Rubber flooring — especially the marbleized ‘jaspe’ design — is another historically-appropriate option for a midcentury home. Above: Just a few of the standard colors from Musson Rubber, which has been making flooring since 1945. The company is based, appropriately enough, in Akron, Ohio — in midcentury America, the Rubber Capitol of the World. Props to Make It Midcentury, which recently featured this tip in their newsletter: 

I am guessing you will want a really good commercial installer if you use this type of flooring. And, I will guess it is not going to be inexpensive. But it surely is beautiful, likely durable, and certainly midcentury appropriate.

Update July 11: One reader on FB commented that rubber flooring may not be good to use in a kitchen. It may not interact well with grease splatters. So, a good reminder: Check with pro’s to ensure whatever you are choosing for your various spaces is appropriately specified. 

retro kitchen flooring
My jaspe tile floor

The professional term, that I know of, for “marbleized” in this case is “jaspe.” We also have done research on streaked, jaspe vinyl composite floor tiles (see links below.) Thanks, Make It Midcentury, for this tip!

More research on midcentury flooring options:

 

CategoriesFlooring
  1. Nanci Aydelotte says:

    I installed rubber flooring in my kitchen and laundry room. (Johnsonite) It’s fantastic — not inexpensive, but very easy to install and almost indestructible…. my vet uses it in all his operating rooms. If you’re a serious cook there’s no better surface. Johnsonite also has some great patterns (it’s three dimensional!) and a wide variety of color.

    You can usually pick up the cove at building salvage places for almost nothing — right now it’s ten cents/lf in Baltimore — if you was a cheap snazzy finish to a room.

  2. carolyn says:

    So…what do you use on it to keep it so shiny? Is it fairly easy care? No offense to linoleum, but this looks more in tune with what I see on my dream floors. If you pull out your chair, is it likely to leave a gouge or fairly forgiving in comparison to linoleum?

  3. linoleummy says:

    SOLD! For the powder room.
    According to their literature links the chemical resistance is better than linoleum because not only is it resistant to acids like linoleum is, you can use bleach on it. Since bleach /alkaline substances will break down linoleum I used vinyl instead in my bathroom. Cleaning looks to be as easy as vinyl and buffing makes it shine.

  4. primrose road says:

    The Johnsonite isn’t really meant to be shiny — it’s more of a matte finish. And it’s used in operating rooms, etc, so you can clean anything off of it. Not only does it not scratch, but it almost self-heals. I have 4-5 large dogs and their nails (or any other aspect) haven’t done any damage.

  5. Rocco says:

    So I have the red jaspe tiles in my 19th century farmhouse and I noticed, some of the corners tips are breaking off. I have a few divets in my tiles. What can I seal the tiles with to keep this from getting worse?!

  6. Pam Kueber says:

    Hi Rocco, I am not an expert on this question — get with your own professional to figure out how to handle. Also, be aware that old materials and their layers may contain hazards – again, get with your own professional to assess what you are dealing with (for example, you may not have rubber tiles, you may have a different type) so that you can make your own decision how to handle. For more info see our Be Safe/Renovate Safe page.

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