Where to find plastic tile

1950s-plastic-wall-tile-from-pittsburgh-companyA question that I get pretty much every week, either here on the blog, via email, or over on our Facebook page is:

Where can I get plastic wall tile?

Here’s my answer, and it’s not an easy-peasy one:

There is no company that I know of that is making this stuff today. So, if you need some, I think the #1 most likely place you are going to find it is ebay. Story: I found some plastic tile at the Re-Store once, it was burgundy red, kind of marbleized. I bought it out of fascination and didn’t have anything to do with it. So I put it on ebay. I found a buyer right away!  So: Click on over to ebay, learn to use their Saved Searches function, and then sit and wait it out.

A #2 most likely idea: Watch craigslist, nationally. Read this story — and especially the Comments on it — for tips on sites and apps that help you search craigslist nationally.

Other thoughts… probably real long shots: Ask neighbors. They may have the same tile in their houses. Maybe they have extras. Maybe they are planning to renovate, and will give you their throw-aways. And of course, keep an eye out at your local Re-Store/Habitat for Humanity and salvage places.

Even with these tips: Good luck with that. I think that there were many makers of plastic tile back in the day. So, there are going to be lots of colors and marble-like and pearl-like patterns. I think that if you are trying to match existing plastic tile, you are in for a needle-in-a-haystack search. If you buy something from ebay or craigslist based on photos, be prepared that the match, won’t.

Fun references here on the blog: A 20-page catalog of plastic tile from Church…. and how about this amazing kitchen, with plastic tiles on all four walls and 12″ square plastic tiles on the ceiling, too!

Be-Safe-graphic2.3

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Comments

  1. says

    I purchased an old building about three years ago. I have brand new boxes of ‘new’ vintage plastic tiles in a variety of colors (green, lime, beige, red, pink, peach, etc.). Contact me if anyone is interested in the tiles-some are ‘marbelized’, plain, 3-d designs-approximately 12 boxes, several unopened-100 tiles per box. Manufactured by Dek-Tufts out of New York.

  2. says

    A few tiles came loose on the wall in my shower. Quickly, it was all over, The wall board was wet and crumbling. I tried to convince my family to give up showers and enjoy, gentle, non-splashing baths, only, so we could keep the tile wall. They protested. After a lot of thought, I took the lower section of the wall down to the studs. Cleaned off the old tiles outside at the picnic table. I put a green board up (like plaster board, only better for wet areas). Then, I cut out a 1/4″ plexiglass to fit the wall. When it was cut to size, I dry fit into place, I put it out at the picnic table and invited my then 5 year old to scratch it up. He did a great job and had fun too. I used liquid nails to attach it to the green board, then, liquid nails again to glue the tiles back up. I was given a “NEW” box of tiles of a different color, so I used them at the bottom. I like the look. Wow, that was 20 years ago and it still looks great! I wish I could show you a picture.

  3. says

    Hi Pam i have vinyl wall tiles that date back to the 50s that were designed for the bathroom i have also put them on the floor of my new kitchen .These were common in Australia at the time I have 100s of boxes all new old stock in different colors they are so funky very easy to lay and waterproof

  4. Colleen says

    Hi Pam,
    I bought some 8 1/2″ plastic tiles. they cover the same area as 4 of the 4 1/4″ tiles. I like them but haven’t decided what to use them on.
    In the mean time, I can’t find anything about them, it’s as if I have the only ones ever made. Of course that’s not the case, so do you know anything about them? Thanks

  5. Tina Robertson says

    My bathroom has painted over blue plastic tile. Any reccomendations for removing the paint? I’d love to hear success stories to give me the guts to even attempt to remove the white paint.

    • pam kueber says

      Tina, we don’t have the expertise to advise on this — recommendation: consult with a painting professional. Good luck.

  6. Adrienne says

    Hi, I have a colonial revival home built in 1939. The powder room has 4-inch square black marbled plastic tiles. I’m trying to figure out if they are original to the house or a later remodel. Anyone have an idea when plastic tiles started being manufactured/installed? Thanks!

  7. cathie says

    I went to an antique fair this past weekend and found boxes and boxes of NOS plastic tile. Still wrapped in their original paper wraps, in their original boxes. They had a freestanding shelf about 6′ high, piled high with stacks and stacks of it. Not only the flat 4×4 tile, but bullnose ends, little 1/2″ x 6 (I think), infill, etc. Grey, green, pink, it was the motherlode. I so wanted to buy the whole darn lot of it but I don’t know what I’d do with it.

  8. says

    Hi is plastic tiles soft?
    I mean depending what your making out of plastic it can be soft or hard(plastic cups are soft but plastic pens are hard?
    I am not very well and i collaspe alot and by accident always hitting my hit but i don’t want tiles on my shower wall, i’ve just moved into a new flat and NEED to remove it.
    There are more painful then hitting my head on the wall mentally and physically.
    and am think of plastic wall claddling not sure if its soft.
    I’ve seen vintage plastic tiles on the internet too not sure how soft it is.
    2 friends told me about a tile which is very soft but BUT can’t remember what they are called.
    I was on chat on a bathroom website the lady knew what i was on about but said they are not selling at the moment and didn’t know what they are called, gave me a link which was not helpful.
    CAN SOMEONE HELP ME???
    THANKYOU!

    • pam kueber says

      nicole — i am so sorry to hear you are not well. My advice: Do not take advice from the internet — consult with a professional about what you should be doing to renovate your bathroom so that it is safe for you!

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