26 bathroom tile designs for a vintage or antique bathroom — Merola Tile

Merola-tile-lead-imageFor anyone tying to remodel, restore or replicate a vintage bathroom, Merola Tile has some wonderful options. Affordably priced, easily available (through Home Depot) and great selection are all reasons to consider Merola Tiles for your next bathroom project. Not only do they carry a wide variety of black and white options — but also some interesting shapes and colors are available. Merola sent big sample boxes to both me and Pam — and we’re impressed. Let’s take a look –>

Checkerboard and Hex tile


Merola-tile-checkerboard-gloss-matteAbove: This black and white checkerboard tile comes in several sizes — as well as glossy and matte finishes.


Pentagon-and-dot mosaic tiles are a fresh alternative to the much more common octagon-and-dot design.

merola-tile-metro-hex-matte-b&wAnother classic option is hex tile — and there are several options available.


Octagon-and-dot tiles.


merola-tile-unglazed-hex-old-world-heritageMerola Tile also offers unglazed hex tile. If you look carefully you will notice that the tiles on the left are beveled, while the tiles on the right are flat. It is nice to have both options available. I think that the beveled design has a more antique vibe, while the flat design looks more modern.

merola-tile-old-world-unglazed-hex-flowerThese hex tiles are also available in a black and white flower pattern. Pretty.

Basket weave, pinwheel and new variations on classic designs

merola-tile-basketweave-glazed-and-unglazedMerola’s basket weave tile is available in glazed or unglazed.


merola-tile-basket-weave-two-sizesBasket weave tile is available in several sizes and color variations — some of which are slightly stylized. Look close at the sample on the right, above, and you will notice that the white tiles are slightly curved — adding more movement to this tile pattern. Heading toward dogbone.


Above: Unglazed pinwheel tile and unglazed basket weave tile.

Merola-Tile-Mod-Frames-and-palaceFor a more modern take on pinwheel tile — one of Merola Tile’s new styles is their Mod Frames black and white tile mosaic  (above left). Another new take on classic designs is Merola’s Palace tile (above right). Its playful shape and neutral color allow it to fit into many decorating styles — from retro mod to flowery vintage.

Lantern tiles


Merola Tile also makes a large variety of Lantern tile — in matte and glossy finishes — in several colors (white, blue, grey, black and terra cotta) — an in two sizes. Their largest size Lantern tile proved to be very popular — so they have now introduced a few colors of Mini Lantern.


Lantern-Cotto-tile-MerolaAbove: Cotta Lantern tile — a matte terra cotta colored option perfect for a groovy space. [Pam notes: This exact tile is yet another reason I need another house…]

Penny Round tiles


merola-tile-metro-penny-round-flowerMerola Tile has plenty of color options in their penny round tile line — in addition to classics like black and white, they also have blues, greens, reds, yellows and beige

merola-tile-penny-round-yellowThis yellow penny round tile would be perfect for a flower power kitchen backsplash or bathroom — as would the vermillion red.

Merola-Tile-Penny-round-cafeCafe Penny round tiles with brown edges ould be great for a late 60s or 70s bathroom floor or counter top.

penny-round-green-tileOf particular interest — these green penny round tiles exactly match my retro 1962 minty green bathroom.

penny-round-vintage-green-tile-matches-tubIf you were trying to construct a retro modern bathroom using these green fixtures — this penny round might be a good option for a backsplash, floor, or even a countertop.

penny-round-vintage-green-tileRegardless of what era your bathroom may be, odds are  — Merola Tile likely has an affordable and appropriate tile for your project.

university tile merola

Oh, and don’t forget Merola’s University tile. Also available in two more color ways, this is the very vintage style mosaic tile design that I think I will use in my upcoming bathroom remodel.

Do you need bathroom tile for a vintage, antique or retro style bathroom? We have done extensive research to find tiles that might be just what you are looking for. See our Bathroom Tile category to see all our stories.



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  1. Robin, NV says

    Oh my gosh, I have the same minty green bathroom. Could my dreams of finding the right floor tiles finally be realized?!

  2. says

    I have the unglazed flower hex tiles on my bathroom floor and I love them! People visiting assume they are the original 100 yr old tiles – which I guess wouldn’t be a positive thing for some but we’re all in the renovation spirit here.
    My one complaint is the little tiles are all attached to a mesh backing and most of them were not straight/evenly spaced. They were kind of a pain to install so be careful but I feel they were well worth the trouble.

  3. says

    The pinwheel tile is the exact pattern of my last house’s 1960 minty green bathroom. Love that more and more options are coming on the market for restoring mid-centuries; an older friend told me the same thing happened with Victorians/Edwardians in the 1970s.

  4. TappanTrailerTami says

    Hi Kate – can you BEG Merola to make the University tile in the yellow colorway and green colorway (penny tile colors)? That would be the BEST!

  5. Bea says

    Thanks for the Merola Tile website. I have 4 bathrooms to remodel in the next 3 years. I am a very slow decision maker!! I have watched all of Pam’s bathroom videos…leaning towards a beige bathroom with University bone tile on the floor in the house I am selling.

  6. Bill says

    Wondering how the white penny tile would look with the yellow penny tile as a border for the floor? It is a 1930’s bathroom, with yellow tiles trim iwith black tiles? The yellow border would make it lighter looking?

    • pam kueber says

      I tend to think if you have black trim you should trim the floor with black too. With pennies – will not be possible to get the matchup border square… you could do flowers though

  7. Kathryn says

    I’ve got vintage basketweave tile in white and that green from the 20s that is between avocado and mint. We found some extra by going to a demolition sale at an apartment building which had the same tile in all the bathrooms. Came home with a couple of square feet, which was enough to replace tiles, etc. How great that you can buy it new, without it being stuck in concrete!

  8. David says

    Kate, I believe the flat, unbeveled tiles are actually the older style of the two. (And MUCH easier to clean, since they can be grouted flush with the surface of the tile.) Beveled edges, at least in Texas, seem to be the more modern style, not sure when that design actually came into vogue. I think one of the advantages to the beveled edge is that it hides a floor surface that isn’t laid perfectly level. Most all the original mosaic tile floors I’ve seen from the 20’s and 30’s have been as flat as a chalkboard. I’ve been looking for a manufacturer of the flat tiles for years; thanks for posting this!

    • Dave M says

      I agree. We were looking at tile a few years back for our 1930’s house and were told that the beveled edge was a byproduct of mass production. The flat edge tile would be more period appropriate for early 1930’s and older.

  9. says

    Do one for kitchens now! I am looking to do something original looking for my 1914 kitchen. It originally had linoleum which I definitely won’t be putting in. I want something authentic to the era though.

    • Pencils says

      Why not linoleum? I’m planning on putting down Marmoleum in my kitchen. It’s a very green product, which is great, & it’s soft and warm underfoot. I lived with a ceramic kitchen floor for years and whenever a dish or glass dropped it would shatter into a zillion pieces. (Now that I have Duralex glasses and Fiesta dishes and a vinyl floor nothing gets broken except in the sink.) Marmoleum is easy to clean and naturally antibacterial. And it’s made in the US, in Pennsylvania.

  10. A Arp says

    I know it’s been a while since this post was written, but I’m wondering if anyone has any input for me. I am kind of in love with that Merola white palace tile. To me it has either a ’60s mod or ’70s Spanish feel (or both). I’m redoing my bathroom in mostly more of a late ’50s/early ’60s style (I think! I’m not always as good at pinpointing eras as I think I am!), and I don’t mind it being a somewhat eclectic mix of different years (though I want to stick with ’50s-’60s) but I kind of want everything to look like it COULD have been installed in the time period it was from. So question #1 is, does anyone know if a tile style like this was ACTUALLY produced in the ’60s, and question #2 is, would it clash terribly with late 50s/early 60s elements like this light fixture: http://i.ebayimg.com/t/Mid-Century-Frosted-Glass-w-Starburst-Pattern-Bathroom-Fixture-Two-Bulbs-w-Plug-/00/s/MTIwMFgxNjAw/$T2eC16ZHJFoE9nh6pNPWBQ8sUsk3-g~~60_57.JPG
    I’m leaning towards yes, it would clash, but I’m open to input.

    • A Arp says

      Update: I got a sample of the palace tile, and it’s actually a grayish white with tiny crackles all over it. I had pictured it as being a glossy white. I’m not into the color or the crackles, so that eliminated that one immediately anyway. I ended up going with the 2″ white hex tile, also from Merola.

  11. L Miller says

    Hi- I enjoyed your blog post about tiles. Very helpful. Do you know whether it is possible to buy floor tiles that are the same or very similar to the tiles used in the 1920’s and 1930’s- with the same texture, sheen etc?

  12. Nina Perea says

    what if your mid century bathroom tile is in excellent condition but it dull and needs new grout lines. what can you do to preserve the tile yout have with out taking out the old and replacing with new?

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