Vinyl flooring is now a common feature of commercial buildings and homes alike due to its durability, aesthetics and low cost. Ever wonder, “How did vinyl flooring become popular?” Although its popularity appears to be fairly recent, the roots and development of vinyl flooring began much earlier.

The Rise of Vinyl Flooring

The first experiments of vinyl flooring products began in the 1930’s. During this time, vinyl was seen as a useful industrial product for tubing, gaskets and wiring in manufacturing plants. In 1933, the first instance of vinyl tile flooring made a big splash at the Century of Progress Exposition in Chicago. Due to the scarcity of vinyl during World War II however, vinyl flooring was not widely marketed until the late 1940’s.

Mass Production

After the war ended, vinyl was reintroduced to the public with new scientific enhancements such as flame resistance, contact durability and flexibility. Demand for vinyl products grew quickly. Worldwide vinyl production exploded from over 200,000 tons per year in the 1950’s to 6 million tons by 1970. The material was used in nearly every industry, from building materials to car components to food packaging.

Vinyl flooring gained popularity during this time as well, and was installed in hospitals, schools, offices and houses across the world. Vinyl flooring even made an appearance at the 1968 Winter Olympics in France, covering the skate rink for the prize ceremony!

Vinyl Flooring Today

From the living room to the kitchen to the bathroom, vinyl flooring has become one of the most widely used types of flooring today. Its affordability, durability and flexibility in design have enticed homeowners and interior designers alike. With the introduction of luxury vinyl flooring, vinyl flooring has even become waterproof!

Due to its versatility, vinyl flooring will continue to be a mainstay of the American residential flooring market for years to come.

Photo cred: Wikipedia