The early beginnings of vinyl may not be what most people expect. Like many other things in this world, the origins and history of modern vinyl flooring came about due to the formation of a material resulting from an attempt to create something else entirely.
The earliest known record of vinyl chloride came from the early 1800s, when European researchers developed a very rough and rigid material for which they could not seem to find a use.
The ’20s and ’30s
In 1926, scientist Waldo Semon—who worked for the BFGoodrich tire company—was hard at work to discover the next best adhesive. He landed on polyvinyl chloride, or “rubber vinyl.” This would be vinyl’s first appearance in the US.
In 1933, at the Chicago World’s Fair, vinyl was presented to the masses as a super-resilient, flame-retardant, easy-to-manufacture material. It was also cheaper to produce. However, despite all these wonderful attributes, the product tanked.
The ’50s and ’60s
It wasn’t until thousands of troops made it home after the Second World War and Korean War that the market became saturated with vinyl orders, because the housing market was suddenly on fire. Vinyl couldn’t be sold fast enough. It made its way into businesses, schools, and even hospitals. If you look at older mid-century modern homes, you’ll notice that they’re decked in vinyl. The easy means of production and low cost just made sense at the time, especially with everything else vinyl had to offer.
Thus concludes the origins and history of modern vinyl flooring and its incredible journey. Today’s vinyl is much like that of the past, except even higher quality. If you find yourself in need of vinyl flooring in Portland, Oregon, check with Floors 55—the place to find the highest-grade vinyl that money can buy, guaranteed.