Another big bonus: it was very customizable, as you can see here in this eclectic collection of vintage 1960s bathroom tile design ideas.
The most popular bathroom color schemes from the 1960s
Article from the Boston Globe (Massachusetts) July 17, 1960
From 1960: According to the Tile Council of America, one of the most popular color motifs in American bathrooms is red, white and blue — red shower and window curtains, blue-glazed ceramic wall tile, and white porcelain fixtures.
1. Black and white buffalo plaid tile pattern with red accents (1967)
The revolution in bathroom design (1967)
Article from the Arizona Daily Star (Tucson, Arizona) December 2, 1967
Today’s bathroom has traveled a long way from that Saturday night scrub in a portable kitchen tub, that was about all a bath meant to most Americans at the turn of the century.
The building boom of the 1920s established the ceramic tile bathroom as an essential of the house.
Then the single bath in the home became two — and at present, it’s two-and-a-half, three or more.
Even the size of the bath is changing. Standard for some forty years, the 5-by-7-foot bath is bursting its dimensions into compartmented units of great variety.
2. Elevated tiled bath platform from 1967
Showers, at first joined to the tub in cooperative life, now frequently stand in their own enclosures.
The traditional white ceramic tile of the ’20s — four-and-a-quarter-inch-square wall tiles and small hexagonals on the floor — has largely disappeared in a colorful profusion of new tile shapes, sizes and textures.
Bright colors, muted colors glazed, unglazed, patterned sculptured, square, rectangular and irregularly shaped tiles are available to meet any bathroom decorating scheme.
3. Blue and white stripes of wall tile, matched with brown & beige
New ideas for the bath are not only changing size and decor, but even function. Appliances already on the market can turn tub into a therapeutic whirlpool and a shower into a steam room.
Saunas, laundry corners, built-in hairdryers, dressing compartments, sun decks, gardens and gymnasiums are all part of the bathroom complex in some of today’s homes.
The master bathroom, children’s bathroom, guest bathroom, is becoming as essential to new homes as that single 5-by-7 foot room was in the ’20s. Even a single bathroom is diversified in the modern trend.
4. Unique round modern-style vintage bathroom design (1961)
The room itself looks like a half-circle, and the orange sunken tub is round, the shower enclosure is rounded, and the dressing table is a semi-circle.
5. Cool blue bathroom decor with accent tiles
Beauty and versatility are permanent qualities of Romany-Spartan ceramic tile. In this bath, for example, the atmosphere is cool and sedate, yet somehow warmly elegant.
The effect is achieved with a floor of blue and white ceramic mosaic stripes, and walls shimmering with tasteful white tiles punctuated by random use of a decorative Fleur de Lis.
6. Unique bath-shower enclosure with mosaic tile (1960)
7. Blue and white tile based on an Eszter Haraszty stylized poppy design (1966)
Find out more about artist Eszter Haraszty here.
8. Retro blue and white bathroom with toile accents
9. Sixties blue and teal colored bathroom
10. Vintage light blue small square mosaic tile on bathroom walls, stall, floor
11. Light blue tile plus floral retro bathroom design
12. Beautiful large mosaic tile mountain art over bathtub (1965)
13. Light blue vintage bath fixtures with mosaic tile walls and dark blue carpet (1966)
14. Parchment beige vintage 1960s bathroom suite with blue mosaic tile walls (1965)
15. Blue tiled shower enclosure with small square bathtub
16. Square mosaic tile in shades of green paired with blue vintage bathroom fixtures
17. Purple tile accents in a vintage 1960s bathroom
18. Purple floral retro bathroom with decorated sinks and tile
19. Tiled vintage bathroom with matching sink and faucet handles (1966)
Sink handle colors available in tawny beige, carnation pink, lucerne blue, azore green, citro, lavender/lilac, and chrome.
20. American Olean pink tile: Bathroom beauty at your fingertips! (1962)
With tile’s wealth of color and design at your command, there’s no reason why your bathrooms shouldn’t be as distinctive as you wish — reflecting your own tastes and practical needs.
And it costs no more with tile. The bathroom [below] looks like a custom installation, yet it uses only standard American Olean tiles.
The few decorated tiles in the tub area add an immediate touch of individuality at very little extra cost. Crystalline glazed and scored tile adds the warmth of texture.
See how the lovely rose tones of the Sea Shell decorated tile are picked up and repeated on walls, counter-tops and in the Precedent ceramic mosaic floor, bringing color unity to the overall scheme.
Tub Wall: scored design SD-4, 365 Cr. White, with decorated inserts Shell V-1. Vanity wall: 23 Pink Blush. Countertop: SD-1, 355 Cr. Pink. Floor: Precedent ceramic mosaics, pattern P50-3191. Plate 130.
21. Retro 1960s pink white and red tiled bathroom decor
22. A peachy pink bathroom with lots of tile (1962)
23. Vintage ’60s themed bathroom decor with earth-toned tiles
24. Retro bathroom style with navy and green tiles
25. Vintage cool-toned tiled bathroom decor (1962)
26. Retro Spanish-style green and white diamond-shaped tile designs (1968)
The carved door stained green is a particularly powerful design element.
27. Retro bathroom suite in lime green with beige accents
28. ’60s tiled bathroom in blue and green
29. Tile for less than $200 makes the difference (1961)
In the average, modest-sized bath (5-1/2 x 7′) less than $200 makes the lifetime difference between substitute materials and carefree ceramic tile.
And what a beautiful difference! Sparking colors that never fade. Surface that’s scratchproof, waterproof, stainproof, and never needs waxing.
This bathroom: Before tile remodel
This bathroom: After update
No other material adds so much to your home — not just in style and satisfaction, but actual dollar value. So if you’re planning to buy, build or remodel, look for the lifetime economy of ceramic tile.
30. Vintage yellow tiled bathroom (1969)
31. Yellow patterned wall tiles around a bathtub (1962)
32. Fancy gold bathroom decor with patterned tile and sink from the 60s
33. Yellow angled bathroom design (1962)
The angle of wood cabinets, repeated in the luminous ceiling panel, establishes the unusual design of this well-planned bathroom with ample space for two.
34. Retro garden-style 60s bathroom decor
35. Sunny garden-style bath with plants & tiled open shower (1962)
This bathing compartment that adjoins the master bedroom is filled with luminous overhead light, and seems a continuous part of the garden court.
Here… roof sheathing was omitted, and the spaces between the laminated ribs filled with sheets of translucent plastic.
36. Pomona-American Olean beige-yellow bathroom tile with pale purple sink (1967)
37. Muted brown and white tile bathroom with circle pattern tiles (1966)
38. Vintage beige bathroom suite with blue & white accents
39. Beige-brown vintage bathroom with accent tiles and sunken tub (1964)
40. Vintage 1960s brown, cream and forest green tiled bathroom
41. Brown quarry tiles throughout this bathroom (1968)
42. Light earth-toned ceramic mosaic tile vintage 60s bathroom decor
43. Two views of eye-popping red and black vintage bathroom tile design ideas
44. Creative geometric swirl patterns made of black tile with white mortar
45. Dark blue tile bathroom stall from 1969
46 & 47. Two vintage powder rooms from 1964
48. Late sixties bathroom design with tiled shower wall over bath (1969)
49. Hexagonal bathroom tiles on two-sided bathroom sink island
50. Bright blue-tiled vintage ’60s bathroom decor (1969)
BONUS. Retro 1960s ceramic tile design options
These are just a few of American Olean’s new, colorful 4-1/4- by 4-1/4-inch decorated inserts and strips. (Designs are Americana M-2, decanters W-4, Sea Horse Z-4, Medallion F-11, Marina X-2, SunGlo AE-3, Snowflakes P-13, Tiara E-1, AM-9, and AL-5.)
Sparklets are miniature scored tiles, small grooved pieces that are inserted into cut-out sections of larger scored tiles. Sparklets are designed for use as accent touches in a scored tile wall. They may be spotted at random or grouped in patterns to form bright flashes of decorative color.
Sparklets are made in the nine American Olean color families and in the five scored designs which are shown below. (Pink, Cobalt, Buckwheat, and AK-6)
MORE BATHROOMS, LESS TILE: 60 vintage ’60s bathrooms: Retro home decorating ideas