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Anatomy of an original Cinderella bath tub curtain — in Carolyn’s gorgeous 1959 pink bathroom

Do you have a Cinderella bath tub and wonder how, originally, a shower curtain was supposed to work? And what about the shower curtain rod? Today, Carolyn shares hers — original to her new-to-her 1959 bathroom. Oh, what a bathroom — an original-condition 1959 pink bathroom that dreams are made of — fabulous tile work, Cinderella bath tub, gorgeous sink on chrome legs, and an equally gorgeous lowboy toilet — oh my! Carolyn has shared lots of photos — and has some questions for us before she even moves in. 

Carolyn writes:

I am the proud new, second owner of a 1959 split level. Amazingly, the owner was a plumber and his brother a tile layer, so my bathrooms are pretty darn cool. This is my favorite… pre-decorating. I say decorating as that’s the only change this bathroom will get. 

The wallpaper was stripped between realtor 1 and realtor 2. Apparently few people in my area were enamored of this as I am.

I’m sharing it for a few main reasons– 

— to show the shape of the original Cinderella shower rod since I’ve seen others ask.

— to confirm that those hooks are intended to hold back the shower curtain. Mine have a little ball chain attachment for this purpose.

  • —to brag about the original shower curtain. Yes, I will need to replace this someday, but now I have a wonderful template. It is not a rectangle! There are lower and higher hems which perfectly fit the tub — and it snaps in the middleA few notes of from the owner’s sons —

    This is not the original toilet. When it needs to be replaced plumber dad searched long and hard to find the best possible color match. It is more of a coral than a pink. It also has built in venting. The told me many times that this is a $1,000 toilet (in ’70s money). I will keep it as long as I can, but I do think it uses about 80 gallons a flush, which hurts my heart having previously lived in a drought zone.

    Although the is the hall bath, the two boys were not allowed to bath here. They used the (blue tiled) master shower. This was mom’s bath only. And she always bathed, never showered.

    They left me one all of pink toilet paper they found in the linen closet. I am trying to save it for guests but it is hard to resist.

    Carolyn asks for advice:

    Anyway, I’ll be seeking much advice and tips from your site — for instance, where can I get those grey and pink mosaic tiles if I do have to replace the toilet — should I go ahead an buy a pink toilet now in case they’re discontinued before I HAVE to replace this one? 

    So, I thought I’d send this now before things get too crazy….

    Best,

    Carolyn

    Thank you, Carolyn — We all want your bathroom, I am confident in saying.

    To answer your questions:

    Q. Buy a new, lower flow toilet now, or wait?

    Suggested answer: Get your spare now. If there’s one thing we’ve learned on this blog, it’s here today, gone tomorrow, when it comes to vintage stuff still made today. Well, not always, but usually. Relevant case in point: there used to be two, but now there is only one place left to get a pink toilet, see this story. I’d say, get it now and store it ’til you need it. Or, when you find your extra floor tile, make the switch then.

    Q. Where to get vintage unglazed porcelain ceramic floor tile?

    Suggested answer: Vintage. That -random block mosaic’ style of flooring you have — looks like unglazed porcelain to me, but I am not an expert — was quite common back in the day, but it is not made today in those colors and dimensions, as far as I know. So, start hunting for a vintage match now — maybe you’ll find a sheet or two within… five or 10 years. I’d set up saved searches in ebay.

    For example, here’s some vintage porcelain mosaic floor tile from the 1950s — on ebay right now — not what you are looking for exactly, but of the era. Note the very very narrow grout line — that’s because these were mud-set (set in concrete); these old style mosaics had very minimal grout lines, unlike mastic-set tiles today.

    Here’s another source — it’s free to ask if they have what you need!

    Note: All these links to ebay are affiliate links — I earn a wee commission if you click and buy something.

    Another thought on where to find replacements: Get to know your neighbors, could be they used the same floor tile. Note, I could be that your toilet is sitting on perfectly preserved floor tile and that when you take it up the hole will be just where you want it to be. If either are not… it’s probably going to be hard to ‘tear’ out and ‘move’ any of the floor tile — because it’s set in concrete, aka ‘mud set’.

    Good luck with your new-old house, Carolyn! Send me a photo when you’re done decorating! 

  1. Betty Trevino-Roth says:

    My dad used a brick in the toilet tank to save water back in the 1970s. Maybe that would help?

  2. linoleummy says:

    Oh Carolyn that room is porcelain perfection! I’m so glad you got it!
    And don’t give up on the toilet without taking a look at it’s workings. There are a lot of videos online where people explain what does what in there , how to measure the water usage and ways to decrease it. The pink Eljer I got free on Craigslist I found didn’t need to use even half the water in it’s 4 1/2 gallon tank for a “real” flush. With a gallon jug of water taking up space in the tank and making it dual-flush it uses about 1.6 gallons for a “real” flush.

  3. Danae Wolff says:

    I am just had these very tiles she is looking for pulled out yesterday- I had in my bathroom the full original pink Cinderella set in a home I purchased in CT 2 years ago, built in 1964 by a contracting family as well- we are second owners. I replaced the sink with a new custom installation, unfortunately not knowing the collector’s worth on it. We are most likely reglazing the Cinderella tub to modernize bathroom, but our original pink toliet was just removed yesterday as well as that mosaic tile. Wondering now if should put on ebay, as clearly some people are looking for these things

  4. Grampa says:

    When its time to replace the toilet and you end up needing more tiles, but can’t find them what to do? Make piece to go under the toilet in a color you like, be it grey, pink, white etc.. Think of this as a place matt. It will cover you area of miss matched tile and look like it belongs there. Material choices? Sheet of colored plastic, sheet of metal and have it powder coated etc. Just coordinate your colors and pre trim this ”place matt’ to look stylish before powder coating.

  5. Phyllis Dixon says:

    Love this story! One of my Saturday morning chores as a kid was to clean the pink Cinderella tub + pink sink & toilet in our mid Century modest small ranch house.
    Fast forward to 2000, when we bought a 1955 brick ranch with blue bathtub and tile. We had to replace the toilet before I knew about this website. I love learning the history of our home’s features, appliances, original stainless steel stove hood, kitchen knotty pine paneling & cabinets. If we remodel, I will be checking here for advice.

  6. Shambie says:

    Those floor tiles! Exactly the same as in my bathroom growing up! How I wish they were still available…

  7. Lynn says:

    We had to replace our original 1960 toilet with a low-flow but you have to flush multiple times in some cases – I am not sure it is saving any water. Love the mosaic floor – I have one in a similar pattern but it is coming up (tile by tile) because when we replaced the tile they had to pull part up to put in new flooring (toilet had leaked). I would love to find something similar not just for the look but because it’s not slippery. My husband is disabled and can easily slip and many of the newer tile floors are so slippery.

  8. Pam Kueber says:

    This is what I have in my bathrooms — with and without the black dots!

    I have lots of stories — am always researching — where to find mosaic floor tiles. See these stories as well:

    https://retrorenovation.com/2015/02/25/15-mosaic-floor-tile-retro-vintage/
    https://retrorenovation.com/2018/02/02/random-block-mosaic-floor-tile-good-midcentury-modern-house/

    And my entire category of research here:

    https://retrorenovation.com/category/bathroom-categories/tile/

  9. Linda says:

    I have a pink bathroom with maroon trim. My toilet has, unfortunately, been replaced many times. The tilework goes all the way up to the flange. It also goes behind the cabinets. We needed to replace tile in the maroon bathroom but were able to find a match from the original company at a tile store. As for the fixtures and the pink toilet, try a reuse place. Buffalo Reuse has mid-century toilets and sinks in a variety of colors. My cousin found an exact match for her pink bathroom. Good luck!

  10. Amanda says:

    If there’s anyway to contact Carolyn again, I’d love to know the dimensions/template of her Cindy shower curtain. My prewar building in NYC has the original Cindy tub from 1939 (it’s even built into the original floorplans from the building’s marketing materials), and I was not allowed to remove it when I renovated my bathroom last year. The shower curtains always drive me crazy because of the height/angle of using two 72-inch long curtains.

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