Glitter vinyl floor tile — we found a source!

glitter flooringmicaSuper exciting news: We’ve discovered resilient tile flooring — with sparkly, glittery mica embedded in the top layers. It’s so… sparkly! Before writing this story, I ordered a sample, just to be sure, and when it arrived, I jumped with joy to see the flecks, all twinkling at me in the cold sunshiney day. This flooring is available in black and white… and in a wide variety of sizes, including tiles (starting at 12″ square), planks and deco strips (yes!). Alas, it’s not sized as a sheet flooring too, ‘cuz if it were, I’d say, let’s use it for glitter countertops, close enough!

UPDATE: For glitter tile, readers also called out this options:

  • [Link on company website now broken, don’t know if this product is still available] Tandus Centiva Glitter LVT – in eight real colors! — thanks, Erin and Mari, for the tip.

AND: For glitter in a sheet vinyl — 13′, 2″ wide!! — try:

Tip to view the photos in this story: Click on any photo and it should double in size on your screen. Once it’s enlarged, keep clicking it, and all the photos in the story should run as a slide show. Note: This same feature should work on all stories here on Retro Renovation.

“Glint Orb” and “Glint Void” from Mannington Commercial Amtico

glint-orbglint-voidWhere to see it:

glitter floorYou know I am not particularly a fan of voids, so I ordered a sample of the white. It’s pretty white. (Not as white as appliance white, the flooring is creamier.) Which, ya know, is fine with me. Lots of people say they want light and brite kitchens. Well, put this sprinkle o’ sparkles in white on your kitchen floor, and you’ll be doing a happy dance everytime you walk inside the room. Will it show the dirt? Yes, methinks it will. But this is commercial flooring — and it appears that it does not need extra polishing. So keep that sponge mop and bucket handy and deal. Or better yet: Make your kids sweep and quick-sponge-mop the kitchen every night after dinner. It’s good for them. Builds character.

sparkle floor
I would consider using this flooring in many a room: Kitchen, bathrooms, office, basement(check specs), heck, maybe even a living room, family room or bedroom, if the design plan made sense. WE ARE TALKING SPARKLE FLOORING HERE, PEEPLES!

All mica is glitter, but not all glitter is mica

In researching this story, I learned that all mica is glitter, but all glitter is not mica. The mica-wiki:

The mica group of sheet silicate (phyllosilicate) minerals includes several closely related materials having close to perfect basal cleavage….. The word mica is derived from the Latin word, mica, meaning a crumb, and probably influenced by micare, to glitter.

The glitter-wiki on Modern Glitter — and wouldn’t you know it, modern glitter is a mid-century invention!:

The first production of modern plastic glitter is credited to American cattle farmer and machinist Henry Ruschmann, based on a patent filled shortly after the end of the Second World War for a mechanism for cross-cutting films as well as other related inventions….With German glass glitter unavailable due to the war, Ruschmann found a market for scrap material ground into glitter made of plastics…. He founded Meadowbrook Inventions, Inc. in Bernardsville, New Jersey, and the company is still a producer of industrial glitter….

Today over 20,000 varieties of glitter are manufactured in a vast number of different colors, sizes, and materials. Over 10,000,000 pounds (4,500,000 kg) of glitter was purchased between the years of 1989 and 2009 alone. Commercial glitter ranges in size from 0.002 square inches (1.3 mm2) to 0.25 square inches (160 mm2).First, flat multi-layered sheets are produced combining plastic, coloring, and reflective material such as aluminium, titanium dioxide, iron oxide, and bismuth oxychloride. These sheets are then cut into tiny particles of many shapes including squares, rectangles, and hexagons…

Meadowbrook Inventions — in business since 1934 — woot!

How chunky is the mica in this flooring?

ceiling glitter

Ceiling glitter is pretty chunky

Using crafting and ceiling glitter as a reference: I’ve seen Papa Bear glitter, Momma Bear glitter and Baby Bear glitter. I would say that the Mica in this flooring is a pal of Baby Bear’s. It’s kind of delicate… maybe a wee bit smaller than the glitter in vintage glitter laminate. I would not mind if it were a bit chunkier. But I am not looking a gift horse in the mouth. It’s still pretty darn fun, I can only guess that Mannington Commercial did not want to push their luck with the enormous commercial market by making the design too screamy.

Is the mica silver or gold?

Is the mica silver or gold? Yes. As you can tell by my unhelpful question and answer, I am not sure. I *think* it’s silver. But, it seems to reflect whatever is around it. In the yellowish light of my dining room, the glitter looks gold. Holding the tile upright in front of the camera… or in front of my kitchen window, and the flecks look silver. Lay the tile down in the kitchen, and the flecks darken up. I will suggest: Very versatile.

Bevel edges

These tiles all have a bevel edge. It’s very very thin — I don’t think I would even have noticed it on my single tile, except that I saw it mentioned in the specifications, so I want to take a closer look. Given the bevelled edges, each installed tile will not butt against the others totally flat, like other vinyl composite tiles I’ve seen before. I don’t think these very narrow beveled edges tile-to-tile would bug me; I think they might actually look quite nice, putting each tile into a teensy bit of relief. That said, before I committed — to an all-white or all-black floor, especially — I’d probably get at least for and see how the bevels look in place.

Many sizes available for this sparkle flooring

Digging through a number of Mannington’s catalogs, I found this eye chart, which shows you the sizes available. Note, I turned it sideways so you could read the sizes… Glitter Orb and Glitter Void are on the far left of the top row… match the dots to the sizes in the last column:

amtico-optionsMix and match standard sizes to create “choice” designs

One big Mannington catalog also showed these very cool ways to mix, match and angle standard size tiles and planks to get a variety of flooring effects. Again, Glint Orb and Glint Void are aimed at the commercial market — so the company has made a wide variety of sizes and shapes available to industrial and contract designers to work with. (Note, for a residential kitchen, I’d likely keep the design simple, but it’s still intriguing to look at these ideas):

amtico-choice-layouts-1amtico-choice-layouts-2

Idea, for a large space, how about 18″ squares with thin metal strips (or metal-finish strips) between each square? That is… treat it decoratively like terrazzo… Just a thought…amtico-choice-layouts-3

Just for commercial customers — custom cuts

Note: If you are a true commercial customer, Mannington will work with on custom work to create effects like this (extra design fees required):

glitter-floor

Thin feature strips – available in many colors

amtico-feature-strippingThe two Orb designs — and many others (not just the colors shown above) — are available stock as feature strips in the following widths: 1/8″… 1/4″… 3/8″… 1/2″… and 3/4″. (Image also taken from the big catalog.)

Wow! The possibilities — not just for trimming out the Orb flooring, but for trimming out any vinyl or vinyl composite tile. Use this feature strips to much more easily design outlines for “rugs” …. or …. what else?

Where to see Glint Orb and Glint Void and order samples to consider for your retro floor:

Archeologists have found mica on cave paintings that are 30,000 years old! How appropriate to put some in our caves! Who’s game? 🙂

Be-Safe-graphic2.3

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Comments

  1. Erin says

    if you like that, you will love this! Very similar, but more colors. I thought it was available in sheet too, but maybe that’s been discontinued…

    https://www.tandus-centiva.com/global/us/product-catalog/flooring/victory-glitter_VGL.html?color=Glitter+Yellow

    (Also, though I realize it’s annoying, I will point out that these products are not vinyl composite tile – they’re just vinyl tile. More expensive, more flexible, very much less maintenance.)

  2. Katie P says

    About a year ago I purchased A vinyl flooring from Lowe’s that has very tiny glitter in it that I have been meaning to tell everyone here about. Online, it is nearly impossible to tell it has glitter flecks, but in-store samples were available at my local store. I purchased a medium gray color, but it also comes in red, brown, blue, green, and some other colors. It is made by IVC, which does have a website with images of all the colors (the pattern is called marble). It was just right for my mid century modest kitchen and affordable, too. It also hides dirt amazingly well!

    • ScottG says

      I’ll second the recommendation for IVC/Flexitec sheet vinyl. As Katie mentions, their “@Work” collection features tiny little sparkles in the Planet/Marble line. The best part about it, though, is that it’s available in real, honest-to-goodness colors including red, green and multiple blues!

      Their “@Work” collection also includes a line called Astro/Techno which is similar to the above Marble, but instead of glitter it features small “chips” in varying colors including teal (on the darker backgrounds). A third line, Blueprint/Modus. mimics terrazzo but the colors seem more muted than those in the other two collections.

      The best part is that it’s a fiberglass-backed, no-wax sheet product available in standard widths so an ambitious DIY’er should be able to attempt an install. It’s also made in the USA although I think the controlling corporation is foreign. The big downside, to me, is that it’s vinyl (although it seems that may be my only choice now that Marmoleum is juggling their residential tile line) Also, and this is just my personal opinion, but their website just doesn’t sufficiently replicate the features that make this product so interesting to those of us seeking a period look as you can’t see the glitter or chips.

      Like Katie mentioned, it is available at Lowe’s, but I’ve found that both of our local Greater Cleveland independent floor retailers offer this product at a better price than the big blue box store.

      • pam kueber says

        cott, I don’t see a Planet line but I see a Marble line. Is that the one with sparkles? I am going to order some to check it out…

        • ScottG says

          I’m looking at their catalog and IVC’s way of identifying the product is really confusing (to me at least). Here’s my best explanation:

          The collection is called “@Work Collection.” Among the various style groups in this collection, there are three that caught my eye as having a retro influence, Blueprint (terrazzo), Planet (glitter), and Astro (colored chips).

          Here’s where it gets somewhat confusing. Within each style, the individuals colors all carry the same name but have a unique numerical suffix to differentiate between one another. For example, all colors in the Planet line are called, “Marble.” But black is “Marble 698” while red us “Marble 618.” Ugh….Worse yet, none of this is especially obvious on their website.

          So, if you want the glittery samples (Planet line), the colorways should all be called Marble 6xx; the samples with the colored chips (Astro line) will have all colorways labeled as Techno 9xx; and the terrazzo samples (Blueprint line) will have all colorways labeled as Modus 5xx.

          Who comes up with this stuff, anyways?

    • monica says

      Oh I so wish you could tell us the brand name or what that flooring with the sparkle flecks in it ~~~ is called. I need to get some right now. thanks. for whatever help you can render.

    • pam kueber says

      Very cool. I think this would work much better on a concrete floor than a resilient floor. I had friends who painted their beat up vinyl floor. They did “everything” they were supposed to, to promote adhesion and finish durability. It was Some Therapy. It immediately began chipping and in general was a major #fail.

      But for concrete — I can see how it might work!

      I would feel like Cinderella on that floor. I would need to get glass slippers!

  3. Robin, NV says

    This is so great! At long last, a source for glitter flooring. I actually kind of like the black better than the white. I could see it in a retro basement bar.

    As a kid, our bathrooms had those faux marble countertops with glitter swirls in them (our house was built in 1986). I wonder if those will ever make a come back.

  4. Amy in Sacramento says

    Vintage camper trailer owners (like me) need this! Ours is a 1960 Oasis trailer with a formica-like backsplash patterned with pink lines and gold starbursts. I was looking for something like this, but we ended up buying a sheet of black/white checked vinyl from Home Depot (which is NOT my first choice, as it feels too “50’s diner” for our 1960 trailer) but hubby hasn’t glued it down, yet…so, hmmm…

  5. Jay says

    Wow! Looks a lot like the 12×12 tile my father laid on the basement floor in the early 60s – it had silver and gold flecks on a creamy white field. I believe it was an Armstrong product. It was probably asphalt tile as I remember it being very stiff and hard.

  6. Ima Pam says

    On the sparkle topic-don’t know if they have been covered yet- but Lowe’s has Formica solid surface countertops called “Nickel Mica” and “Pearl Mica”. Both swirly sparkly. I thought the look reminiscent of both crackle laminate and cultured marble.

  7. Stephanie says

    Wow! I think I just found some of my flooring for my retro cafe I’m designing! This would be perfect around the barista counter.

  8. ineffablespace says

    The sparkle vinyl, in white anyway, predates Amtico’s association with Mannington as far as I know. Amtico is an English company originally, which pretty much explains to me their offerings, which are more European in aesthetic than American. I actually think their offerings have been brought in line to what Americans seem to want a bit more since their association with Mannington. This is okay, I guess, but it was great to have at least one company that offered a Lot of things that were not the same as everybody else’s.

    I got a sample of the white glitter vinyl maybe ten or more years ago when my parents needed to replace their existing 1969 Amtico white brick, not because it was worn out, but because of an icemaker leak. If they could have gotten the identical white brick, I think they would have done so.

    As it turns out, the best white options at Amtico at the time were the glitter (not conservative enough for them) and a pure white tile that was too monolithically white. The mottled-vaguely stone looking #3 choice from Amtico was similar to some American brand which was a fraction of the cost, and they went with that. :/

    Amtico is not a budget option, and can cost more than real stone or hardwood, but it is a great product.

  9. tammyCA says

    Nifty! I love me some sparkly so I will check this out as we are definitely in need of new bathrooms/kitchen flooring.
    The crafty lady who did that glitter paint on the concrete..that is pretty cool. I was just watching an old ’40s technicolor movie the other day, “Night and Day” and during a tropical dance scene the dancer in sparkly sequins/ chiffon steps onto the shiny turquoise floor and suddenly I see sparkles dancing around on the floor like the sun on water…very magical & pretty and I thought to myself I so want a shiny glittery turquoise floor. 🙂
    Oh, btw I was at Walmart today walking thru the patio furniture section and saw they had Wicker Hoop Chairs with hairpin legs..very MCM. They were in natural and I think off white.

  10. Jacki says

    I sure hope that these companies keep the sparkly and vintage designs around for a while. It seems that they keep a product for 2 or 3 years and then it’s gone. And wouldn’t it be great if they would come out with a sparkly formica, how perfect would that be?

  11. Mary Elizabeth says

    Glitter was king in my house in 1959! I don’t think I’ve mentioned that we have been redoing the carpeted floors in my 1959 ranch with hardwood, and when we pulled up the carpet and padding in one bedroom and hallway, the original linoleum was underneath. I feel like an archeologist discovering all the phases the floors have been through.

    Every room except the living room (which seems to have been carpeted originally) was apparently a different color linoleum, but all the colors had glitter in them! The kitchen floor we know was mint green & glitter, and that color went down the hall to the bedrooms. The room we have finished had white or cream with glitter, and a peek under the other carpets shows one is blue glitter and one is peach and green globs with glitter. (DH thinks it looks like olive loaf. Remember olive loaf?) Underneath the ceramic tile in the pink bathroom (probably put in sometime in the 1960s) was pink and silver glitter. Unfortunately, we can’t keep any of those floors because we don’t like linoleum in the bedroom (which reminds me too much of the project apartment I lived in when very young) and because it’s all in such bad shape–scuffed, cracked, and worn–and potentially toxic. And when we cleaned the floor in preparation for the hardwood, all of the people and cats in the house were sneezing.

    Still, if I had known about the glitter tile before we redid the kitchen floor (which now has five layers of flooring) in vinyl, I would have picked one.

    • Mary Elizabeth says

      Florida definitely is a glitter state. My daughters say that when you cross the state line from Georgia, a troop of crafy women with a “bedazzler” attack you and glitter up all your clothes.

      Seriously, though, why is it that a house near tropical beaches (or a summer house anywhere near any beach) seems to need glitter on the floor? Reminiscent of silica, perhaps.

  12. Lacey says

    I’m currently considering the Flexitec line for my kitchen and laundry room and it was actually their Astro line that immediately made me think “I wonder if Retro Renovation knows about this…?” The Marble line is more shimmery; Astro has big CHUNKY gold and silver glitter in several colorways.

    The color I’m highly considering is called Flexitec Astro in Techno 901. It’s a creamy white with light gray marbling and chunky GOLD glitter. So ridiculously retro!

    However, it is impossible to see the glitter on any website; so it just looks ugly online. (Basically, the tiny darker flecks you see in the sample photo are glitter) I have a few samples at home now, if I knew how to post a pic, I happily would. http://www.ivcfloors.com/Flexitec-Product-Page.aspx?p=1366&o=Techno

    • Kate says

      Click the links in the story Tamara, it looks like they are still shown on the company’s websites to me.

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