26 bathroom tile designs for a vintage or antique bathroom — Merola Tile

Merola-tile-lead-imageFor anyone tying to remodel, restore or replicate a vintage bathroom, Merola Tile has some wonderful options. Affordably priced, easily available (through Home Depot) and great selection are all reasons to consider Merola Tiles for your next bathroom project. Not only do they carry a wide variety of black and white options — but also some interesting shapes and colors are available. Merola sent big sample boxes to both me and Pam — and we’re impressed. Let’s take a look –>

Checkerboard and Hex tile


Merola-tile-checkerboard-gloss-matteAbove: This black and white checkerboard tile comes in several sizes — as well as glossy and matte finishes.


Pentagon-and-dot mosaic tiles are a fresh alternative to the much more common octagon-and-dot design.

merola-tile-metro-hex-matte-b&wAnother classic option is hex tile — and there are several options available.


Octagon-and-dot tiles.


merola-tile-unglazed-hex-old-world-heritageMerola Tile also offers unglazed hex tile. If you look carefully you will notice that the tiles on the left are beveled, while the tiles on the right are flat. It is nice to have both options available. I think that the beveled design has a more antique vibe, while the flat design looks more modern.

merola-tile-old-world-unglazed-hex-flowerThese hex tiles are also available in a black and white flower pattern. Pretty.

Basket weave, pinwheel and new variations on classic designs

merola-tile-basketweave-glazed-and-unglazedMerola’s basket weave tile is available in glazed or unglazed.


merola-tile-basket-weave-two-sizesBasket weave tile is available in several sizes and color variations — some of which are slightly stylized. Look close at the sample on the right, above, and you will notice that the white tiles are slightly curved — adding more movement to this tile pattern. Heading toward dogbone.


Above: Unglazed pinwheel tile and unglazed basket weave tile.

Merola-Tile-Mod-Frames-and-palaceFor a more modern take on pinwheel tile — one of Merola Tile’s new styles is their Mod Frames black and white tile mosaic  (above left). Another new take on classic designs is Merola’s Palace tile (above right). Its playful shape and neutral color allow it to fit into many decorating styles — from retro mod to flowery vintage.

Lantern tiles


Merola Tile also makes a large variety of Lantern tile — in matte and glossy finishes — in several colors (white, blue, grey, black and terra cotta) — an in two sizes. Their largest size Lantern tile proved to be very popular — so they have now introduced a few colors of Mini Lantern.


Lantern-Cotto-tile-MerolaAbove: Cotta Lantern tile — a matte terra cotta colored option perfect for a groovy space. [Pam notes: This exact tile is yet another reason I need another house…]

Penny Round tiles


merola-tile-metro-penny-round-flowerMerola Tile has plenty of color options in their penny round tile line — in addition to classics like black and white, they also have blues, greens, reds, yellows and beige

merola-tile-penny-round-yellowThis yellow penny round tile would be perfect for a flower power kitchen backsplash or bathroom — as would the vermillion red.

Merola-Tile-Penny-round-cafeCafe Penny round tiles with brown edges ould be great for a late 60s or 70s bathroom floor or counter top.

penny-round-green-tileOf particular interest — these green penny round tiles exactly match my retro 1962 minty green bathroom.

penny-round-vintage-green-tile-matches-tubIf you were trying to construct a retro modern bathroom using these green fixtures — this penny round might be a good option for a backsplash, floor, or even a countertop.

penny-round-vintage-green-tileRegardless of what era your bathroom may be, odds are  — Merola Tile likely has an affordable and appropriate tile for your project.

university tile merola

Oh, and don’t forget Merola’s University tile. Also available in two more color ways, this is the very vintage style mosaic tile design that I think I will use in my upcoming bathroom remodel.

Do you need bathroom tile for a vintage, antique or retro style bathroom? We have done extensive research to find tiles that might be just what you are looking for. See our Bathroom Tile category to see all our stories.


CategoriesBathroom Tile
  1. Sarah says:

    Hello! I know this is an older thread, but I’m wondering if anyone has good sources (outside of American Restoration Tile) for flat, unglazed, mini hex tile. The tile in this post is perfect, but it seems that Merola is no longer producing it. Thanks for any help!

  2. Tricia says:

    What color grout would be most period appropriate for white hex tile from the 1920s? I’m replacing a floor that was remuddled. Black? White? gray? I’m leaning to black. Thoughts?
    Thank you.

    1. Pam Kueber says:

      I am not sure… unglazed hex tile! Maybe add word porcelain or ceramic… Idea: Call Merola/Somers Tile customer service and see if they can help you ID it (rather than going thru every tile on the HD site)

  3. Kathy says:

    How do I post my 1952 bath remodel dilemma? I have pink and gray and hubby is going to gut it. I’m very sad. It is rare Vitrolite glass and only two men in the states could re do. Hubby dead set against this ” ugly” bath. If, I must have it gutted ???? Then what floor and tile do you suggest with the all white tub and toilet? Or perhaps gray subway tile versus white? My eyes, have been use to this large gray glass for years. Tiny house with this bath that opens to main living room from the hall. Door never closed so it all flows. Now, it will be so wrong in my eyes. Need suggestions. Can post pics.

    1. pam kueber says:

      Kathy, see all our bathroom tile research in Bathroom Help / Tile.

      You can also see many reader bathroom projects under Bathroom Help / Readers and their Bathrooms.

      Subway tiles would not have been used in 1952. The focus of this blog is renovating, remodeling and decorating in a style that would be sympathetic with the original architecture / historically appropriate. 4″ wall tiles and mosaic floor tiles would be appropriate, as would Vitrolite. But not subway tile or large format tiles.

      Again — tons of research in Bathroom Help and its subcategories.

  4. Nina Perea says:

    what if your mid century bathroom tile is in excellent condition but it dull and needs new grout lines. what can you do to preserve the tile yout have with out taking out the old and replacing with new?

  5. L Miller says:

    Hi- I enjoyed your blog post about tiles. Very helpful. Do you know whether it is possible to buy floor tiles that are the same or very similar to the tiles used in the 1920’s and 1930’s- with the same texture, sheen etc?

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