Bathroom faucets with vintage style from California Faucets

retro bathroom faucetThanks to reader Joan, who emailed me with this tip about another source for classic retro / vintage style bathroom faucets: California Faucets.

There are lots of matching tub faucets, shower heads, etc. Matchy matchy is nice!

retro bathroom faucetThese faucets seem to have a lot in common with the Mississippi faucet series by Sign of the Crab/ Strom Plumbing and with similar Metropolitan series by Elemenfs of Design. I have the Mississippi in two of my bathrooms — and I love them.

vintage style faucetThese California faucets offer another alternative — and they do have different choices… with lots of different possible finishes and handles that you can mix and match. For example, if I had a glamorous 1960s bathroom, I might well go for the “Catalina,” above. So pretty — like a tall, graceful swan.

And am I going nuts? I even like the “Manhattan,” above, if I had a 1980s bathroom to update.

These faucets are pretty high-end, that is: pricey. But Joan says that she has heard they have a good reputation. California Faucets does not sell their products direct; you need to go through a retailer. Their website has a good dealer locator / where to buy feature. Honestly, with something this expensive, I think it is advisable to see and touch — and to ensure you have recourse if there are any problems. That said: Many online businesses also have great service, including return policies. Bottom line: Check first.


Thank you, Joan, for this great tip!

  1. Rebecca Prichard says:

    My bathroom guy in Ann Arbor who has been in the biz since the 70’s is recommending California Faucets, and so is his plumber. I’ll let you know if I use it. I think I will.

  2. marta says:

    This is where I must step off the retro train. I do not like facets you must grasp to turn on and off in the bathroom. Or the kitchen, really. Unless you are cleaning them after EVERY use,and whose 5yo is going to do that, there is no way to keep from contaiminating already clean hands when you close the valve you opened with dirty ones. I’d go with levers you can wrist-bump on and off.

  3. lisa says:

    My family’s house was new in 1976 and the master bath featured a faucet like this one on the tub: http://www.jadousa.com/products/productDetail.aspx?id=3549. There was also metallic wallpaper in there (and in the dining room). Sort of a fern pattern, or maybe palm fronds. The other bathrooms had fixtures that would still look totally ordinary today, like this one: http://www.campingworld.com/shopping/item/chrome-finish-lavatory-faucet-with-clear-plastic-handles/49499.

  4. lynda says:

    Look up this American Standard faucet on Google–
    American Standard 2175.200.002 Colony Single-Control Lavatory Faucet, Chrome
    Although we had Delta, this is just like the faucet we had in our baths in a new 1977 house. Pam featured this faucet for a 50’s home too on one of her blog pages. Maybe styles didn’t change as quickly as they do now. The California faucet featured above is beautiful and I would think it might have been popular still in the 70’s. Our architect neighbor had American Olean tile in matte gray, drop in porcelain china sinks and the single control faucet.

  5. Hello All–looking for some advice here–We’re renovating a bathroom built in 1978 and would like to replace the 90s brass fixtures with those more in keeping with the house’s origins. But, I don’t really know what they’d look like. We’ve decided chrome is the way to go for material (thanks to the great thread on timeless/dated!) but we don’t know what was in style. Any help is greatly appreciated.

  6. lynda says:

    You may have a man’s or lady’s shampoo sink by Kohler. The lady’s sink had the sprayer on the opposite corner of the faucets and the man’s sink had all the faucets in a row. Kohler may still make some faucets with the side shampoo sprayer. I would call them and ask.
    I did a Google image search and found faucets by Kohler that had side shampoo sprays. Also, stores do carry covers for extra holes if you don’t want to use all of them.
    Here is a picture of the lady’s discontinued sink:
    The man’s sink may still be available so maybe they will have the shampoo sprayer faucet set.

    1. pam kueber says:

      Thanks, Lynda, yes, it sure sounds like a Kohler’s ladies or men’s lav to me. Joy should call Kohler customer service…have a photo or model number ready…

      1. Joy says:

        Thanks! Yes, This is the sink I have in a salmon pink color and the faucets you found were the faucets we had to take off because they were leaking too much. The sprayer I have is different though, mine looks like a walkie talkie. I will have to give kohler a call. The quick fix new faucet just looks too weird and bulky in the sink. I miss my old square knobs!

        1. lynda says:

          Somewhere in the Google images I saw the faucet with the squarish shampoo sprayer. I can’t find it again. I think the shampoo sprayer faucets may be discontinued. According to the Kohler site, all the Alterna faucets have been discontinued. If you saved the old faucets, perhaps Kohler would have some parts so the original can work. If you find out they are discontinued, ask what places in the country may still have the faucet in stock and maybe you will get lucky and be able to buy one. I have always found Kohler customer service very helpful.

          1. Joy says:


            Just was googling and found here a picture of a sink with a square sprayer. I prefer it over the typical sprayer that comes with newer faucets and have it hooked up to the new faucet that I installed. It’s a total conversation piece, my friends have never seen anything like it and it makes cleaning the sink or washing just my unruly bangs a breeze! 🙂

            I did keep my old faucet parts so I will give Kohler a call, but I’m afriad budget constraints will leave me stuck with my ugly replacement for awhile.

  7. Joy says:

    Does anyone have advice for a vintage style bathroom sink faucet that includes a sprayer. I have an old women’s vanity sink that I love that has 3 holes for the faucet and an additional offset hole for a sprayer. We just replaced our leaky faucet but had to buy a kitchen faucet to include the seperate sprayer piece. The “neck” of the faucet looks too big to me since it is really made for deeper kitchen sinks. Any advice??

    1. pam kueber says:

      Good luck, Mia — there are some great designs to choose from, many more than when I did my bathrooms…

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