Linoleum is not vinyl! The word "linoleum" has become a generic term for resilient flooring of all kinds, but it is NOT vinyl. Linoleum is a flooring product made of natural materials, including linseed oil, resins, wood flour, cork, limestone, and jute fabric. This fascinating new book focuses on vintage linoleum; more specifically the marvelous patterns produced from its invention in 1863 until its almost complete eradication in 1960s due to widescale vinyl production. Linoleum is also about the rebirth of authentic linoleum flooring in the past couple of decades, and the hope for a future in which linoleum receives the long overdue respect it has always deserved. Drawing upon their expertise in restoring and photographing old homes, the authors share the history and evolution of floor coverings generally, and linoleum in particular. With humor and insight, they single out the differing types and patterns of this durable product, discuss its care and maintenance, and list major resilient flooring companies where linoleum can easily be found. This is a must-have collectible book for anyone who ever played with toy cars on grandma's kitchen floor, or arranged their marbles to fit the curious patterns that stretched from corner to corner. Jane Powell is the proprietor of House Dressing, a business dedicated to renovating and preserving old homes. She is the former president of the historic preservation organization in her hometown of Oakland, California. Her books include Bungalow Kitchens and Bungalow Bathrooms. Linda Svendsen specializes in architectural interior and exterior photography, and her work has been showcased in Camps and Cottages, Bungalow Kitchens, Bungalow Bathrooms, Old House Journal, Old House Interiors, and Lifestyles Magazine.
Patterns Because many linoleum patterns were produced for decades, this section is divided by types of patterns rather than when they were made, though dates have been included if they are known. Mock Around the Clock Because linoleum has mostly been viewed as a substitute for some other kind of flooring, rather than a flooring in its own right, it is no wonder that for the most part the patterns tend to mimic other flooring materials. Architecture critic Ada Louise Huxtable called this sort of thing "substitute gimcrackery" and she didn't mean that in a good way. Tile The most popular pattern is imitation ceramic tile. All kinds of tile are represented, from basic 4x4 or 6x6 squares, to encaustic tile, mosaic tile, hexagons, octagons, rectangles, and every possible combination thereof. Straight-line inlaid, stencil-inlaid, printed linoleum, and printed felt-base all featured tile. Stone Ever since Frederick Walton figured out how to make granite and marbled linoleum by combining different colored linoleum granules, these and other kinds of ersatz stone have been a fundamental part of all linoleum product lines. Marbled was and is the most popular-in fact, marbled is just about the only pattern available today in linoleum. But granite, flagstone, cobblestones, and pebbles also appeared.