• 12 places to find 4″ x 4″ ceramic bathroom tile in vintage colors

    With Kate gathering ideas for her master bathroom design and remodel – including looking for four-inch by four-inch pink bathroom tiles — I got all Mother Hen and started sending her links to places that might have this very basic bathroom field tile in a not-so-basic color. But then, I thought, maybe it’s better if I just refresh my research and compile all my known sources for 4×4 ceramic bathroom tile in one story.  So, here is my list — I found 12 different companies that manufacture and/or are major distributors of basic 4″ x 4″ ceramic tile for bathroom walls and shower and tub surrounds — in white, neutrals, pastels and other colors, too: 

    I spotted these vintage aqua tiles at my Re-Store. Before you buy, make sure you know how much you’ll need. Because even though this looks like “a lot” of tile, I only count about 40 square feet. That won’t even do a three-wall bathtub surround.

    1. Re-Store– If you have the time and patience, the Retro Decorating Gods might send you a big stash of New Old Stock vintage tile delivered via your local Re-Store.
    2. Big Box stores — You can typically find white and bisquit colored 4×4 bathroom tiles at the Big Box stores for under 20 cents each. I was just at the Home Depot, and the tile they seem to be carrying as 4x4s is from U.S. Ceramic Tile Co. White was in-stock on the shelves…. and they had a sample board with other colors, the s.f. price was not listed — ask an associate. When I renovating my bathrooms several years ago, I found rose beige at the Home Depot, trimmed it with white bullnose, and it looks smashing.
    3. United States Ceramic Tile Co. — 4/8/14 UPDATE: US Ceramic Tile company seems to have merged with Roca Tile Group. As I mentioned above, Home Depot (at minimum) seems to carry this line, and it is likely to be as “affordable” as you can get unless you strike gold at the Re-Store or salvage. You can see 23 colors/finishes on the Roca Tile Group website.
    4. Daltile — Daltile is probably the largest brand name in tile in the U.S. They seem to have a number of collections that include 4×4 ceramic wall and counter tiles. The colors change regularly, so check them all, they include Semi-Gloss, which seems to be the #1 go-to collection for retro pastel colors… Semi-Gloss Color Trends has 1960s acid hues… also look at Festiva … and Natural Hues has a large palette as well.
    5. American-Olean — AO is owned by the same company as Daltile, and I think they have the same colors just with different names. But honestly, trying to compare sends me cross-eyed. Their collections with 4×4 squares include: Bright … and Matte.
    6. Olympia Tile — Olympia tile is a Canadian-based company, but they have some distribution in the U.S. (See their location map.) I used their heron blue tile in my blue bathroom renovation (although I think this color is now discontinued.) Hey: Check out the mint. Link: Olympia Tile’s Maple Leaf color collection.
    7. B&W Tile has been making ceramic tile for more than 60 years — so they have authentic retro colors, including pink. B&W doesn’t have their tile colors online, however, crafty Pammy (that’s me) found B&W’s tile colors here at Clay Squared — a company in Minneapolis that also sells the B&W line. Link: B&W Tile in California … and you can get this tile from Clay Squared in Minneapolis, too. Note, I called B&W for their price — it was $4.50/s.f. Clay Squared’s price is $12/s.f. I called Clay Squared to ask why the difference, and owner Josh said that his price (Clay Squared’s) includes all shipping and handling, while B&W’s does not. If you’re in the market, I guess you will want to crunch the numbers and see which formula — B&W’s or ClaySquared’s — would work out better for you.
    8. Florida Tile — This Kentucky company does not have “colors”, but it has a good selection of neutrals, including the timeless ‘bone’. Bright… and Matte.
    9. World of Tile — This time capsule tile store in New Jersey is my #1 go-to place for replacement tile, but check with Chippy — she may also have field tile in enough quantities for you to complete a bathroom. See the introductory story on World of Tile here, their website is here.
    10. American Universal Tile — The Brittany line looks to have some good pastel color choices.
    11. Ann Sacks — This high-end company’s Caliper collection boasts some 300 colors. However, this design does not appear to be “basic” — it has prominently beveled edges. The website says prices start at $20/s.f.
    12. Nemo tile — Nemo has two 4×4 lines, Metro Wall has some colors going on, while Clay Basics is low chroma greiged out.

    So there’s my list.

    Readers, do you know of any other manufacturers/retailers of any other lines of 4×4 tiles? If they are out there, we’d love to add them to this list.

     

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    Comments

    1. Who makes a 4×4 tile that measures 4″ I need some for a repair? This is not a common size and I am having a hard time locating it. Original tile says made in usa on the back. I am a tilesetter by trade this one has me stumped.

    2. Jason Miller says:

      Suppose I wanted to buy the real thing instead of these reproduction tiles. Where and how much do vintage tiles cost?

    3. Hi, just wanted to let you know that I did contact Chippy at World of Tile. Sent samples and photos. They contacted me with a price. I have to tell you that it was highway robbery! I needed 12 standard pink trim tiles and they wanted $19.99 each! For standard 4×4′s they wanted $16.99! And to top it all off, they are rude to deal with! These were not antique or fancy tiles, just standard 1960ish tiles.

    4. you can find plenty of pink tubs, sinks , toilets and sometimes tile at Urban Ore in Berkeley Ca

    5. stephanie samulski says:

      A company called Quarry Tile Company in the northwest somewhere will color match 4×4 wall tile for you. It’s not that cheap, but it’s also not as much as you might think it would be. I did this in order to preserve a pea green bathroom that I loved, but wanted to renovate ever-so-slightly. The color matched perfectly, and, the size matched almost exactly to the existing tiles, which was extremely important because I was continuing the existing layout, so the old size had to match the new size or I would have had to figure out some kind of supposed “design element” to separate the two if the grout lines wouldn’t match up. I was very happy not to have to do this. The bathroom turned out great and I get tons of compliments.

    6. I have been looking for 5 tile pieces to fix my 1950′s bathrooms. I have what I think is glass tile, maybe not, light blue/grayish. I don’t think they are ceramic or porcelain. The tiles are on the walls and in the shower and tub area. 12 x 8 inch in size. Anyone have an idea where to get them??? Already talked to Chippy and she has never seen tile so large. Not sure where to look next.

    7. Eileen Herlihy says:

      Looking for 6×6 shiny/smooth ceramic tile. I call it dijon mustard, complete with seeds (peppered?) Ned to replace some from 60′s shower that are cracked. Chippy and ebay have not been successful.

    8. We are using B&W tile for our “Cinderella” storybook ranch restoration in Southern California. Our colors are “tan” (salmon) & black and yellow & aqua. If you are anywhere near the Los Angeles area, I highly recommend a visit to B&W in Gardena (Western Ave, a couple blocks south of Rosecrans). They also sell soap dishes, shelves & other accessories that match many of the vintage tile colors. Their staff has always been very helpful to us…

    9. Rick Schendel says:

      I am looking for 1950′s grey 4.25 x 4.25 tile. World of tile could not match. Back of tile has AE at top and Made in USA on the bottom. Can someone tell me the name of the manufacturer?

    10. We have cement walls behind the tiles we need to repair. The cement was broken out by a plumber. How do I repair the cement. 1940s house with cement walls, floor, and ceiling with white 4 x 4 tiles on all.

    11. They have the 4×4 in 2 types. White gloss / white bisque. They are pricey though, I think.

    12. We are readers and we are manufacturers that make a 4×4 ceramic tile. Including many retro colors like vintage pink, menthe and a sea foam green. I am not trying to advertise here, but merely want to bring awareness to my fellow readers of your blog that would be of interest. Your list mentions Ann Sacks…we are the same quality but less expensive. Thank you. Jason-Creative Director

      • Hi,

        I’m looking for 10 replacement tiles that are 4.25″ x 4.25″ x 0.25″ in what looks like a light pink. Have any or know where else I might look?

        Gary

        • pam kueber says:

          Hi Gary, In this story – see the write up about World of Tile. Or, use the search box to get to stories about World of Tile – they have pink in 95 colors. Another way to get there is to use the Category: Bathrooms/Tile. Good luck.

      • Where is your website? I need for seafoam green tiles for a 1957 house that has some repairs needed in a bath.

        • pam kueber says:

          Susan, see our stories on World of Tile. They are the place to go for replacement tiles. See the FAQ or use the search box.

    13. In Portland, Oregon Pratt & Larson has an outlet store in the back of their main showroom. They do a lot of custom work so their palette is enormous. Their tile is normally very expensive but I’m working on a project (a box to cover my mailbox) made of tile to match our house and found the perfect colors (turquoise & yellow w/ some adorable diamond shapes too) in their outlet shelves. Sometimes they have boxes and boxes of one color. Worth a shot if you have a smaller area like a small bath floor to do.

    14. I would think that Mission Tile would carry that size.

    15. I just got 30 vintage pink tiles for a repair job in my 1960 bathroom from our Re-Store. Price was only $3 (for all 30 tile). Needless to say, I was elated. I am hoping I’ll be as lucky finding the gray. The repair in there isn’t as immediate, so I have some time to source. Patience is key, but sometimes you don’t have that luxury. I need a lot of bull nose for that bathroom, so I may go with a white trim. Best of luck to all.

    16. We used the United States Ceramic Tile product to redo the bathroom in our 1952 home and created a mosiac in 4 colors: spring green, light taupe, yellow and white. The bad part was we didn’t order enough from a tile store, but then we found boxes upon boxes of more of the same at the ReStore! It even inspired us to throw in the white tiles into the mosiac pattern we created which tied in the Koehler tub and toilet nicely!

    17. Hi, looking for tiles in what looks to be “Jade Green” (or sea foam?). true 4 x 4 tiles, not 4.25 x 4.25, to replace some cracked tiles in our 1920s green/black/white bathroom. I am Los Angeles and have not gone to B&W Tile yet, but I think their tile size is a hair too big. Any other sources??
      Jason the Creative director — do you fabricate this size? I have a sample tile for color matching. The back of it reads “504 BB”.
      Thank you.

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