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Where to find vintage bathroom sinks, tubs and toilets

cinderella bathtub
The Cinderella bathtub in Carolyn’s bathroom also shows us the original framework for the dual shower curtains including tie-backs.

be safeIMPORTANT UPDATE:
If you are the owner of an older porcelain enamel bathtub or sinks — or are considering buying one — please see my May 2, 2016 story Understanding potential lead hazards in old porcelain enamel bathtubs and sinks and ceramic tile of any age; this article focuses on raising awareness around three other potential sources of lead dust exposure in your home – old porcelain enamel bathtubs and sinks and ceramic tile of any era — and steps you can take to assess and, if required, address them. Also be aware that there can be other hazards in old products and materials, for more info see my Renovate Safe page.

If you are looking for mid-century bathroom fixtures — tubs, toilets, sinks, shower doors — the most likely places you are going to find them are on (1) your local craigslist, (2) Facebook Marketplace, or (2) your local Re-Store / Habitat for Humanity or other local salvage shop. The easiest and cheapest route is likely going to be to BUY LOCAL. You can see the stuff first-hand, so you know what you are getting, and you won’t pay shipping — you will haul your treasure away in your own car. Be sure to practice smart safety habits when buying from craigslist — see their recommendations.

One other idea that readers have been successful with: Ask the neighbors. Their houses originally had the same fixtures as yours, and they may have old ones in their basements, from previous remodels — or they may be about to remodel. Also: Watch the curb! Yes! We have had examples of readers deciding they needed, say, an old pink toilet — and a few days later they spotted on out on a neighbor’s curb waiting for the garbage truck. SERIOUSLY!

Tip: Another important reason to buy local is that you can be sure the color you are getting matches. There were many manufacturers back in the day — and their colors were all slightly different. If you buy locally, you can check the colors in person.

Also, try ebay. As interest in midcentury design has increased, more ebay pickers are listing sinks, tubs, etc. online — sometimes new old stock even!

The farther you get from home (craigslist, Re-Stores, or other local salvage places), the more expensive finding vintage bathroom fixtures is going to get. And that’s before you even have to think about shipping and crating. That’s because specialty places are likely to pick up only the best-of-the-best, and to do that, they also have overhead to cover. A few salvage places with online stock include:

There are surely other salvage places that will deal with you online — start searching!

  1. aj says:

    Just wanted to give people in the los angeles area a heads up. The Bellflower ReStore location has a TON of new old stock pastel colored vanity sinks for $5 each. Undermount and overmount, pink, blue, yellow, maybe green. Not what I was shopping for but thought it might help someone out.

  2. matt says:

    Hey,
    Just perusing your bath forums to find a cleaner for white haze on a 50’s Kohler Spruce Green tub… I work for one of those local/nonprofit salvage stores here in MD, and we have a lot of sinks/tubs/toilets. One of my jobs is to clean and list them online (ebay) and ship these by freight all over the US.

    I build a crate with all salvaged materials, clean the you-know-what out of the toilets, photograph them extensively, and list them. Our shipper is actually quite cheap and the buyer can pick up at the nearest terminal to avoid liftgate and residential add-ons. And as a nonprofit we have overhead, but no shareholders to make wealthy, so we can charge less.

    So there ARE online resources, but someday we will be all out of these little sculptural treasures!

    Side note, we started doing skim deconstruction as well and I got to pull out an all-original 1938 ming green toilet and sink. Kinda fun!
    Matt

  3. pam kueber says:

    Keep it up, matt, you are doing a great thing by helping to save all those wonderful old features!

    As for the haze, I am a fan of the ROG cleaners, however, they are expensive…

  4. Aaron says:

    FYI: There is a salvage yard in Sarasota FL called Used Stuff that has TONS of sinks and toilets and even some reclaimed Florida Tile (in the elusive 4 3/8″ size) in many of the classic pastel colors. Very reasonable pricing. It’s worth to drive down here for all you northerners that haven’t yet experienced the amazing city of Sarasota!

    This blog is awesome, btw.

  5. Esmeralda says:

    Gersons is awesome for lots of vintage midcentury fixtures. I am looking for an entire ming green bath set to include an apron bathroom sink all American standard if anyone can help!

  6. Mark says:

    Hi Pam

    I don’t know if this has been found already but Reaves Restoration in Columbus Georgia has a craigslist listing claiming to have 300 plus toilets. Most of the pictures show 1950s items. Looks like they have lots of drop in sinks too. Could be a find.

  7. Sara Abbatemarco says:

    Do you have any advice on knowing if a vintage sink is in good condition? Especially internally for plumbing? Thank you.

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