19 July 2011

green idea: save old bathroom tile

So you're tackling a reno on a bathroom that looks like it belongs in a highway rest stop. In the '60's. Before you swing the sledgehammer, stop and really take a look at all of the individual elements in the room. Can anything be saved? Take a close look at the floor tiles. They may be a garish colour and look horrible with the pink tub, but picture them in a new and modern room. Will they actually work? The answer is often, surprisingly, yes. Retro tiles in unusual patterns and colours are making a comeback, and look great with contemporary fixtures and a neutral colour scheme in the rest of the room.

Take a look at this bathroom reno featured in Country Living. Simple and cost-efficient.


And this one by Rachel at Just a Touch of Gray.  Love the blue floor in the renovated room.

Here are some other cool examples of refreshed bathrooms with vintage floors.

via Country Living
via Apartment Therapy

Gast Architects: Projects traditional bathroom

Slow down and think twice before demo day. Sustainable choices can be stylish!


  1. Terrific examples Kelly! I have to admit to loving the modern bathroom with the vintage flower flooring. Sometimes modern bathrooms come off feeling cold and uninviting. The original flooring in this particular space really warms up the space and gives it its own personality :-)

    We have an old bathroom but the original floors were pulled with UGLY flesh-coloured 12x12 tiles installed. We'll be gutting the space soon, but in the effort to support sustainability we're passing on our wonderful clawfoot tub. I'll miss it!!


  2. @Edins HouseI know, I just love that green vintage with the modern vanity. Yep, pretty tough to live with flesh coloured tile! Good luck with your reno, and make sure to post the after pics!

  3. This is such a great post on so many levels! It is nice to see old bathrooms given a fresh new look without changing them entirely.

  4. I love these examples! Doing our master ensuite now and I only WISH we had a lovely floor - like any of these, really. Unfortunately we have horrible, grungy, yellowed sheet vinyl with brown flowers. Your post is encouraging to me though, because we want our choice of new tiles to be something that will outlast trends and work for us now and in the future. Good info!

  5. The retro invasion has come back in the 20th century. I mean, its concept has been used discreetly for some time now. But it wasn't until recently when it became the choice of many in clothes, especially in home renovation. Tile companies should consider the trend in designing their products, as doing so would allow them to better grab the attention of consumers!

    Robbie Marinero

  6. I’ve been planning to renovate my bathroom and I have half a mind about replacing my bathroom tiles. It was the original tiles of the house, which was a decade old, but I think I should save it. I’m fond of the color of the old tiles and these examples just gave me a lot of ideas for the design. Thanks for sharing this! =)

    Chase Conely

  7. @Chase Conely

    So glad this helped inspire you! Good luck with keeping your tiles!


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