30 patterns for vinyl floor tiles from the 1950s

David asked the other day:

We’re planning our basement finishing project and looking at VCT tiling options in the basement. Does anyone know where to find design ideas for Vinyl tiles? I’m seeing a lot for ceramic, but not many for VCT.

You ask, I deliver: Here are scans from 1950s Armstrong and Kentile catalogs.

armstrong floorsThe thing I like about the designs in my 1955 Armstrong dealer catalog is that they show the percentage of each color required. The Kentile designs come from a retail brochure, so you will have to do the math yourself.

Also remember: Armstrong still offers the the decorative shuffleboard. Come on — you only live once — get the shuffleboard, especially if you are doing a basement floor. I also like VCT like this for kitchen flooring. If you’re planning a retro remodel of your kitchen, be sure to start here to scope all the products, ideas and inspiration — for floors and much more — available.

Finally — Please know, readers — these designs are provided with the intent that you will use them with new vinyl composite tile (VCT). Always be sure, when you move into a house, to consult with experts to test all the materials in your house, including flooring, for stuff like lead and asbestos — and make informed decisions about how to handle these issues.

vintage floor tiles

READ THIS VIEWING TIP: I have inserted the images very large so you can see the designs well — I had to click on the image THREE times to get to the largest version. Then, use my back button to return to the post.

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Comments

  1. Liv says

    Does anyone know of a shop who that is still stocking some of the vintage Armstrong patterns – I really would like to get my hands on the style no. 0377 ( the house came with it originally )

    Any help would be appreciated. Thanks, Liv

    • pam kueber says

      Nope, these are no longer available as far as we know. You may be able to find them vintage. But… we don’t know of any sources…

  2. Elizabeth says

    Our 1953 ranch came complete with a finished game room, the tiles are playing card, champagne glasses and the fish with the long snout. We will Never change a thing. Built in wet bar, with stainless steel sink and drying board, wood paneling and red brick fireplace. We are the second owners, the parents, we are told, would host square dancing parties.

  3. Neil says

    These vintage tile patterns and colors are FAB-U- to the -LOUS!!! Love, love, love ’em.

    I shop at estate sales here in San Francisco every weekend, and am occasionally (less and less often as they years go by) halted-in-my-tracks in the kitchen, yearning for the chance to take the original lino tile flooring home with me. But, no dice, of course.

    I do very rarely find a partial role of vintage lino in the garage, and feel like I’ve struck hidden gold. I use the lino scraps to re-surface vintage chrome dinette tables whose tops have been loved to death.
    Neil

  4. Heart says

    Thanks so much for this post Pam.

    I scored a 1927 craftsman home in CA., completely untouched or ‘remudeled’ since day one. Think, original wallpaper in every room! (yes, I took photos 😉

    They did overlay 70’s sheet vinyl flooring in the Kitchen/Laundry Bath. I removed a 5×9 area of press board sub-floor in the old laundry room. Surprise! Original hand cut linoleum floors! I couldn’t imagine the labor involved back in the day.

    So grateful for your site Pam! Thank you for the wealth of knowledge you preserve & inspire.

  5. Carolyn says

    The dining room, entry, living room, and kitchen house I grew up in had whitish tiles with a few green flecks. They then, in the dining room, laid a border 2 tiles in, were green tiles with whitish flecks. It wasn’t much but funny how a little detail like that affects the room.

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