A vintage pink bathroom tile mural – incredible

We interrupt our regularly scheduled programming for this truly INTENSE decorative remnant from the 50s – in Evansville, Indiana. OMG.

Reader MidModMegg posted this photo from her mother-in-law’s bathroom on the Save The Pink Bathrooms flickr page. She says it’s vintage and that there are several more like it in the neighborhood. And…the bathroom itself is pink pink pink pink everywhere, floor to wall to countertop to fixtures to ceiling. Come on, guys, how can I NOT be obsessed with pink bathrooms. Every time I think I’ve seen the best – another one comes along! Thanks, MidModMegg!!! Now, though, it is your one true quest to go forth and get photos of all the other murals in all the neighbors’ bathrooms. A twist on the classic knock-on-the-door-to-borrow-a-cup-of-sugar, for sure!

CategoriesPink Bathrooms
  1. Paulette says:

    Wow! This bathroom mural is beautiful! I’ve always loved tile – especially vintage American. If anyone has any idea where I can actually purchase vintage salmon-pink tiles and black tiles that are ubiquitious in bathrooms from the 30’s-50’s I would be so very grateful. They are just shy of 4 1/4″ (one of these days I will learn what those other lines mean!)

    I’ve spent hours online perusing vintage tile sights but have found no one selling the colors or sizes I am in dire need of if our beautiful art deco pink and black bathroom is to survive her renovation next week. Our contractor insists it is next to impossible to find this tile but in my heart of hearts I believe it’s out there somewhere. I’ve checked Ebay and Etsy and local places which resell vintage home decor stuff like Habitat and the like but have not gotten lucky so far. I would even love to find tiles like this gorgeous mural or find a mural similar to this to install even if the pink is not exact I think with the entire wall being a mural we could get away with the mixing and then use a decorative balck or white tile around the tub area.

    Basically one entire wall will have to go (original hardware from the 30’s and no shower head) plus our old porcelain tub is being removed which will mean tearing out a row or two around the tub. It kills me to see our bath destroyed but the rub is not worth reglazing. I am stuck with being able to save the floor (beautiful hand-laid art deco geometric flower design in pale pink and two different shades of gray) but half or nearly half of the pink and black walls will have to go. Any advice or suggestions are more than welcomed. In my sad quest the happiness has been in finding blogs like yours. It’s wonderful! Thank you for taking the time to write a blog like this. I really appreciate it.

    In case anyone is intereted, my bath looks almost identical to this one: http://www.flickr.com/photos/51446567@N00/377167657/

    Except that we do not have the shower head so our tile does not extend as high but will have to once the new shower head is installed. oh geez, I just realized we’ll be replacing our sink with a gorgeous white pedestal version and getting rid of the hideous 1960’s gray marble sink and white French Provence vanity. Maybe we’ll be losing tiles when we rip the sink out? Oh dear it just gets worse and worse for my poor pink and black bath. 🙁

  2. Colleen says:

    Hi Paulette! My tile is the 4 1/4 SQ too. Good luck with the salmon pink, it sounds like it may be easier to find a match for it than it is for yellow….

    I called B&W Tile and they had me send them some pieces of my Yellow Romany Tile to see if one of their yellows would match. (I’m doing a bit of renovation on my bathroom too and need some replacements…) They got the shards this week and, unfortunately, told me that one of the yellows match but the glaze isn’t glossy like mine and the other matches the gloss but the yellow is off….but…I am having them send me some samples anyway so I can see if I can make them work in another area and try to salvage some from a hidden area for the three in the shower. I am having them glaze a couple of their decorative tiles in three different colors (the yellow that matches, white, and an olive green) because close enough may work if I use it in a line of decorative insert tiles… The sample tiles should be done and mailed to me late next week.

    I have a recommendation for you…that I’m sure your tile guy will hate… When you tear out that wall try to salvage the tile. (this may be really hard to do if your tile is on cement like mine…) If you can salvage enough you can use it to replace the tiles around the tub, and if you need to, finding a black match may be much easier than finding the pink. You could mix it together in some kind of pattern. You could also cut down bigger broken pieces into 2 X 2’s and with black or black and white make that into a decorative stripe around the tub.

    I saved all my larger broken pieces and if I HAVE TO I plan on making a mosaic out of them to fill the area where I have to remove the tiles to relplace the tub faucet. (Sorry Mid Mod Pam, it had to go because the diverter had a leak into the wall and it was corroded too bad to fix. It was exactly the same as the one in the tub in that “time warp” house that you had here that is also in St. Louis).

    Good Luck with your reno Paulette! Hope you find the tile!

    1. Pam Kueber says:

      Colleen, NO APOLOGIES required for replacing stuff that’s past its lifetime. I ripped out THREE bathrooms entirely because they had had it. My larger point with this whole blog is to not just “spit on the past” – but at least give the design ethic the understanding it deserves…and go from there. Also, as we are all aware, I think, if you make choices with the lines of your original house and its style in mind – your interiors will not look “dated” to say, 2009! SOunds like you are into it, girl!

  3. Colleen says:


    http://www.vandykes.com has reproduction Hoosier Cabinet Kits and also old-fashioned milk paint that can be used with some elbow grease to make it look more authentic. The kits are between 1k and 1.5k but I’m thinking that is a whole lot cheaper than an antique one. I think they also sell the original type tops. I know how it is to not have a budget!!!!

  4. Colleen says:

    Paulette, you stumbled across the reason behind my need for a decorative inset or mural in a band above my sink. I had to remove the old black porcelain soapdish…and therefore also the toothbrush holder (mine didn’t fit in it anyway…) because the soapdish interfered with my faucet on my new vanity. I learned something in the effort….it helps if you remove the grout first. Mine looked like they were on top of the yellow background tile and I was hoping that there was yellow tile behind them…there wasn’t. I was able to get the toothbrush holder off (sacraficed in the process) but the grout pulled part of the tile next to the soapdish off with it. Might have happend anyway but I think it would have helped. The voids behind the tiles just had thick grout in them, which I chipped out. I sent Pam some pictures but they are having trouble getting through. I’m not on flicker but I’ll check it out. My fix-up isn’t a restoration though, I’m just trying to keep what I can and add things that I think work well with that. One of the pics I sent is of the voids above my new porcelain vanity. I am waiting on my tile samples but then I may ask if anyone has any opinions/suggestions for the inset. One of the other pics which may be of interest to you is of my bathroom window. I believe it is original to the house and sounds like exactly what you are looking for (although I just put in a bathroom fan…). It is glass block with a tilt-in window in the center. The window says “Winco” Ventilator Co and is made right here in St. Louis, MO. It is aluminum frame, has a screen on the outside, a tilt that has aluminum sides and fits in the glass block width, and a little center spring-loaded pull-down latch. The glass in the frame is textured so you can’t see in but I have played with the idea of replacing it with a textured clear stained glass panel (I made one for my sister’s bathroom window but it was a regular type square window) but I’m afraid that may be a bit victorian and busy for the room.

    Pam, sorry if my response about the Hoosier cabinet kits from VanDykes wasn’t supposed to contain the web address. Love this site and don’t mean to break any rules!

    1. Pam Kueber says:

      Hi Colleen. It’s okay to include links in comments. The only rule is: No ranting about others and their choices, if that occurs, I do not approve the comments.

  5. Christina says:

    Hello All,
    I had a pink tile/ black bulnose bathroom about 50 sq ft. I saved all the tile and am willing to sell for a reasonable offer. The tile is in incredible condition. They practically fell off the wall. Contact me for any offers.

  6. Kelly says:

    Hello Christina! I’m probably too late, but is your pink tile still available?

    We are trying to replace the hardware in our 50s pink and burgandy bathroom and need to replace broken tiles…can’t find them anywhere! B&W Tile’s pink is just a shade off. Am curious what yours is.

  7. Lezlie says:

    USQTCO stands for US Quarry Tile Co. out of Spokane, Washington. They were the original makers of the Romany line. Unfortunately, that line has been discontinued. They have partnered with Daltile on several lines and will do custom coloring. The negative of trying to reproduce an existing vintage tile is that the colors will be off (even a month after your original tiles were made the dyelot was different) and they have a minimum quantity to reproduce a color of 300 sf! I would also suggest that you check with any architectural salvage company in you area. Often, when houses are salvaged they will find many boxes of left over tile which go to a salvage yard. Even advertising your request online (as you’ve done) and in your paper (especially if there are many houses of your vintage in the area) to see if anyone has extra tile lurking in their basements and attics. Good luck with your search as reproducing and restoring anything vintage is fabulous and certainly very ‘green’!

    1. pam kueber says:

      Thank you, Leslie. It sounds like USQTCO is still in existence? I will check them out. And I love your suggestion about advertising locally. As many houses in a given neighborhood/town/city were built in the same era there may indeed be materials from that era still lurking. I got my bathroom sink with chrome legs that way. Put an ad in the local paper – and got a hit right away. Someone just wanted it out of their basement. Welcome, and keep the ideas coming!

  8. Bobbi says:

    An unused piece of my salmon pink bath tile has the following info embossed on the reverse:
    Does anyone know the manufacturer of this tile?

  9. Mikey Renn says:

    So beautiful and pristine! Lucky, lucky people! I would have to put pink lace in the window, though. I love the tiled ceiling!

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