Looking at photos of interiors from the ’50s, it is clear that both vinyl composite and linoleum were used. Here are sources I recommend today:

– Armstrong Commercial floor tile – Standard Excelon Imperial Texture. One homeowner I heard from said the black was identical to what is still in his basement. There are 75 colors, three shown above (the last three, larger images). Note, in my downstairs basement bedroom, the original homeowner used a mix of browns to beautiful effect – so have fun. Note, this flooring will last forever and ever. See more at: http://www.armstrong.com/commflooringna/product_details.jsp?item_id=381

– Armstrong also makes true linoleum — see their website, and so does Forbo Marmoleum. Note: While these are quite beautiful, and environmentally friendly to boot, they do require more care and are not considered completely waterproof.

– Toli Linotesta – is another product that I have found that resembles the marble-like look of lineoleum, but has the greater durability of vinyl composite. 3 colors pictured above (first three, smaller images). See more at http://www.toli.com/linotst_home.html

– Finally, try cork. It’s quite beautiful. It has the same care-ability issues as linoleum. There are many suppliers around.


  1. Amanda chaik says:

    As another flooring option, Forbo offers Marmoleum Modular which comes in 3 sizes, one of which is 10 in. square; almost a match in size for vintage tile.

  2. Tim says:

    The Forbo Marmoleum Modular line is available in a 10″x10″ tile. The selection of color is not huge, but it’s decent. I contacted the manufacturer to see if it could be wrapped up the side of the wall (like flash coving), and a technical rep wrote back to say they do not recommend it because of the polyester backing. I suppose this means it would not wear well over time. By the way, there is a floor plan designer tool at marmoleumclique.com.

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