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.




Get our retrolicious free newsletter.



  1. says

    My 1950 ranch has 9×9 vct on all floors. I don’t know who made ones I have.Mine are a base color, then a contrasting color making a random “cloud ” pattern, and some black splashes here or there. Besides Kentile, what other company names were making vct back in the 40’s . Thank you

    • pam kueber says

      Bruce, I don’t have a list of all the manufacturers, this is not something that I’ve researched. Armstrong and Congoleum are two that come to mind…

  2. Kim guthrie says

    Hi Pam, we are looking for patterned sticky tile for our 1963
    Shasta trailer and love the 50s tile that you show. The yellow, gray and black pattern. Any idea where we can find this? Thank you!!

    • pam kueber says

      Kim, that sounds like it will be a needle in a haystack… vintage, that’s about it. Note: Old floor tile can contain vintage nastiness such as asbestos — make sure you consult with a pro to know what you have and can make informed decisions about how to handle.

  3. Selena says

    I think I finally talked my DH into VCT in the kitchen after finding this blog post:
    Isn’t it cool? I just had to share. As beekeepers, it’s right up our alley!

    DH did ask: “So… how are we going to get a bee in there?” and I had to show him these patterns. LOL. Too bad the 50’s weren’t big on bees in your flooring. I then suggested perhaps we could just paint bees here and there on the cabinets… :)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *