60s Ceratile samples

Reader Megan shares a great find with us — images from a NOS box of vintage Ceratile tile samples, likely from the 1960s. One look at these designs — and a (plain) pink bathroom will seem downright… boring. Here’s her story on these vintage tile samples:
I found these Ceratile samples at an estate sale a few weeks ago and picked up the whole box for $1 🙂 They had some NOS tile too, but it was just plain white. I love the Mardi Gras pattern the most. The Carnival photo didn’t come out very well but the grey strips are smudgy, almost like charcoal streaks, on the actual tile. So pretty! The solid color tiles & the pink swirly one were in the box too, but don’t have any markings on the back. I did a little research on the company but all I could come up with was an old catalog offered for sale at tileheritage.org.  Master Tile Company is also out of business. I don’t know how old these are, but the people at the estate sale estimated early 60s because that was when the homeowner redid his bathroom.  I also showed them to the designers in my office and they speculate these would have been “high-end” finishes for the time (and may be at least partially hand painted). Hope you enjoy!
Thank you for sharing, Megan — what a delicious find.

To view slide show, click on the first thumbnail, and move forward or back via the arrows below each image.

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Comments

  1. says

    I’d estimate those to be late 50’s early 60’s by the designs, lack of zip code and use of the phone exchange. I’d love to see a whole bathroom or entrance wall made with some of those designs. You made a great find Megan. I’m jealous!

  2. Glamorlux Nancy says

    Wow! My favorite is “snow flake”! It is such a tease to see what was available, but can no longer be found in large quantities.

  3. Guy H. says

    Wow, wow, wow and wow. I love the stardust pattern and the evergreen.

    These had so much style to them! Even the box looks exciting!

  4. drex says

    I’m from Houston and I have seen a few of these in houses on my estate sale trips. And yes, they were always in custom high end houses at the time. Amazing that these were local tiles! Who knew?

    • aim4123 says

      WOW!!! So glad to see this here. I live in Houston as well and our home was a custom build in 1962. The hall bath has the Stardust tile. I NEVER thought I’d be able to find any info on it. Such a great find!!!

  5. MbS says

    Love these AND the names. My grandmother had some of these, with felted bottoms, as coasters. She bought them a a church bazaar….bet they were made by some enterprising churchie lady or Girl Scout troop.

  6. Col says

    Well… upper right photo shows the gray in my bathroom. Been wondering what that is all these years. I didn’t get a sexy color like pink or green, got plain old gray. And wondering if its possible for the owner of that box of samples to flip that gray sample over, shoot of a photo and email it to me… so I can at least have the details on the color of tile I am searching for. You cannot find that shade of gray anywhere anymore and maybe if I had the actual model, part number and maker etc it might help the search! Thanks for posting this! Mystery solved!

    • pam kueber says

      Col, I’m not keen on having readers share emails via the blog. But if Megan can send me a shot, I’ll forward it to you. Note, though, I think there were many many many tile manufacturers back in the day… and this was a popular color… so there’s no telling what the exact name/manufacturer of your tile was. Have you checked B&W? See my list of potential tile resources to check out under: Bathrooms / Tile.

    • Mstark says

      I’ll look but the ones I didn’t show the backs of didn’t have name colors. But at least I can get u the manufacturer. Plus the photo belies the true color. I’ll get on in the sun and maybe it will be better.

      • DCP says

        Ceratile’s “bouquet” was in the architect’s specifications for one if the bathrooms in my house. I can’t find an image of it. Megan, do you still have the sample box, and if so, is “bouquet” in there?
        Thanks!

    • mstark says

      OK – looking again it is a pretty good photo – a nice light gray with no blue undertone. The back says Santa Anna Tile Co. and the number 203 is written in pen on the back. The other similar tiles also have 3 digit numbers written on the back, so I’m thinking this is their product number. Good Luck!

  7. says

    I would sell my mother into slavery to have a bathroom done with either SNOWFLAKE or HARLEQUIN. But seriously, most of these patterns are to die for !

  8. Annie B. says

    Utterly fantastic! Neither have I seen vintage patterned tiles before. What a treat.

    I wonder if the manufacturer of the tile in the last photo has anything to do with the company named Royal which produced the “Blue Heaven” china? The aqua color of the tile is so coincidentally similar to the color of the china.

    Wonderful post!

  9. Samantha Coplen says

    Wow!!! I am so happy you posted this because it solves a mystery for me! My house was built in 1955 and has two bathrooms with the pink swirly tile like the one in the sample pictured here. Our bathrooms will probably get an overhaul in a year or so because of bad plumbing and I hope I can salvage my pink swirly tiles.

  10. Connie says

    Love, love, love Snow Flake! And Harlequin comes in a close second. Why don’t they make cool stuff like this any more??
    Its just so depressing going into a tile store and seeing beige as far as the eye can see. How is it people have become so conservative in their tastes when we used to buy stuff like this? Sigh. Its enough to make this little (former) art school girl cry. At least funky wallpaper is coming back in style.

  11. Mstark says

    Also dwell I’d making some nice patterNed tiles now and though not this cool they at at least more interesting than plain field tiles.

  12. katybug says

    Like Samantha, I have a 1955 bathroom in the swirly tile, but rust instead of pink. I agree with you, Pam–a little goes a long way! An entire bathroom of swirly tile is overpowering.

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