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Vintage Veos steel tiles with porcelain ceramic finish

vintage ceramic tileWe’ve written extensively about 1950s bathroom tile — ceramic tile, plastic tile, and even Sani Onyx, glass-like tile made from fused rock. But here’s a vintage variety in our spotlight for the first time: Porcelain-enameled steel wall tiles. Yes, every now and then we see steel tiles — but this is a particularly big stash, plus, we have marketing materials to illustrate.

vintage ceramic tile

These Veos tiles currently for sale on ebay were found in their original boxes. Veos Tile was made in Rehoboth, Massachussets.

vintage Veos Tile brochureI tried searching for more information about Veos tile, and I was also able to find this vintage Veos Tile brochure, for sale on Amazon. Looks like Veos was owned by Clyde Porcelain Steel Corp. of Clyde, Ohio.

vintage Veos Tile brochureThe vintage brochure — likely from the 1940s — shows several installations of Veos porcelain enamel steel tile and touts the tile’s strength, durability and light weight:

Weighs only 3.5 lbs. per square foot installed as against 16 to 18 lbs. for clay-bodied tile.

vintage Veos Tile brochureIt also includes a list of colors — though grey is not one of them — and touts:

“No Extra Charge for Color — In all sizes and shapes, Veos colored tile is price the same as black or white.”

vintage Veos Tile brochureTiles made of steel? Why not? We had 70 plus brands of factory-painted steel kitchen cabinets. AND we had Lustrons!

vintage ceramic tile vintage ceramic tileThe tiles look pretty darn nice!

Mega thanks to ebay seller thebombshelter1 and Amazon seller The Jumping Frog for allowing us to feature their photos in our happily ever after archives.

Anyone out there have porcelained steel tiles?

CategoriesBathroom Tile
  1. lee says:

    I currently live in a 1930s house that has enamel on steel tile floor to ceiling in the bathroom.
    Pete Menios comment explains the backer board exactly.
    A poor “repair” around the tub faucets, and bad caulk job were letting water in and the fiberous backer was disintegrating.
    My solution was to put up a tub surround. But I am going to try the spray on tub refinish product for the rest as it won’t get the water contack like the shower. I won’t mind the refi fish being bright white… It will be much better than the PINK floor to ceiling tile currently glaring at me…
    I have salvaged tiles I am going to try to sell, somewhere.

  2. Michelle says:

    I have plastic tile in my bathrooms. Can anyone tell me about them?
    My home was built in 1962. I’m debating whether to keep them or take out.

    1. Mary Elizabeth says:

      Michelle,
      Search through the discussion here on this article for discussion of plastic tiles. Also, see “Mary Elizabeth’s Pink Bathroom,” where my plastic tiles are featured.

      There were several manufacturers of plastic tile. Mine are Homart, the Sears brand from the 1950s and 1960s. I was planning to rip them out, but decided to keep them, as I had some replacements for the ones that were broken.

      If you like the color of the tiles, and they are in good condition but need cleaning, you can clean them with a mild cleaning solution. Don’t use bleach, amonia, Windex or harsh bathroom cleansers, which may dull or scratch them. Use an organic spray cleaner. I got several years of cigar and cigarette smoke off my tiles that way.

      Loose tiles can be glued back in place using plumbers’ caulk or construction adhesive. If a tile comes off, especially in the shower area, check for mold or mildew underneath. If it is present, as Pam always says, get a professional consultation.

  3. Michelle says:

    Thanks to both of you. They are in very good condition and were just used on the walls beside and behind the toilet.
    Standard tile was used in the stand alone shower.
    This site has certainly helped me with my slow remodeling.

    1. Mary Elizabeth says:

      Michelle, I think you may discover that the ceramic tile in the shower (or maybe the shower itself) was the result of a partial bath remodel. The original owners sometimes had problems with the plastic tile in the shower area, since steam will loosen them as the old adhesive dries, so they would have the shower retiled by a tile mason with ceramic tile.

  4. Rachel W8 says:

    I have a 1930’s house full of retro features. My kitchen walls are covered in light blue steel tile and the ceiling is white steel tile. I am trying to spruce it up. The tiles is in good shape but the grout in between is really old and cracked. Any suggestions on the best way to repair? Someone suggested removing the old grout and re-grouting. Someone else suggested caulking over the grout. Anyone else with experience in restoring this retro tile?

  5. Deb Bradley says:

    I just discovered some of these tiles in the kitchen and bathroom of I house I just bought. They have been painted several times. Any ideas how to best remove the paint?

  6. Pete says:

    Thank you for taking the time to put this information on your website.

    I am involved in repairing the wall in the shower area and it has these tile. These install entirely different than ceramic tile. You have to use a special backer board that is pre-grooved for the tile to recess in. I have been looking all over the internet for information about this kind of tile.

    Thanks again.

    1. Hey Pete!
      I have a bunch of these tiles I am trying to install in my bathroom, but can’t find a good replacement for the backer board. Have you found anything that seems like a good replacement? Or a good alternative to re-installing them?
      You all might be interested in this manual from 1938! https://archive.org/stream/Sweets1938Sec117YoungstownPressedSteelDivision/Sweets%201938%20Sec%2011-7%20Youngstown%20Pressed%20Steel%20Division#page/n9/mode/2up
      A modern tile made of similar materials without the appeal of the VEOS kitsch are these steel tiles, seems like each tile already has a back on it.

      Anyways! Let me know if anyone has any ideas to remedy the fact that this have that sort of hollow space in them.

      –Alissa

  7. Alica says:

    Finally! I’ve discovered what kind of tiles are installed in our farm house bathroom. We’re doing a bathroom renovation…ourselves if possible…and I’m wondering if these tiles can be painted? It’s not a heavily used bathroom, so the possibility of chipping paint, although real, is not of a huge concern to us. Thanks for any advice you may have!

      1. Mary Elizabeth says:

        One of the comments on this subject was from someone wishing to REMOVE several layers of paint from the metal tiles. It’s my opinion that almost anything in a house can be painted (with the exceptions of plants, pets and other living things). If you can paint metal furniture, why not metal tile? Check with your paint store professional for the best type of primer to use.

  8. this is so close to what i am dealing with in detroit, 1950’s bungalo, but the edges are a harder bevel, not a round edge. I need just a few peices to replace some missing/damaged ones. 3 bullnose and about 4 squares. any help would be greatly appreciated.

  9. Alecia says:

    We have these metal tiles in our kitchen! I love the tiles, but no the color. Thanks for posting this info.

  10. Me says:

    My 1941 bungalow bathroom has metal wall tiles that are colored with paint or some type of resin and I am looking for advice on how to clean the tiles and grout without pulling off the color.

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