25 companies that make flooring — cork, linoleum and vinyl — suitable for a midcentury house

linoleum floorDo you want retro-style, resilient flooring for your kitchen, bathroom, basement — maybe even your entire house? We tend to write about new designs one at time — when we, or readers, spot them. And we’ll continue doing that. But realistically, if you are in the market for new resilient flooring, I recommend that you prepare your eyeballs and start looking through all the styles available from every manufacturer. “Every manufacturer?” Yes — and to help, I’ve begun the following list. 

“Resilient”: meaning not tile or concrete, but cushioned flooring stuff that kind of bounces back underfoot.

Shown above: Dave and Frances’ Marmoleum-brand linoleum floor.

Where to look for linoleum flooring — available in sheets or in tiles:

I know of three companies in the U.S.:

  • Marmoleum
  • Armstrong
  • Johnsonite

Where to look for vinyl, luxury vinyl and vinyl composite flooring — sheet and tile:

azrock-flooring-1

Brian and Keri chose an Azrock 12″ vinyl tile for their kitchen update.

In alphabetical order:

  • Amtico
  • Armstrong
  • Azrock
  • Congoleum
  • Fritztile
  • IVC
  • Johnsonite
  • Karndean
  • Lonseal
  • Mannington
  • Olympia Tile
  • Tandus-Centiva
  • Tarkett

Important research tip: When searching these companies’ websites, look at the Residential/Homeowner sections of these companies’ websites, of course. BUT, you may be most likely to find flooring that suits our midcentury sensibilities in the Commercial/Contract sections.

I started to try and bucket and sort particular lines by size and type… but immediately became frustrated because there are so many options. Perhaps I will do this someday — but it will need to be an X-Y chart. There IS a lot of cool stuff available.

Meanwhile, check out this IVC basic sheet vinyl collection — these sheets are 13’2″ wide — you could get this in most midcentury kitchens, I bet, with no seams.

Where to find glue-down cork flooring:

cork-flooring

Rebecca and Keith installed cork floors in their mid mod kitchen remodel.

Re cork flooring, I don’t know anything about the new floating floor technologies, so for this list, I focused on companies that sell original style glue ’em down cork flooring, just like I have in my 1951 bedrooms and foyer. When and if I ever redo these floors (the foyer in particular has seen better days), I will be using glue-down tiles from companies such as these:

  • Duro Design Cork Flooring
  • Expanko
  • Evora Cork
  • Forna Cork Flooring
  • Globus Cork Flooring
  • Jelinek Cork Flooring 
  • Lisbon Cork Flooring
  • Nova Cork Flooring
  • U.S. Floors

Note: I have no idea how to vet the quality of one manufacturer’s cork floor tile vs. another’s. I do note in their product descriptions, however, that some tiles are thicker than others. I’m betting thick = longer lasting. As I mentioned, I have cork tiles in my foyer that were installed in 1951. A few years ago, I actually had them refinished. Yes, we started by trying to sand the top layer — but that didn’t work too well, the machine kept clogging. So then, my floor refinisher did some scraping thing. He then recoated the floor in some sort of liquid finish (I did not take the name down, my floor refinisher recommended it). The floor is gougy in some places — this was a bear of a job — but you don’t really see the scrapes unless you squat down and look for them sideways in the light — moreover, it salvaged my floors for another long time, probably decades.

I think we are not very hard on these floors compared to prior residents; in the 10 years since they have been refinished, I don’t see any visible further deterioration.

All this to say: It seems like you can refinish cork — the glue-down kind. (I do not know whether this is possible with the floating floors.) So the thicker the tile you start with, the more times you could conceivably refinish the floor.

Note, Precautionary Pam reminds: Be sure you know what’s in the vintage layers of your house — they could contain vintage nastiness such as lead and asbestos …. consult with a professional to assess what you have so that you can make informed decisions.

All of our flooring research
is filed in the category Kitchen Help / Flooring

Thank you, dear readers: I was turned on to a number of these companies — likely, most — by readers. Thank you a million times over!

Are we missing any companies, readers?
If so, please comment and let us know!

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Comments

  1. Lori Gibson says

    There is a new type of cork floor by Harris Wood. It is called “LVC” or luxury vinyl cork. It is a plank product with a vinyl backing, a later of cork and then a wood image and a wear layer. The product has the comfort and warmth of cork but a easy to care for surface that looks amazingly like real wood.

  2. jivesnake says

    I was just googling colored cork and came across recycled cork rubber tile. Company is Zandur and the stuff comes in every color you can think of (48). It may just be similar to that stuff you can put on your garage floor but on line it looks a lot like gold flecked Formica!
    Check it out:
    http://reps.zandur.com/crfcolor.html

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