36 places to find 4″ x 4″ ceramic bathroom wall tile in vintage colors

aqua turquoise tile
Lovely aqua colored 4.25 x 4.25 ceramic tile that I spotted at a salvage store years ago. (Long gone/I didn’t buy it.)

Here’s a big update to my 2012 story on where to find 4 x 4 inch (or approximately) ceramic field tile in real colors, typically for your bathroom renovation. Over the years, I have added sources to the list as new tile makers were identified — including via reader tips, thank you! For this update, I went through everything again, checked links, and even organized the sources based on different things readers might be looking for. For example: Some readers are looking for new wall tile with all the different accent pieces for a gut remodel. Others are looking for replacement tiles. Some readers may want basic 4×4, others may be interested in more expensive, artisanal options. So here goes: Six years ago I started with 12, but I’m now up to 35 places to search 4 x 4 (ish) ceramic field tiles in vintage colors:

Please see my May 2, 2016 story, Understanding potential lead hazards in old porcelain enamel bathtubs and sinks and ceramic tile of any age; this article focuses on raising awareness around three other potential sources of lead dust exposure in your home – old porcelain enamel bathtubs and sinks and ceramic tile of any era — and steps you can take to assess and, if required, address them. My research for this story also indicated that lead glazes may still be used on ceramic tile to this day — see the story for more information so you can do your own research on how to proceed in your hunt for tile and in completing your project.

Another note on safety / durability / installation issues, etc.: Check the tile you are considering for its use specifications. That is: Is it recommended for only walls, or walls and floors, etc? I am not an expert. It’s my experience that 4x4s were commonly used on vertical walls — but they may not necessarily be recommended for flooring applications. So, if you are considering these tiles for flooring, check with the manufacturer regarding whether the particular line you are considering is recommended for that use. Consult with your own pros.

1. Retailers with classic 1950s- and 60s-style ceramic wall tiles and colors at relatively affordable prices — the “go-to” places I hear most about from readers

  1. B&W Tile — B&W Tile has been a long-time go-to place for new 4×4 tile made today because of their expansive vintage color selection + they can make all the bullnose and other accent pieces.   Clay Squared, a company in Minneapolis, also sells/sold the B&W line. 
  2. Classic Tile New York — Some good retro colors at Classic Tile New York. 
  3. Daltile — Daltile is probably the largest brand name in tile in the U.S. — and always a place we’d look. If you can find a color you like, you might be able to buy it via your local big box or tile store — and not be charged shipping. They seem to have a number of collections that include 4×4 ceramic wall and counter tiles. The colors change regularly, so check them all. Collections include Semi-Gloss and Matte, which seems to be the #1 go-to collection for retro pastel colors, for example, including readers’ favorites Aqua Glowand Spa is a lovely Heron Blue too…  also look at Festiva … and Natural Hues has a large palette, although not all colors are available in 4x4s.
    1. Note, as of June 2019, you could get several mid century modern colors of Daltile 4×4(ishes) right from Home Depot. See this story.
  4. American-Olean — AO is owned by the same company as Daltile, and they may share some of the same colors just with different names, but they also may have some of their own colors. But honestly, trying to compare sends me cross-eyed. Their collections with 4×4 squares include: Bright … and Matte.
  5. Mosaic Tile Supplies has 4x4s in a variety of pastels. Click around their site – there are 4x4s in other collections too.
  6. Big Box stores — You can typically find white and bisquit colored 4×4 bathroom tiles at the Big Box stores for under 20 cents each. The last time I was just at the Home Depot, the tile they seem to be carrying as 4x4s was from U.S. Ceramic Tile Co. White was in-stock on the shelves…. and they had a sample board with other colors, the s.f. price was not listed — ask an associate. When I renovating my bathrooms several years ago, I found rose beige at the Home Depot, trimmed it with white bullnose, and it looks smashing. 
  7. Wayfair has what looks to be a changing roster of 4 x 4ish tiles that might fit a bill.
  • Lots of readers have used tiles from the sources above. Check them out (and others) in our archive of stories — Readers and their Bathrooms

2. Finding tiles New Old Stock locally — I also hear from readers who have successfully gone this route

  1. Longtime local tiles stores — It could be that you have one or more tile stores in your area that have been around for decades. If so, ask them if they have any deadstock in their backrooms or warehouse — if they do, you might also be presently surprised at the great price they give you to take it off their hands. For example I got an email in 2018 from Suburban Tile Inc., Freeport, NY, that they had “old stock from the 1930s thru the present day. American Olean, Atco, Cambridge, Wheeling, National, etc. European products from the 60’s,70’s,80’s,90’s, into the 21st century.” Another reader mentioned Tile Outlet ChicagoTile Daily tells me (Jan. 2018) that they have at least one palette each (that’s about 300-400 s.f.) of  new old stock vintage left in more than a dozen colors; thanks, Benji, for the tip. You get the drift — check your local stores that have been around awhile!
  2. Re-Store Habitat for Humanity — I added this because every year I seem to hear from a few readers that they have found enough tile at their local Re-Store to do a complete bathroom. Tile contractors — and tile stores cleaning out their back rooms and warehouses may cart their extra New Old Stock straight to the ReStore. Note, going this route might present extra hurdles because 4×4 bullnose (if you need to handle turning any outside corners) and 2×6 bullnose pieces (to handle top of walls) etc. may not be included in the leftovers. Think through what you need very carefully before you buy. 

3. Other tile companies with 4×4 (+ish) field tiles — including higher-end companies — check them out, they might have just what you need

  1. Clayhaus Tiles offers an expansive color selection, 4x4s and all the fixins.Website.
  2. Modwalls TileModwalls offers ceramic tile in 103 colors, including 4×4 and 4-1/4 square field tiles and all the trim pieces too. They have quite a large selection. Thanks to Cindy for this tip!
  3. American Universal Tile — The Brittany line looks to have some good pastel color choices.
  4. Nemo tile — See Metrowall collection of 4x4s it looks like you can do mixes of 4x4s in their Anthologia line. Rebecca used Nemo tiles in her gorgeous bathroom remodel
  5. Roca Tile — Thanks to reader Lynne for tipping us to Roca Tile —  — which over time seems to have introduced more retro choices. They carry a big line of trim pieces, too.
  6. Olympia Tile — Olympia tile is a Canadian-based company, but they have some distribution in the U.S. (See their location map.) I used their heron blue tile in my blue bathroom renovation (although I think this color is now discontinued.) They now look to have one collection of 4x4s with a few possible retro colors — for example, periwinkle, tender gray, and warm gray look promising.
  7. Interceramic has some 4x4s in their IC Brites collection
  8. Mid America Tile, in business since 1961, looks to carry the exact same colors as Olympia Tile; either they are the same company with different names, or one has a distribution deal with the other; in any case, I’ll list them both. 4×4-ish Mid America Tile’s 4×4 ceramic tiles .
  9. Pratt & Larson has 4x4s in a large selection of colors. They also have custom color matching!
  10. Fireclay Tile has 4x4s in a large selection of colors.  
  11. Heath Tile is a storied tile maker. They offer 4×4 field tiles in a lot of colors, very artisanal. 
  12. Mission Tile West has pastel colors that can be special ordered in 4×4 field tile sizes. See their Revivals page here. Also check out their coordinating liner tiles.
  13. California Pottery and Tile Works, established in 1994, offers 4×4 tiles. Very bespoke, my sense is they offer a virtually unlimited array of color options.
  14. Sonoma Tilemakers makes 4×4 field tiles in light pastel colors
  15. The Subway Ceramics Collection of Heritage Tile has 4x4ishes and trim pieces in lovely pastels. See the tile here
  16. American Restoration Tile does 4×4 walls tiles — wall tile here.
  17. Florida Tile — This Kentucky company does not have “colors”, but it has a selection of neutrals in their “Streamline” collection. I will keep them on this list in case they ever add colors.
  18. McIntone Ceramics has 3x3s, and they have a chunkier craftsman look, but some of the colors are really nice so I’ll put them out there. Thanks, Ann, for the tip!
  19. Kismet Tile tells us that they can manufacture classic white-body 4×4 tiles in custom glazes.

4. More sources for vintage / salvage tiles in particular as replacement tiles

  1. Match My Tile — Website here specializes in replacement tile and has an expansive inventory.
  2. Vintage Tile in Sacramento, Calif. — website added in 2018 (thanks, Hernan!) — Owner Andy Rosten wrote me: “We have a large stock of numerous manufacturers of discontinued tile from 1930s to 2000, and we offer free identification of those seeking to match existing installations as well as many retro colors and ship all over North America. In addition to wall and counter tile, we also carry many 8″ discontinued floor tiles and several 12″ floor tiles from Dal and Florida Tile.”
  3. Replacement American Olean tiles: Thanks to Andy Rosten of Vintage Tile (above) for a tip on where to go to see out replacement American Olean tile: Greenwich Tile and Marble . On their website, they say, “We stock in our warehouse 4 x 4 American Olean field tile in every color going back from 1945-1995.”
  4. Ebay — It’s my experience that there is an increasing number of what I’ll call “smaller vendors” who find tile locally, then sell it on ebay. Sometimes in large varieties. Set up your searches and start watching. Note: Ebay vendors of occasional finds, don’t leave your links in comments — there are too many and they come in go. I’d rather leave it general like this.
  5. Latch Tile in San Francisco says they offer vintage replacement tile — site here.
  6. Architectural Salvage stores — Places like Toledo Architectural Artifacts, as one example, says they have “4×4 reclaimed vintage bathroom tiles in many different colors. All tile is original vintage tile either taken during a salvage job, purchased as new old stock or purchased from customer’s renovation jobs. Use google to search architectural salvage in your area. And again, check local tile stores, too. Roberta Lee found some replacements that she needed from a local longtime tile store in her area, Del Val Tile. 
  7. Other sources for hard-to-find replacement tiles: Readers have reported success asking neighbors, who may have renovated or be renovating and have a the color they need — and whose house may have tile original purchased from the same place as yours. You might also need to “borrow” tile from your own bathroom, taken from someplace inconspicuous and reinstalled in a more visible spot; if you take this route, get with your own professionals to assess what you are working with before proceeding; remember to Be Safe/Renovate Safe.
  8. Color your own — Reader SillyJenn offered up a not-so-silly suggestion that some folks may want to give a try, writing: “I have a Paint-Your-Own-Pottery shop in Lincoln, NE. We have a huge color palette of glazes and carry tiles in bisque form. We have helped many people who are not able to find the manufactured color they need create their own. Just another option to toss out there for y’all:)”

Again, see this story:Understanding potential lead hazards in old porcelain enamel bathtubs and sinks and ceramic tile of any age. And, check use specifications for the tiles you are considering.

Some things to think about if you are looking for replacement tiles:

measure-tile for-trimtile-sizeBefore you begin your search for replacement tiles, it is important to note that not all 4″x4″ ceramic wall tiles are created equally. Depending on the manufacturer, age of the tile, etc., tiles may vary in their actual measurements. So-called 4″x4″ tiles might actually measure 3.75″x3.75″ or 4″x4″ or 4.25″x4.25″ square etc. There also could be variations in the thickness of the tile. Make sure you know what size and thickness your original tile is before you start searching to avoid buying tile that will not fit in your bathroom. Also, if you will be heading out to search through piles of salvaged tile, take a small piece of your tile with you to make color matching easier, if possible.

So there’s my list!

Readers, if you know of any other manufacturers/retailers of any other lines of 4×4 tiles, please leave them in a comment. Thank you! 

CategoriesBathroom Tile
  1. Donna says:

    I search and looks like you have my vintage 4 inch by 4 inch aqua blue tile. What I don’t see is how to buy one and see it to matches or if it is still available. Can someone contact me.

    1. Pam Kueber says:

      Hi Donna, I do not sell anything — I write about companies that do. The companies are each identified in the story. Look for the BLUE text — those are hotlinks to their websites, where they can point you to how to buy. Good luck!

  2. Robert Palac says:

    I have built several baths over the years on my rentals and have kept spare boxes of tile. Well, they’re depleting fast on renovations. I am trying to match an old tile from mid 90’s. I believe I bought them at Home Depot as either AO, Daltile or Interceramic. The tile measures 4-1/4″ x 4-1/4′ and is light grey gloss A tile I have has the numbers printed on the back “724764” also “151005” . Also embossed on the back of the tile is 4-95-3 (assuming that is the date). How can I find out the manufactured name of the color and who might have a couple of cases for sale? Thank You in advanced. Robert Palac

    1. Pam Kueber says:

      Hi Robert, I don’t know the answer to your question. However, in this story — section 4 — I list some companies who deal in vintage tile — they may be able to help you.

  3. Janet says:

    We are renovating 2 baths in a 1960s cape cod. We are removing the National Lifetime Tile in a sand and another in. Sea foam green. I HATE to throw it away; what would be the best place to dispose of it so someone could reuse it. Should we attempt to sell it.

  4. Lucia Petrino says:

    Please post on your boards that I am actively seeking an American Olean F-Black F-577 Tumbler & Toothbrush Holder (4.25 x 4.25) and
    any leads would be greatly appreciated!

    Many thanks for your help!!!

    1. Julia E.S. Spencer says:

      Pratt and Larson matches vintage tile colors!
      I had to remove the powder blue shower floor tiles in my 1935 Dutch Colonial to install a proper shower pan. (If your bathroom smells musty or moldy, you may need to do this also.) I also needed some trim and cove pieces to replace broken tiles and for the shower ledge. I sent one of the old tiles to Pratt and Larson, which duplicated the color exactly!
      I used square tiles to replace the ones on the shower wall, but for the floor, I decided to use penny tile because the increased grout area makes it less slippery. I chose several different complementary pastel greens, yellows and blues, including the matching blue, and Pratt and Larson created a randomized mosaic for me on a mesh backing. It turned out great and no more moldy smell!

      1. pam kueber says:

        Hi Julia, thanks for this info — I will add it to the list of resources and consider a standalone story.

        Readers: When selecting floor tiles for slippery areas it’s recommended to consult with professionals to ensure the tiles are properly specified for the intended use.

    1. Pam Kueber says:

      Hi susan, I don’t sell anything. Refer to the companies listed in the story – the blue text = hotlinks.

  5. KISMET TILE can manufacture classic white-body 4×4 tiles in custom glazes. We’ve also stumbled into a sizeable cache of vintage Japanese 3×3 meshed tiles in several different shades of pink, as well as some funky brown textured glazes. Please get in touch if interested.

  6. Susan D says:

    Another source for new 4×4 tiles that have a retro feel is Clayhaus tiles http://www.clayhaustile.com/. They have a lot of great color choices. Not cheap – everything is a custom order. But they are great to work with. (We used their “cassette” tiles in our powder room – not authentic, but very fun!)

  7. matt says:

    By ‘smaller vendor,’ they mean retailers (like local nonprofit salvage stores) who can’t afford the whopping ad rates of the slick retail world, and thus go unnamed. Probably just as well, since it’s that kind of attention that drove World of Tile out of business. I met Chippy once and she looked ready to jump in front of a train, dealing with all the desperate phone calls.

    Color-matching is no fun. So here are some tips:
    1) the numbers on the back of your tile are NOT color codes.
    2) don’t use paint chips from Home Despot- those colors did not exist mid-century and NO ONE will ever be able find the same chip you’re holding
    3) try the color chips from the big Plumbing Supply retailer online- all those colors are matched perfectly to the sinks and toilets (and most tile) of yore
    4) if you can, pop off a tile to find the manufacturer’s logo (i.e., your most powerful search tool)
    5) camera, light, and monitor settings are NOT sufficient to match
    6) you will need to do this research (and measure as Pam says) BEFORE you begin your search.

    Please consider that those of us who do this work get buried with requests from people seeking fast/easy/perfect matches, who don’t mind spending all my time searching the stacks for them while they sit at home. If we charged enough to make it worthwhile, no one would ever buy the tile! We don’t let people browse the stacks because most customers will destroy any organization in about 30 seconds (see Home Despot’s tile aisle, where they only carry 2-3 colors in store, and multiply that mayhem by dozens of brands/dozens of decades/dozens of colors). This is not the Tile Library of Congress- if I put all the greens side by side I would have to move hundreds of boxes down six inches every time a new one came in. The more specifics you can provide, the more efficient your search becomes. You can see why having a brand and a color name allowing you to use a search engine is the most powerful tool you have!

  8. Hanna says:

    We check the restore often, and found a box of the dreamiest burgundy vintage tile. Unfortunately it isn’t marked and it’s not enough to do our entire bathroom. I don’t know who made the shade and am constantly searching for a match!
    I guess that’s the only problem with finding smaller amounts locally. 🙁

      1. Hanna Morchant says:

        Miraculously we were actually able to color match the tile to a special order shade Daltile still makes. We’re using black tile for trim, but we have been able to get more burgundy! ?

        1. Cathy Steiger says:

          I am looking for 4” bullnose tile that has small grey flecks of color on white background. It was used in our 1959 ranch home as the window sills.

          1. pam kueber says:

            Hi Cathy, to find this you need to check with the companies profiled. Try B&W and Daltile to see if their salt n pepper tiles made today may be a match, and try the vintage sellers to see what they have. Good luck!

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