Lam-O-Tile — here’s a ‘new” vintage wall tile for our woddity archive

vinyl Lam-O-Tile wall tileWhat an odd and wonderful (wodd) discovery:

Lam-O-Tile by Laminated Plas Tex Corporation… Made of Firestone Velon!

This is not a floor tile — it’s a 10″ wall tile marketed to Do It Yourselfers to protect and beautify the walls of kitchens, rec rooms, bathrooms — even showers! We know that it came in at least 15 patterns in colors approved by Better Homes & Gardens. And today, we have two of the 15 patterns to ogle…

vinyl Lam-O-Tile wall tileWe first heard about Lam-O-Tile from reader / ebay seller devonwass6zm7, who recently discovered this NOS stash of vintage Lam-O-Tile vinyl wall tile and now has it for sale. Neither Pam nor I have seen this stuff before — and it’s almost just as wonderful to see all the packaging, too. From the Ebay listing:

Vintage Mid Century Lam-O-Tile by Lam Tex Corporation/Laminated Plas Tex.
Made with Velon by Firestone!

vinyl Lam-O-Tile wall tile

Ooooooohhhhhhh…..what a find!! These beauties are made by Lam Tex Corporation [of Springfield, Ohio] – probably in the late 50’s or early 60’s.

I have priced them per piece, however, I do have 149 pieces in total, so there are enough for a nice sized project.

vinyl Lam-O-Tile wall tile vinyl Lam-O-Tile wall tile

Made of a stiff, but flexible vinyl, these are meant to be attached to a wall..would make a great backsplash!! The pieces are slightly flexible, but could not be bent around a corner… they are a brittle vinyl and would break. Each tile measures 10″ x 10″ and are a textured black with pastel metallic flecks of color. Each tile is a bit different in pattern… the flecks of color are completely random. A Set Decorator or Designer’s dream!!

vinyl Lam-O-Tile wall tile vinyl Lam-O-Tile wall tile vinyl Lam-O-Tile wall tile

I did a little searching and found this vintage advertisement for Lam-O-Tile in an old issue of The Florida Architect magazine from March 1957. Pam also spotted some newspaper advertisements from 1957. Could it be that this product was super short lived? We will guess: Yes.

It reads:

Lam-O-Tile the new vinyl covering for any wall… Anywhere.

Decorative…
Fifteen unique patterns — fabrics, woods, sprigs of grasses, strands of glitter — in basic color backgrounds. A palette that gives free rein to imaginative design.

Versatile…
Patterns are locked in 10-inch squares of plastic that’s easily applied with a buttery mastic to almost any interior surface — as plaster, wood, brick, cement, metal.

Serviceable…
Lam-O-Tile’s rigid vinyl sheets won’t shrink, fade or peel. Resistance is excellent to grease and oil, household stains, corrosive acids or alkalies. So upkeep is easy — and it won’t supports combustion.

Armor-Flex Products
Wholesale Factory Distributors
2111 S. Andrews Ave, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.

vinyl Lam-O-Tile wall tile

Pam also found an Etsy listing from seller VintageByTheBelles with a set of five Lam-O-Tile pieces, each featuring a pink jaspe field and butterfly.

vinyl Lam-O-Tile wall tile

vinyl Lam-O-Tile wall tile

From the etsy listing:

Collectible vintage tiles, made by Lam O Tile. Five laminated 10″ square tiles, with a butterfly imprinted on each tile. Identified as, “Pink #2613.”

vinyl Lam-O-Tile wall tile

The tiles have light gray streaks, very retro the pink and gray! All are clean and neat and offer a mutitude of possibilities for usage: cottage wall decor, altered art project, placemats, framable…so pretty for spring and summer!

vinyl Lam-O-Tile wall tile vinyl Lam-O-Tile wall tile

Lam-O-Tile table

Above: Reader Janet’s table, found on the side of the road. Could it be Lam-O-Tile?

Janet’s comment:

I LOVE this, especially the butterfly tile! I have a little table about fourteen inches high with a single tile on top that has a similar background in yellow with five colorful butterflies on it. I picked it up on the side of the road. I have always wondered who made that tile and now I think maybe it is from this company. It’s the only time I have ever seen it but with unusual items like this, I tend to believe it will show up more in the area where it was produced. Maybe you see it more in the Springfield, Ohio, area.

Readers — have you ever heard of or seen Lam-O-Tile out in the wild?

Mega thanks to sellers devowass6zm7 and VintageByTheBelles for letting us feature their vintage Lam-O-Tile photos.

Also note, we don’t know what’s actually in these tiles, so note our often mentioned safety advice: Remember, peoples, there can be vintage nastiness in various parts of our vintage houses, so get your own properly licensed professional to help you test what you have so that you can make informed decisions how to handle.

Link love:

Be-Safe-graphic2.3

Get our retrolicious free newsletter.

Newsletter-sign-up-2NMAS

Get our retrolicious free newsletter.

Comments

  1. Janet in ME says

    I LOVE this, especially the butterfly tile! I have a little table about fourteen inches high with a single tile on top that has a similar background in yellow with five colorful butterflies on it. I picked it up on the side of the road. I have always wondered who made that tile and now I think maybe it is from this company. It’s the only time I have ever seen it but with unusual items like this, I tend to believe it will show up more in the area where it was produced. Maybe you see it more in the Springfield, Ohio, area.

  2. Mary Elizabeth says

    I can’t say that I’ve ever seen this in a home. Am amused by the advertising claims that it is made from “pure virgin vinyl,” as though vinyl were a natural substance found in the wild. 🙂 I’m still looking for the wild naugas and acrylls from which Naugahyde upsholstery and acryllic sweaters are made.

    • Laurie Louise says

      I also love the line about applying it with “buttery mastic.” Ah, the glory days of copywriting…

      These tiles are the cat’s meow. Found myself mentally scanning the abode to see where I might fit a few in. Think if I Google really hard I can come up with some buttery mastic to stick ’em on with?

    • pam kueber says

      Here’s a good opening for our regular reminder: Remember, peoples, there can be vintage nastiness in various parts of our vintage houses, so get your own properly licensed professional to help you test what you have so that you can make informed decisions how to handle.

      Cathie, I edited your comment because you gave advice/guidance. I don’t want readers giving such advice here. Folks: Get your own properly licensed professional help.

      Thanks, Cathie!

  3. Katie says

    I love the butterfly tile! I’m always nervous about vintage tile, if it’s not ceramic, because of the risk of asbestos, but this makes me want to see if modern vinyl tile would be suitable for walls.

  4. Melissa B says

    How interesting. Firestone, the tire company!

    The wiki article says that there is a Firestone Building Products arm, but it looks like now they only make roofing products.

  5. Jeannie says

  6. Jackie says

    Buttery mastic ! That makes me hungry ! I bet these are full if bad things but I love them and want to put them in the shower of my old trailer. I hope someone finds more!!!

    • pam kueber says

      I received a sample in the mail the other day. They are quite thin — I’d compare the thickness to … less thick than a vinyl record with a similar feel overall. Like: Those records that came on the back of cereal boxes! Very thin vinyl! I can cut it with regular scissors.

  7. Joe Felice says

    I recall seeing these only in campers and RVs, but never in a home. I wonder if it was a southern thing. I was born in Florida, but have lived most of my life in Colorado, and certainly have never seen them here.

Leave a Reply

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