The most popular colors for mid-century bathrooms? Take our poll!

These 1949 Briggs bathroom fixtures — tub, sinks and toilet — are the same design that I had in all three of my original 1951 bathrooms. And: I had two bathrooms full of this green. In fact, I tend to believe that this shade of green was #2 in popularity behind Mamie Pink throughout most of the 1950s. But let’s get all scientific-like and start collecting data. Henceforth, I invite you to take our two official polls, which seek to answer the urgent question: What were the most popular tile and bathroom fixture colors for mid-century bathrooms?


Also, please feel free to leave a comment with more information about your original bathroom(s). It’s for Science, mind you. Thanks for playing!


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  1. says

    I voted mostly based on the two mid-century homes I lived in during my childhood that had tile in the bathroom (although the one bathroom in my current non-mid-century home now has yellow tile around the tub in its second-stage renovation). A third house had four bathrooms and none of them had tile!
    My grandmother’s house had a mid-century addition in which my grandfather had put up gorgeous knotty pine in the extra room and down the hall. The bathroom in this addition had white mid-century fixtures, but the walls were a painted wood paneling on the upper walls and a plastic sheeting that was made to look like white tile with black grout.

  2. Deb says

    I live in a 1954 compact ranch. The single bathroom had yellow tile walls with black tile accent. The original sink and tub were white. The toilet was white but not original to the house. The house had been a rental for a number of years when we bought it. The bathroom had suffered some bad repair jobs and after interviewing 5 rehabbing companies we decided it could not be saved. But luckily we had Retro Renovations. We gutted the bathroom and recreated the same look but with Mamie’s pink tile with black accents. We went black on the tub/sink/toilet. On your website we found links to a 70’s Sears medicine cabinet (never used and in the original box) and a pink poodle shower curtain. I am going to send pics ASAP!

  3. Allen says

    I have two original bathrooms. The front bathroom has American Standard Ming Green wraparound tub toilet and drop in sink with hudee ring. The vanity laminate is an aqua/green gold speckle. The vanity is lacquered wood. The tiles are white with ming green bullnose surrounding and matte white 4×4 floor tiles. The back bathroom is all white American Standard with salt/pepper tiles and black bullnose with a matte black 4×4 floor tile.

  4. Natalie says

    i’m surprised so many people have beige bathrooms! (54 votes as of now) i thought i was the only one…i have only seen one other bathroom (picture on the internet) with the same tiles as mine.

    mine is kind of a light tan (does that count as beige?), the tiles are speckled, and the trim is brown. it is not the blush-y kind of beige. i hated it at first, but it has grown on me.

    the only problem is i can’t figure out what to match with it. you’d think it’d be easy to match pretty much any color with beige but the brown throws it off. i was thinking a rose pink. thoughts? i’d love to see pictures of other people’s beige bathrooms.

  5. Katy says

    I voted based on the colors of our current house, but the two previous 1950s ranches I’ve lived in had salmon hall baths and a soft blue and a beige master bath, respectively.

  6. Joy says

    I moved last year to a home with one half remodeled bathroom. It was an elderly man that lived there before me his whole adult life and he had the original tub replaced with a walk in shower. The sink and toilet though are definitely mid century. The sink is a pinkish beige Ladies Vanity and the toilet is the same color low profile basin. Unfortunately they look awkward in the room that has new floors and bright white shower, but I love them and won’t change them out! I wish the color was more pink, but its definitely more on the brownish side…

  7. Joe Felice says

    Apparently, my parents were boring. Both the bathroom & the kitchen were white. I think the bathroom tile had gold speckles in it, and there was more of it on the walls than you generally find today. Our bend-new 1956 living room was balck & white, and my bedroom had knotty-pine panelling. (Or was it naughty pine? :})

  8. Peggy Duerr says

    In our 3 bedroom 2 bath house built in 1964, the main bathroom had lavender fixtures and a lighter shade of lavender for the wall tiles. The floor was an oatmeal colored vinyl tile. The master bathroom had pale pink wall tiles with darker pink fixtures. The tub was a square corner tub which was called Cinderella tub I believe.

  9. AE says

    In my original 1958 bathroom, the floor tile is a textured peach/buff color. The shower surround and baseboard tiles are off-white with tan speckles. All fixtures are white Kohler with original chrome Delta fittings (including the original shower head a Hudee ring around the sink). The countertop is original, solid-color Formica matched to the shade of the floor. I also have all the original Hall-Mack Coronado chrome towels bars and hooks, and I added a Towel-E-Scope for good measure. The finishing touches are the Hall-Mack Relaxation Unit, toothbrush concealer, and original Emerson vent fan and 3-bulb heat lamp in the ceiling. I have painted the walls a pale, cool grey and the shower curtain is concentric boxes of slate blue, black, silver, and bronze. All woodwork is original, straight-grained golden oak. I love it! The bathroom is one of the reasons I bought my house.

  10. Barbara says

    I just bought a house with pink tiles around the tub and on the vanity. Built in 1953, I am just the 3rd owner (my son was the 2nd) and it is has had very little remodeling–thank heaven. I just yanked out the 80’s tiles in the kitchen and replaced it with formica with metal trim (had to order it from NY). The pink bathroom stays, of course, with a new retro floor of confetti like vinyl. Having a blast!

  11. Molly says

    In the three mid-century houses I’ve lived in, I’ve had two soft green bathrooms, a soft pink, a soft blue, and a hideous pinky-brown. The pinky-brown was actually in the mother-in-law suite in the basement, so I’m wondering if it may not have been original.

  12. says

    I lived in a 1950s dorm for two years. Each room had its own bathroom that had colored tile that coordinated with the tile in the main room.

    First room had dark red main tile, and kind of soft pink/brown/tan tile for the shower and brown/tan variegated tile on the floor.

    Second room had dark green tile on the main room and light green tile for the shower and dark green variegated tile for the floor.

    Other rooms have grey floors with blue tile in the bathroom, and tan floors with brown tile.

    All appliances in the rooms are white, but I’m pretty sure the toilets are newer. The sinks and the tubs are all original, including two sets of faucet handles….so strange! The campus used to be a hospital and you find the same thing in the old un-remodeled ca 1950 hospital bathrooms. I can’t for the life of me figure it out. Some even have two faucets and two sets of handles.

  13. Janet says

    My parents’ bathroom has marbled maroon plastic tile with a band of marbled gray plastic tile. Walls are painted pink.

  14. John says

    Hoping to find Briggs Beautyware fixtures to replace the cheap crap currently in my bathrooms. Briggs beautyware is what was originally in my house. Getting the project file from the building of my house has provided a wealth of information. I can work towards setting the house back to its original state. =)

  15. Lee says

    The Kohler website once published a timeline of popular bathroom colors through the decades. I haven’t looked to see if it’s still there but it was a great resource for basic color matching to older homes.

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