A new, easy-to-buy pink bathroom tile: American Olean Antique Rose

midcentury-house-ideas-18american-olean-antique-rose-tileThe two major manufacturers of ceramic tile in the U.S. are Dal-Tile and American Olean owned by the same company. They both have lines of 4×4 ceramic tile that should be relatively easy to buy at relatively affordable prices. Their colors are usually what’s trendy in the larger market, and their choices can shift every year. I try to keep an eye on, but missed the fact that there looks to be a lovely pink now in American Olean’s lineup: It’s Antique Rose, and I learned about it when featuring the two all-new deco-style bathrooms created by Laureen Skrivan for her amazing Wren & Willow house remodel.

american-olean-antique-rose-tileLooking at Antique Rose on my computer model, it looks way stronger / darker than it seems to look in the photos taken by Aleks Akinshev of the Wren & Willow team.

midcentury-house-ideas-21It could be that, with good lighting, the tiles ‘lighten up’ visually in the space.

In any case: This bathroom is out-of-this-world gorgeous.

The real test — and always a must: Order your own samples.

The current American Olean lineup of glossy and mattes right now:

american-olean-tilesamerican-olean-matteamerican-olean-glacierThe matte Glacier also is quite nice for a retro bathroom — I have a Heron Blue bathroom pretty much just this color.


  • See our overview story 16 places to find 4″ x 4″ ceramic tile in pastel colors
  • I think the best selection of retro colors comes from B&W Tile. But if you can find the color you want from Dal-Tile or American Olean, you may be able to save a lot on shipping — for example, if Home Depot or another big box store has regular deliveries and won’t charge for shipping.
  • Always get samples first
  • Shop around for best prices and service
  • If you run into problems with an order, I recommend calling the company directly yourself — I’ve recently received emails from readers who may have been getting incorrect information from local retailers who may not be accustomed to dealing with less-ordered tiles, which may be the ones we are going after

CategoriesBathroom Tile
  1. paloma says:

    Hey all do you know any companies that do this style of bathroom suite? I am looking for it in white or green. Kind of 1930’s style?
    all help welcome!

  2. ineffablespace says:

    Now all someone needs to do is come up with a blush tile again.

    Part of the problem is that many women grow up to h@t3 pink because they assign negative gender associations to it, especially since marketing has rammed it down their throats as the color of everything for little girls between certain ages since the 1980s.
    And men may wear pink shirts and ties but don’t want to have much to do with pink other than that because of fallout from this phenomenon.

    It’s one of those colors that a lot of people have completely irrational, knee-jerk negative reactions about. No matter that as an “environment” pink, especially paler shades, is almost universally flattering.

    And since many times the gateway for color making decisions is going to fall on the female in the household, if there is one, pinking something permanently pink, like tile or fixtures, is something that is rarely going to happen.

    To show how irrational this can be sometimes, I can give a non-pink example. I used to belong to a design forum where, not only were people removing or reglazing pink bathrooms, they also for the most part were completely repulsed by anything “Harvest Gold” or “Avocado”. I put these in quotes because there were a number of completely different shades of golden yellow and green that all got clumped together as these two.

    It was if our parents had had the con job of the century pulled on them by marketers in getting them to accept Harvest Gold or Avocado appliances, or that an entire generation was color blind or had no taste.

    But I had a suspicion that it was really not about the colors themselves, and I pretty much was able to prove this by looking at a number of decorating threads where two colors, essentially a gold and a medium yellow-y green were recommended over and over and over. And I followed this up by looking at the most popular colors on My Perfect Color, many of which are gold, and a number of medium yellow-y greens (and more unpleasant imo, than 1960s avocado).

    And when I tried to point out the discrepancy, that the same people were vilifying colors for one thing and embracing the same colors for another, the explanation I got was “that’s different, a wall color is not the same as an appliance color or a fixture color”.

    How it was different could not be explained.

    If you do look at My Perfect Color, though, one thing you don’t see in the first ten pages or so of the most popular colors is anything at all pink. Even lavender starts to show up a lot sooner.

    There was a pink powder room in my house when it was built. (Blush really, not too pink) that was long gone by the time I bought the house (I found a bunch of floor mosaic thrown in the joist spaces from a previous demolition). I wanted to replicate a pink bathroom in it’s place, but Kohler Innocent Blush was discontinued before I was ready to start.

      1. ineffablespace says:

        Once there was no longer a pink bathtub available (Kohler -Innocent Blush, or blue -Skylight, or yellow -Sunlight, for that matter) the pink (blue, yellow) bathroom was off the table. It was a matched suite or nothing as far as I was concerned.

        I think it’s great that there is still some colored toilets available, mostly for replacement purposes, but without a full complement of fixtures available I think it becomes less satisfying to use only some colored fixtures (I realize it can work with a shower, like Kate’s).

        I am actually thinking of buying an entire Kohler Ice Grey toilet and storing it in the basement in case of some freak accident. (We had a toilet spontaneously split in half, growing up). That may be overkill but a white toilet would really kill the look I am going for,

          1. ineffablespace says:

            This is a great option, especially since people are moving away from cast iron tubs anyway. I got one of the last Ice Grey cast iron tubs available, and it sat right inside the front door for 18 months because that’s as far as we could move it and we weren’t ready for it.

            This is the last bathroom I am doing (#3) unless I start designing mid-century period baths for other people or win the lottery and start saving mid-century houses. There is scant attention paid to them here, because with rare exceptions they aren’t considered historical.

  3. Lynne says:

    Pam, I have found another tile source. http://rocatilegroup.com/products/bright-wall/

    I found it quite by accident at the Carpet Weavers here in Illinois while I was helping my folks with their flooring purchases. The board was propped up in the corner, screaming to be seen amidst all of the beige, and white marble.

    The colors were quite nice, and it looks like they have a lot of the necessary trim pieces available as well.

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