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.

armstrong-floors-1963-retro-renovation1963-armstrong-floors-retrorenovationTake 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. KimT says

    Please help! We have just bought a 1964 house that has the coolest round… yes round kitchen with great turquoise linoleum/vinyl sheet flooring. Which I want to keep BUT found out that we need to replace the sewer line which,of course, runs right under the flooring. I’ve searched web sites that say they have retro flooring but don’t. Is my only option solid vinyl that I have to find a really good vinyl floor person to cut geometric designs? Or is there a company that actually makes this stuff like the vintage wallpaper companies?

    • pam kueber says

      KimT, your kitchen sounds fantastic. See my ‘Kitchen’ category: ‘Flooring’ for all the retro-styled flooring options we have identified so far. Good luck.

  2. Amy says

    This retro flooring is exactly what I was looking for! The pebblestone look like the one with metallic accents. An uncle of mine had a cottage that had this. Too bad it’s not available anymore, but the Armstrong example (from related post) of Lucky – Island Sand is pretty close. I’m not a fan of the cushion step flooring though. It’s too easy to damage. Our kitchen floor with that is full of cuts that turn black with dirt. It doesn’t hold up at all. For a small bathroom, which is what I’m doing the search for now, it might be acceptable. I’ll have to try a sample and give it a test.

    • pam kueber says

      Welcome, Amy. I have lots of stories on flooring possibilities. See the Category: Kitchens/Flooring.

  3. Curt says

    I had enough Armstrong Designer II to do a retro bath last year… coved the walls and ran it under the new tub… this floor should be here long after I’m gone.

    It came out great and several people asked where I got it.

    About 10 years ago, an old floor covering shop I had bought from was going out of business and they had this remnant they were tossing… thought it would be good to line shelves in the garage… got it home and decided it was too good.

    Glad I waited because it is perfect.

    The old inlaid floor with the miribond urethane finish will last forever with slight care….

    All I can say is it must have bee too good!

  4. Cameron says

    Hi Pam:

    I’m searching every resource I can find, and asking anyone who might know, how to find a replacement for the floor in my great-grandparents’ kitchen (flooring installed by my grandparents in the ’60’s). I have identified the design as Armstrong and the pattern is identical to the embossed, red brick #5352, however, mine is yellow and green. I have never seen a photo of this color scheme online or in any linoleum book, nor have I seen anyone even mention it. Any thoughts as to what the style # might be? Was #5352 only the red brick or did it refer to the pattern in any color? I have pics if anyone wants to see. Thanks so much for any help anyone can provide.

    • pam kueber says

      Cameron, I don’t know for 100% sure, but I am fairly confident in guessing that 5352 — the most popular flooring pattern ever made by Armstrong and likely, by anyone — was sure to have come in different colorways over the years. No, no exact match today. Please also know: there can be vintage nastiness such as asbestos in old flooring — consult with a professional.

      • Cameron says

        Thanks, Pam. I found Armstrong on FB (I see you’ve ‘liked’ them as well). They’re checking into things for me. I anticipate you are correct w/re asbestos. We’ve encountered it before in this old house and are prepared to deal with it accordingly. I have other things to pick your brain about, but it’s late. More later…

        Thanks again,

        • Cameron says

          BTW, on Armstrong’s FB page you can see a photo of the floor with the (seemingly) unique green/yellow/tan color combo.

  5. says

    any new news on that #5352 lino being ever ever made again? We are remodeling my moms house nin Nor Cal and would LOVE to find THAT lino or something very close to it!!! Can anyone guide me to any new leads?

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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!

  9. 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 : )

  10. 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.


  11. 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.

  12. 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…

  13. Suzi Gerace says

    I am interested in the red brick #5352. I have a small kitchen that I need a 5″ X 9’2″ piece. Any ideas where I can find it?

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