This past weekend I attended a vintage event in Toronto at the gorgeous and historic, Todmorden Mills. On site they have an adorable 1940s cottage with the most amazing original flooring from the 40s in their kitchen. The flooring was linoleum and just look at the pattern….wow! So wow that when I posted it on Instagram the ‘Vintage Gal‘ commented that it would be a fantastic pattern for an outfit and I00% have to agree with her!

Linoleum floor Todmorden Mills 1940s

I will be honest I did not truly realize how colourful and fantastic 1940s flooring was (I think I was distracted by all the other items to look at in images), and this discovery intrigued me to see what other designs were out there. So Friends….

1940s Linoleum Flooring

Why Linoleum? Well very simply it was known for being clatterproof, easy to clean, and resistant to stain. So ideal for a room in the house like the kitchen.

Example of Designs:

1939 Geometric linoleum patterns.

1939 Linoleum vintage flooring pattern Armstrong
Source: Cooper Hewitt

1941 featured abstract shapes with stars in muted colours.  On side note, why does the kitchen look like it should be outside?

1941 Yellow & Green Armstrong Kitchen
Source: Flickr

1945-Green’s in every shade!

1945 Green Armstrong Kitchen Linoleum floor
Source: Flickr

Can’t make up your mind on which floor style to go with? Why not go with 2 of them?

1940 vintage kitchen decor linolem flooring
Source: About Home

When you have pink polka dots as a design element, then your linoleum floor 100% needs to be less flashy.

1940s vintage kitchen design with linoleum and pink polka dots
Source: Mid Century Home Style

In 1945 the below colour scheme of Burgundy, Grey and Gold was considered a big departure from the old ways of doing things.

1945 kitchen design with linoleum floors
Source: Source: Mid Century Home Style

This kitchen in 1949 with this fun floor could have been yours for only $50 (a lot of money back then).

1949 Bird Linoleum Company
Source: Vintage Caravans

The Linoleum floor in this kitchen is my absolute favorite. It really is darling, don’t you agree? This kitchen reminds me of the movie Dumbo and the pink elephants for some reason.

Armstrong 1940s Kitchen Design
Source: Hanbury House

Which style to choose?

1940s kitchen decor
Source: Etsy

Linoleum was not regulated to only the kitchen. It was also found in other places in the home, like the bedroom.

1940s Linoleum floor ad armstrongs
Source: Etsy

And the washroom as seen in the most adorable space ever! I love the “designated” areas for each of the family’s items.

Vintage-green-and-yellow-laminate-floored-bath 1940s
Source: Retro Renovation

Green was a very popular colour during the 40s (1941 Washroom).

1941 Linoleum flooring in bathroom
Source: Remarkably Retro

Phew, that was a lot of colour, patterns and green going on in these rooms (why so much green?). Did you have a favorite style of linoleum from this post or from your vintage travels?

Lastly if you have not checked the website ‘Retro Renovation’ you really should. There are tons of great ideas on how to return your home into a mid-century masterpiece. Especially the piece on 1940s decor which was a great help for this post today.

Liz 🙂

21 comments on “The Beautiful World of 1940s Linoleum Flooring”

  1. Oh I love all of these! They’re very reminiscent of 1930s linoleum, which is when it all started to become popular. It was part of the whole stripping out the past Victorian cluttered look and replacing it with smooth, clean, modern lines that were practical.
    I also think many of these would make a fabulous fabric and I think my favourite has to be the floral and square patterned one from the kitchen for under $50. xx

  2. These floors are beyond gorgeous! As someone who fully intends to incorporate environmentally friendly linoleum in her own retro renovation (also the name of a blog that I, like you, adore), and the owner of a house that still has some classic (1940s?) linoleum “carpets” in the upstairs bedrooms, I loved this post. Thank you for finding those inspiring vintage photos!

    • How exciting that you are doing a retro renovation! And I’m so glad you are finding inspiration here and on RR. Best of luck with the changes and please share when done I would love to see what you did.


  3. Absolutely love all the colours! I wish so bad we could still buy these today. I miss colour in the house; today is very “griege”…. Thanks for the post!

  4. These are amazing! I always hated lino (too long in rented houses with chatty kitchen floors), but these have changed my mind. I’ll definitely be checking out the options for my kitchen.

    • When I used to hear the word Linoleum I thought of the UGLY 1970s floors at the cabin we used to rent, but just like you not anymore! The styles from the 1930s-50s were stunning.Glad you changed your mind as well.


  5. So hard to pick a favorite! I love vintage linoleum flooring. I wish someone would reproduce them so I could redo my kitchen and bathroom floors. The geometric patterns are so fabulously colorful!

  6. I love the pictures and the linoleum flooring. My husband and I want to do our kitchen flooring, but have no idea where to look for vintage linoleum. If you could kindly let us know by email where you suggest for us to find it, it would be much appreciated. We can go anywhere from Toronto out east to the Oshawa area.

  7. I live in Los Angeles and would like to know, that’s if you know, where I can find a store(s) that carry the 40’s style linoleum. Thank you, Tina

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