Retro flooring: Awesome vintage designs from Armstrong circa 1963



As I see and learn more about home design in the postwar period, I seem to be getting more liberal in my views. That is, stuff that used to disgust me, I find, well….actually pleasing.

Take vinyl sheet flooring. In all the houses I remember living in, from 1971 on, we absolutely had vinyl flooring. I am the oldest of 5 children. And I must say – from sweeping then scrubbing the kitchen floor every Saturday morning for about 10 years – it cleans like a dream. The best, hands down. It also lasts – way longer than you want it to, if your choice was trendy.

girl.jpgWell surprise surprise, I pulled the advertising above from an Armstrong flooring brochure came from 1963. Although they call the product shown “embossed inlaid linoleum,” I am sure they are what we would call vinyl sheet. Click on the thumbnails to see the designs – some of them are absolutely awesome, with starbursts and gold flecks and such. If only these were still available today.

armstrong-sutherland-beige.jpgMeanwhile, I searched Armstrong’s present day line, and also looked at some other manufacturers, and could only come up with one current design that I thought could work in a retro renovation.

I’ll keep a lookout for more. As I said – I kind of like this stuff!

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  1. Joan Simpson says

    I am looking for a vinyl area rug, like my grandmother had under her dining room table. It was not wall to wall, but had a large flower print in the center with floral border around the edges. We need floors with personality, yes, like the wallpaper used to be. I wish I could take back all the changes I’ve made in my house that have not withstood the test of time like my grandmother’s house did. Thanks for any comments.

  2. Penny Bach says

    I am redoing my kitchen and I want the simple red brick pattern , I can’t find anything??? I have had lots of different floors and nothing is more perfect than red brick in my antique cape please help! I do not want stone I want good inlaid vinyl that takes a shine and is soft on the feet.

  3. Sarah says

    I just discovered some sheet flooring very similar to these styles as the oldest layer in my 1948 kitchen – probably not original, looks like the kitchen subfloor has been redone. It does say Armstrong on the backing. It’s more of a “bubble” pattern or maybe “pebbles,” with gold sparkly lines in between. Any ideas on style/date? (Pam, if you tell me how, I can send you a photo).

    • pam kueber says

      Sarah, I don’t know. Note: Be sure to consult with a properly licensed professional about what kind of vintage nastiness may be in those layers you uncover – a properly licensed professional can help you understand how to handle.

      • Sarah says

        Thanks, Pam! Yes, that’s a good idea – looks like lots of flooring from that age range has asbestos. Whee!

  4. maureen mouton says

    My mother needs to replace her kitchen floor. The only patterns available in vinyl sheet are fake wood and fake stone, which we don’t like at all. We preferred the fake brick! She loves a red toned kitchen floor and there aren’t any available. She had cherry cabinets and a granite -look counter. Some of the floors look like granite. I agree with you- the patterns I grew up with I now like…thanks for validating our opinion : )

  5. Carley says

    Hi Everyone

    I’ve been looking for vintage flooring for a resto-mod of our house, and came across this flooring by Zazous. Several of the flooring options (they are all self adhesive squares) look quite appropriate for early houses.

    What do you think? I’m picturing it with a lovely old white enamel stove and cupboards with red push button handles.


  6. Judi Austin says

    I am looking for teal and tan squares to create a look for my 1967 vintage trailer, it won’t take a lot, but does anyone know where I might look? I am hitting lots of dead ends.

    • pam kueber says

      See our Kitchens / Flooring category to see the stories we’ve written about various suppliers today. Good luck.

  7. Marjorie says

    I need to replace the 1980 sheet vinyl flooring in our large kitchen-den combo room and can find nothing I like. Manufacturers have discontinued any of the beautiful older patterns and I do not care for the stone, granite or wood patterns which are all I can find available. I have been filling in the cracks with furniture color markers until our floor manufacturers begin making the beautiful older patterns again. Thanks for sharing – nice to know I’m not the only one unhappy with latest trend !

    • pam kueber says

      Yup. It’s awful out there. See our entire Kitchens/Flooring category for all our research about options we’ve found…

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