Drew & Amy’s Daltile Aqua Glow bathroom — a retro remodel that looks like it’s always been there

Just two years after finishing a complete remodel of their 1960 midcentury kitchen, Drew and Amy finished a gut remodel of their bathroom — and as is the way of projects featured on this blog, it’s a retro remodel that looks like it’s always been there. Read on for their story and for the resources they used >> 

Drew wrote:

Hello! We redid our kitchen in 2016 and were featured on the website. We just finished up our bathroom remodel — including an awesome vintage Crane sink and a lot of tile work — and would love to share our photos and resources again!

My favorite part(s) of the bathroom are the Crane Elayne sink and matching toilet! I found them on Ebay in Pasadena, Calif., and the seller suggested that instead of having the freight shipped (at great expense) to Seattle, I should find somebody on the rideshare portion of craigslist driving to Seattle and arrange for them to pick them up and drive them up to me.

As it turns out, that was a fantastic idea, as it saved me a few hundred dollars on shipping and also didn’t have to figure out a way to get them from the freight terminal to my house!

It was definitely an adventure to work with the tile setters to explain/figure out how the sink should be set, but worth it! As a side note, you will need to convince everyone in the industry that you really do* want a tile countertop.

I think we were one of the last people to take advantage of the Daltile custom mosaic builder for our floor. (R.I.P.)

Cabinetry (which is flatsawn khaya — we used quartersawn for the kitchen) is again from James Wanamaker. I’m happy with the way the sink vent turned out.

Rejuvenation offers their boomerang pull with either a three-inch or four-inch center-to-center!

Cabinet hardware is 4″ bright chrome boomerangs from Rejuvenation. I was under the impression that they only made them in 3″ (which would have been too small) but was happy to see they come in 4″ as well.

Field tile is Aqua Glow from Daltile, and the liner tile is Navy.

Shower valves are Sayco from Locke plumbing. Sayco 308-2 Three Handle Tub And Shower Faucet With Metal Handles.

You can’t see them, but I kept the original light fixtures as they are in decent shape and I can keep my eye out for something that “wows” us. In the meantime, I’m pleasantly surprised how well the retention of the original fixtures makes the bathroom feel “lived in” and less awkwardly new when compared with the rest of the house.

My wife, Amy, made the little starburst curtain that matches the gray trim color throughout our house. I made the simple little shelves you see, I’m not a great carpenter so they “add character”, also making the bathroom feel authentic and lived in rather than too shiny and new! That is an important lesson that I’m learning about midcentury renovation/restoration. So many of the houses that I’ve seen in person have one-off or handmade elements! We shouldn’t let the fact that our creations wont have mass manufactured perfection stop us from adding our personal touches!

Drew & Amy

Lovely bathroom! Thanks you for sharing! I also asked if Drew wanted to send a photo of him and Amy, and he did, adding:

Haha, I’d like to be on the record as saying that despite our RR profile, our life is not all retro renovations and vacations!

Want to see another Daltile Aqua Glow bathroom? See Kristen & Paul’s 1940-style bathroom renovation. This tile is great and so versatile!

  1. Jenny says:

    Hi Pam, I tried to use the Daltile mosaic tile modeling tool, and no luck.

    Did they discontinue the mosaic tile modeling tool, or am I just following a broken link?

  2. Jamie says:

    I was so excited to read this piece because my new bathroom has Daltile Aqua Glow too! My contractor ordered the 4-inch squares last week and they arrrived yesterday from Texas! Pairing it with Daltile Arctic White quarter round. Work on my shower starts today. We are renovating two baths and a kitchen. I wish I could do full on 50s finishes, but I need to compromise with my husband. But I am sure this will feed my vintage soul. BTW we are using Daltile 4 inch yellow for kitchen backsplash. Can’t wait to get this done and get back to living in my midcentury modest home.

  3. Chris says:

    The tile job looks first rate from here. Plenty of planning went into that. Specifically, the niche in the shower lines up perfectly with the tile grout lines. The planning required to size the niche perfectly so that the waterproofed niche will be exactly two tiles tall and in the right place is extremely tedious. Having done two fussy bathrooms with wrap-around tile and two large niches, that really jumped out at me. Very nice bathroom that looks original.

  4. Debbie says:

    My home was built in 1957.
    I have 2 different types of textured walls and ceilings.
    The majority is the first type. It is slightly bumpy and not smooth at all. This is accomplished by adding some fine grade sand to the finish coat of plaster. The more sand, the bumpier the finish. When patching , you have to guess how much sand was used before.
    The second is “rough coat “ plaster. Instead of smoothing the plaster flat, leave in the trowel marks. Don’t attempt to smooth it out. Leave the ridges and swirls.

    And both are a pain to paint.?

  5. Wendellyn Plummer says:

    I have lived in every type of home. Now that we have a mid century modern, built in 1965, finding people to do the work is frustrating. It has taken me two years just to find 14 pieces of tile, on ebay, to repair the Master bathroom floor. When I went to a local Daltile distributor, the owner laughed me out of the store. He told me to grow up, I’m 65, and go “Modern.” Seeing that he had a “Mohawk” hair do, I just shook my head and left. Like many others, I have had to learn to so the work myself. My husband and I have taken several “do-it-yourself” classes at The Home Depot, an hour away from where we live. Everyone there have been wonderful and always kind to listen.
    Thank you, Pam, for all your invaluable knowledge and reference sites.

  6. libbyontheprairie says:

    Wow- looks great! My husband and I just finished our bathroom too and also used Aqua Glow from Daltile and black liners! We love the color combination!

  7. GlenEllyn says:

    I love what they’ve done! It’s beautiful! I think a bathroom is the perfect place to put tile countertops. They don’t take the beating that a kitchen counter does and I really like the look. Wonderful job! I’m jealous – would love a bathroom like this.

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