• Bathroom design

    Here on Retro Renovation, our #1 goal is to help uncover and profile products that may help you design, remodel and decorate your midcentury home in authentic vintage style. Bathrooms are high-traffic areas in homes, and  your older bathroom may need some TLC. Use this page as a gateway to help you find what you need — from new toilets… to vintage tubs… to reporcelaining vendors… to vintage style shower curtains… we try to cover it all.

    If you need a specific bathroom product, here are the key product categories:

    Some of my thoughts if you are NEW to your OLD house and contemplating a bathroom makeover or remodel:
    READ ALL THE TIPS about getting started with your kitchen renovation — they are pretty similar to how you’d get started with a bathroom makeover or remodel. Renovate Safe!

    Frequently Asked Questions:

    Where to get replacement bathroom tile? Answer: The best place I know of to find replacement bathroom tiles is World of Tile in Springfield, New Jersey. They are sort of a “time capsule” tile store, with lots of New Old Stock going back as far as the late 1950s. Please note, they are going to need to see an actual sample — a photo will not work — of the tile you are trying to replace, as there were many manufacturers each with their own shades back in the day. I have multiple stories on World of Tile — read them all by clicking here.

    It’s also possible you may find vintage tile at your local Re-Store…and check with your neighbors. Maybe they have the same color bathrooms — and maybe there are extra tiles in their basements or attics.

    bathroom remodeling
    Click here to read my checklist
    2. Where can I sell, or buy, vintage sinks, toilets, tubs — and how about pricing?

    Answer: Check out this 2009 story: Where to find vintage bathroom sinks, tubs and toilets. This story was written with buyers in mind — but use the advice in reverse if you are a seller. On pricing: I give no advice and don’t plan to.  It’s what the market will bear. You have to do your own research based on your own market dynamics.

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    Comments

    1. My husband and I recently purchased a 1950 bungalow as a rental property for my college age daughter and her roommates. As we were investigating we realized the vintage pink bathroom tile had been painted over :( We couldn’t resist trying to remove the paint (used a gel product) and it comes up pretty easily however now I am worried we will ruin the glazing. What’s the best approach? Also they covered the floor with adhesive vinyl tile but I am guessing there’s good stuff underneath: how on earth can we get it up? Thanks

      • pam kueber says:

        Ruth C – this is not a DIY site in this vein. Please know: There can be vintage nastiness such as lead and asbestos in the materials in these old houses — consult with a properly licensed professional to know what you are dealing with and to make informed decisions.

    2. Rosemary Fiore says:

      I bought a house designed in the mid ’50′s and built in 1957. In the master bath was one large oblong white enameled cast iron Crane sink with front apron. My contractor dropped and broke it. What is the fair replacement cost approximately for this sink??

    3. Hal McMillan says:

      Hi Pam, I’m a newbie to your site and just love all the info here. I am in the process of buying a 1949 bungalow studio apartment in Palm Springs, CA. It was actually a hotel but in the 70′s they turned the five units into condos. I plan on returning the green bathroom back to it’s 1949-50s glory. The tub (American Standard?) is still in place as well as the original green and peach wall tiles. I am confused as to all the different kind of names for green sinks and toilets. What’s the difference of shade between all of those greens? Ex., Ming Green, Sea Foam Green, Mint Green , etc.

      Also, I saw a sink I am interested in buying but the matching toilet is not available. Do you recommend that I buy the sink now and continue the hunt for the toilet? My fear is that the color of my tub, sink and toilet won’t be matching! Please help, I am GREEN with envy of those who don’t have this problem.

      Thanks, Hal

    4. I’m looking to replace a round medicine cabinet bathroom mirror that had two side mirrors and the cabinet behind the main mirror. Has anyone seen one anywhere? I broke ours years ago and would like to restore my pink & yellow bathroom & have been looking for this mirror. Thanks!

    5. We’ve been in our mid-century ranch for 17 years and are planning for some more renovations. I have decided that I definitely would like to keep our 1959 yellow toilet, but found nothing on your fabulous site (discovered a few months back) about retrofitting a toilet to use less water (ie: recommendations for the best type/brand to use, etc.). I nearly smacked the plumber who was surly about replacing the seal between the bowl and tank. Thanks.

    6. I own a1962 rambler ranch with a beautiful pink bathroom. My priblem is the American standard one piece toilet. I have replaced all the guts with original parts but the tank part wont stop leaking into the bowl. Does anyone out there know any tricks? My plumber says get rid of it. I am almost close to giving up on it but I know ill never find a modern toilet that matches the pink. Any ideas?

    7. Amy in Sacramento says:

      I can’t find where to post this on your site: I have a vintage bath vanity w/ tile top and set-in sink. Cabinet is @ 36″ wide, the left side is unfinished plywood (where it was attached to the wall), painted white and the tile/sink are a flesh-peach color (not the pink I was after.) I obtained this from someone who removed it from their home, but we went in another design direction in the end. I would like to pass this along to another lover of vintage bathrooms. (Have not had luck with my local Craigslist.) I am in Sacramento, CA.

      • pam kueber says:

        Take it to the Re-Store…

        • Amy in Sacramento says:

          Yes, the Re-Store is my last option. (I just recommended that place to a guy yesterday.) There are also some extra tiles that go with it…I’ll have to tape them to the unit or something…so it goes as a group.
          Thanks! :)

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