Did they make glass mosaic tiles in the 1950s and 1960s?

mosaic tileDid they make glass mosaic tile in the 1950s and 1960s? Reader Christa wrote me to ask… I hazard an answer… and I provide some resources — for ceramic mosaics.

Christa wrote:

Hi Pam,

I hope you don’t mind my reaching out to you for a little tile advice. I need to do some tiling, and I was looking for tiles that will look as though they could have been original to the house – 1958. But I don’t need to match existing (the ones in place are from the 80s and best forgotten).

I found some Ann Sacks mosaics that I like. They are opaque glass 7/8″ squares with a bit of a brushy surface texture, similar to Bisazza but much less $$. I’m looking at the China White color way — you can see it here: http://annsacks.com/onlinecatalog/program.jsp?cat=268004&coll=268304&prg=2356504

My question for you is, do you know where I can find out more about the real mosaics used in the 50s and 60s? Would they have used the opaque glass (sort of like milk glass) or did they only use ceramic? I want the small 1″ (give or take) size with little or no pattern. Do you have any suggestions on where to look? I know about Chippy, but the website isn’t very good and I’m on the west coast so I can’t visit her.

Thanks in advance!

spartany roman tile
1964 — Tile was pretty popular, I think. Spartany Roman was a big national brand, I think.

Q. Did they make mosaic tile out glass — or just ceramic — in mid century America?

A: I don’t know. Not for sure. Requires real research. But I *know* they made ceramic mosaic tile — I’ve seen lots of that… and on the other hand, I have never *yet* seen any glass mosaics. That said, it may be that an opaque glass small mosaic tile may not look all that different from a glossy glazed ceramic small mosaic.

In addition, many readers today like the look of the glass mosaics available today — they are so colorful, so pretty. So, they are incorporating them into their remodels to create a retro-modern mix.

Bottom line: Look around — and make the choice that’s right for you.

Christa mentions World of Tile. I do not think that any of the mosaics in Chippy’s mosaic room are glass. If you want to see fairly larged sized photos of the mosaic room and the designs available, see this story and go straight down to the slide show.

Where to get ceramic 1/2″ and 1″ mosaic tile “new”:

CategoriesBathroom Tile
  1. Catherine Waldron says:

    Was penny tile used in 1950s bathrooms? I am having trouble finding reliable information about this online. Our house is a colonial built in 1950 and we are trying to find something retro-modern that fits the 1950s era.

    Thanks! -Catherine

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