It's cold and crappy outside, so what better reason to get away from the landscaping and start on the new kitchen flooring? I'm going to do the kitchen in stages, since we sort of need to be able to use the kitchen while we live here (it's where the microwave is, afterall). Stage One includes about half of the kitchen area, and covers the dining area and pathways to the back door, basement, and 1/2 bath. I'm planning on a full weekend to get the bulk of the work done on this area. That work should include laying the cement board and getting all full-size tiles installed. After this is done, I'll worry about the cut-down tiles and grout - probably to be done over the next few days.
Step one was to take care of the cement board underlayment. I went with Permabase 4'x4'x1/4". I was concerned with removal of the existing layers of vinyl flooring, as I'd bet that at least the older layer was made with asbestos. Instead of removing the layers and risking the health issues, I removed the loose areas and leveled it with thinset before installing the Permabase. Once each sheet of Permabase was installed, I used screws (a LOT of screws) to hold everything down. Yes, I know that having four corners of cement board coming together at the same place isn't the best layout.
Step two was taping the joints. I liked step two, because it took only a few minutes. Step one was the better part of the day and left me with an aching back from being hunched over for hours.