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Spectacular Mosaic Tile Company decorative tiles in Roger and Lynsey’s 1953 bathrooms

Mosaic Tile Company decorative tile“Save the pink (and maroon and peach and green!) bathrooms! The bathroom tiles are some of the most unique we’ve seen,” wrote Roger and Lynsey. “Everyone asks if we’re going to re-do the bathrooms, and then they pause and say, “No, you can’t!'” 

Mosaic Tile Company Zanesville OhioAfter writing about Roger and Lynsey’s spectacular 1953 kitchen remodel, Kate asked if they wanted to send in more photos of their house, which sounded pretty darned enticing. And the bathrooms did not disappoint! Both bathrooms feature countertop, backsplash and tub surround tiles in busy googie patterns. The bullnose and some additional wall tile are in much more sedate shades of dark maroon and dark peach. Tubs and sinks are green or peachy-pink. No fear of pattern and color in this era in this house!

Mosaic Tile Company decorative tileDecorative tile Decorative tile Mosaic Tile CompanyRoger and Lynsey wrote:

The bathrooms are definitely starting to show their wear, but we don’t have plans to re-do them anytime soon. For now, we’ve just painted the walls and cabinets and replaced the hardware.

I started to poke around to see if I could ID these tiles. I was thinking maybe Ceratile. It’s not in this sample stash we featured a while back. But maybe it was another series?

Then, I went to look online to see if I could find them. Decorative tiles are so cool:

1962-american-olean
Here are some 1962 American Oleans, but no cigar. Featured courtesy the MBJ Collection/Building Technology Heritage Library
1953-american-olean-tile
oooooh, and lookie that gorgeous use of decorator tile over the fireplace, from this 1953 American Olean catalog, also part of the MBJ Collection. But none of Roger and Lynsey’s shown in this catalog either….

Decorative tiles are from Mosaic Tile Company

mosaic-tile-companymosaic-tile-coBut then, in a final review of the story, Lynsey told me she had evidence of the maker: Mosaic Tile Company.

Believe it or not, the previous owners left a handful behind — including two original samples, which had labels on the back (see attached photos, above). They’re from the Mosaic Tile Company in Zanesville, Ohio. I’m not sure if they manufactured them, distributed them, or both.

Lynsey, Mosaic Tile Co. was a BIG maker. I’ll bet they made these!

More stories in our archives about tiles from Mosaic Tile Company:

mosaic-tile-company-flamingo

Above: And lookie: Bungalow Bill still has another New Old Stock Mosaic Tile Company flamingo mural for sale! (affiliate link)

Yum yum, Lynsey and Roger. More thanks for sharing the delights within your house! One more set of house photos yet to come!

  1. Elizabeth from Texas says:

    Adore these bathrooms! Working hard to source some colorful materials to do a made-from-scratch bathroom for a 1963 house–no way it will be as fab as this but I’ll try!!!

  2. Stephanie says:

    I think some HD’s have brought back the 4×4 plain glazed tiles. Maybe because of the d and for them in the mcm remodels. It is big in my area. They come back just after all those tile companies close. Didn’t Color Tile just close with in the last few years? I could have sworn they were open when I did my first remodel, or they had just closed.

  3. Stephanie says:

    It would be nice to see a way to make those toilets into low flow toilets. It would be impossible to find those color choices today. I have a peculiar toilet in one of my bathrooms, it is not real old we installed it when we bought the house. It may however, have been retro fitted by the manufacturer, it has a tank with in the tank. It obviously uses less water put has a powerful flush. I don’t know if that is because it is a wall toilet or not. It would be nice it these old ones could have something like that. It would not be too hard to re-make some of those cool patterned tiles, if I had an original. I have remade some of those trim pieces that you showed for those old houses like this.

    The one thing that is not so great about some of those old bathrooms is that they used the same tiles on the floors and they did on the walls. They looked fantastic, because the design element was carried out so well, but they don’t hold up for, 50, 60, or 70 years. The glazes had lead in them back then and those tiles were all low fire tiles, meaning that the lead content was much higher and the resulting glass was much softer. After all those years of foot traffic they wear a path in the glaze. However, todays glaze chemistry has made huge advances with color in the high fire range. It used to be impossible to have any kind of color choices besides blue and possibly an aqua in a high fire glaze. Now they make refined stains & frits that can almost be mixed like paints. So if you needed to have floors redone to match one of those fabulous bathrooms, you could. You could probably get blanks from Dal-tile or some other tile company and find a ceramic artist to glaze up new ones for you to match that old bathroom.

    I can still kick my self for not being able to get all the 4×4 deco tiles at a surplus place I used to frequent. He had boxes & boxes, including the old Franciscan deco tiles. Such a bummer. I broke my leg & didn’t have a chance to get back for a while then he sold the place. Darrrrnnn.

  4. Pam Kueber says:

    Hi Stephanie, we DO have a source for low-flow toilets in vintage colors. See this: https://retrorenovation.com/2016/02/15/pink-gold-blue-beige-toilets-where-to-buy/

    I am not an expert on the durability of the old tiles. Often, I see porcelain mosaics on the floors, more so than 4x4s.

    And, yes, there can be lead in tile old — and new even. See this story I wrote: https://retrorenovation.com/2016/05/02/understanding-potential-lead-hazards-old-porcelain-enamel-bathtubs-sinks-ceramic-tile-any-age/#ixzz47UvHcM00

    Renovate Safe! https://retrorenovation.com/renovate-safe/

  5. Kerry Rowe says:

    Well, we have the same amazing tile in our 1956 master bath. This unique tile was one of the primary reasons we bought the home 17 years ago. The patterned tile was applied on the walls of the bathroom, while a solid cinnamon color 4 x 4 was used on the inside of the shower. Unfortunately, the master bath shower has been out of commission for 2 years due to a leak in the concrete floor. (Yup, 12″ concrete floors encase radiant floor heat…) Anyway, the shower floor was excavated and pipe fixed. Now it’s time to tile over the floor. And probably over the existing tile on the walls too. (Interior shower wall tiles can’t be removed without compromising the groovy pattern tile outside the shower. OMG it’s always something!) But how to resolve the existing tile and bullnose on the outside of the shower? We’ve even thought of using solid surface (AKA Corian) because it would never leak again. Maybe this is not the forum for this? But since I saw our same tile posted here and all of the other crazy colors and patterns look similar, I thought i’d reach out.

  6. Susan says:

    I’m looking for ideas for a yellow and blue bathroom with pirate ship tiles. Our house is 1940’s with the original tile.

  7. Pam Kueber says:

    Hi Susan, what a wonderful sounding bathroom!

    Here is my basic story on getting started with colors for a bathroom; my starting suggestion: Look for a pattern — in wallpaper, shower curtain, or window treatment — that pulls all the colors together, then work from there >> https://retrorenovation.com/2015/10/05/five-steps-choose-bathroom-colors-infographic-guide/

    For example, Bradbury and Bradbury now has a large selection of vintage-derived wallpapers: https://retrorenovation.com/?s=bradbury

    Good luck!

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