oak as off-cuts from a door factory on the other side of town.) See this post by Jiqiao, our Chinese intern, about laying the floor, which looked like this.
We laid the oak over the old floor, making sure to keep out any drafts, especially along external walls.
I applied construction tape along the wall/floor intersection...
... and then installed the baseboard. (Behind Billy T.)
Tiling was something else entirely. We bought the tiles and the adhesive from the shop for about $60 total.
I have never tiled before, but following the directions on the bag of adhesive seemed to work out fine.
And I had a supervisor looking on.
The timber frame is 25mm thick and cut on a 45 degree bevel to match the height of the tiles.
Here, the frame is removed while I finish the cuts.
Tasmanian oak boards: (25 mm x 125 mm) $80
Tiles and adhesive: $60
Finishing the kitchen: Priceless