More New Old Stock vintage liner tiles — many with adorable decorations — uncovered and for sale

100s of decorative liner tiles from the 1930s to 1960s

Remember Angela, who found 100s of New Old Stock decorative liner tiles in an old tile store, snapped them up, and sold them on ebay? Well, she wrote me this week, and said the owner found more. She has now put them up for sale here –>> NOS liner tiles for sale (affiliate link). Oh and Angela tells me:

Last time around I claimed some of the liner tiles for myself and used them for my kitchen and bath restoration in my 1944 house.  I would love to perhaps show you the results.  Everything came out better then I expected and from the turquoise Youngstown cabinets to my mighty Dishmaster, it is like the kitchen that RetroReno built. I read you every day and the blog was invaluable for my restoration.

Hooray! Of course I told Angela to send photos stat.

Note, I recall hearing from a reader — not sure if it was on the original story or on another one — that liner tiles she had purchased were too thick to use with the field tiles they were meant to pair with. A good reminder that this is something to be aware of and puzzle out before getting too far in; it could well be that tiles back in the day were thicker, or that tiles today vary in thickness.

Also remember: Vintage products may contain hazards — for example, there may be lead in tile old — and new. Get with a pro to determine what you are working with so that you can make informed decisions how to handle. More info and links on our Be Safe / Renovate Safe page.

CategoriesBathroom Tile
  1. LaDonna says:

    I have very fond memories of both of my grandmother’ s houses and decided to merge elements from both of thier kitchens to create a “comfort” kitchen into my no-character brick ranch. My parents still have thier Elgin steel cabinets left over from their 70’s kitchen reno but I remember hitting my head on them and how sharp they were. So, I decided to recreate them in wood. I even had a plaque made to put where the metal Elgin sign would normally be using our last name in place of “Elgin”. I purchased some of the tiles on ebay from Angela for my backsplash and paired them with white subway tile. I found that they are the same thickness as porcelain 3 x 6 subway tile and not the thinner ceramic 3 x 6 subway tile. My tile installer had no problems and I love the way it looks!

  2. Joe Felice says:

    I’ve always known them as pencil tiles, but also know them as listels. Remember, a lot of tile was much thicker back in the day. Also, listels tend to have more depth, to create visual appeal.

  3. Karin says:

    Finally, an explanation of mudset tiles! I ran this one by my tile guy (who has been doing tile for 20 years) and he didn’t know what I was talking about. He says he used “thin set” so I guess this thicker mix isn’t used much anymore. Thanks for the clarification. Love the liners.

  4. Carolyn says:

    After seeing these the first time and pondering, I’m convinced whoever thought these up was an evil genius! How in the heck would you choose?! OK, so you gotcher basic tile up with a line and finish with the bullnose…hmmm, yeah let’s add something really adorable or cool or striking or…(depending on if it was him or her looking at the selections).
    Seriously, you could use the two top ones and the two bottom ones – JUST TO START!

  5. Barbara says:

    POP, POP!!
    No other word but, POP!
    Using accents do just that, make a room POP!
    Thanks Pam for the info.

  6. Susan says:

    I love these liner tiles. I wish she would have posted them 4 months ago when I was redoing my vintage bath.

  7. Nancy says:

    The practice used to be that tiles were set in a cement mud base that would have been thicker than the current thin set base of more recent times. I’m just guessing here that perhaps a thicker tile was needed for the application. Plus, so many building items were of a more substantial quality back in the day. The thinner tiles of today are more cost effective to produce, ship, store, apply, etc. I would assume that combining old and new tiles is doable if you factor in the depth of the adhesive.

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