The Classics: Mid-Century Tile in a Modern World

Perfect peach...vintage tiles in mid-century Seattle home kitchen

If you are lucky enough to have the original tiles in your mid-century home, I beg you — do not remove them! Granite countertops in the kitchen and bathroom and artistic mosaic tile designs in the shower are all the rage now, but to maintain the integrity of your mid-century home, original tiles are the “bee’s knees.” While it’s not as simple as running to The Home Depot to find a match, there are plenty of local area resources and contractors that can assist with the task of replacing any cracked or missing tiles no matter how big or small. (You might be seeing big dollar signs in your head, but keep in mind that replacing missing or damaged tiles will reduce your environmental impact…a bigger payoff for the Earth in the long-run!)

In need of a few repairs...vintage tile in mid-century Seattle home kitchen

Scouring the internet for ideas, the best resource I found was Retro Renovation’s blog article about the amazing collection of authentic vintage tiles at World of Tile in Springfield, New Jersey. Don’t want to trek out to the Garden State? You can email send Chippy (yes, that’s the co-owner’s name…how fitting!) at World of Tile with a photo a sample of the tile(s) you need replaced.

If you live in the Seattle area and enjoy sleuthing around architectural salvage yards for treasures, be sure to head over to Second Use in South Park, Earthwise in SoDo, and RE Store in Ballard. Earthwise and Second Use also have additional resources for salvage junkies. Live in other parts of the country? Check out the list of salvage yards compiled by (scroll down to bullet #5).

The classics always have a spot in today’s modern world. I have the proof! Like the beautiful blues in this mid-century Seattle home’s bathroom…

Beautiful blues...vintage tiles in mid-century Seattle home bathroom

And this marvelous mint surrounding a tub…

Marvelous mint...vintage tile in mid-century Seattle home bathroom


About Roger J. Morris

Real estate broker, mid-century home devotee, world traveler, gardener, sports fan
This entry was posted in mid-century homes and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to The Classics: Mid-Century Tile in a Modern World

  1. pam kueber says:

    Hi, thanks for carrying the preservation torch. Please know, though: Chippy does not want photos – she needs actual samples to match properly. Photos just do not provide enough detail.

  2. Melly says:

    Where did you get pictures of my kitchen and bath? Thanks for this post – hugely helpful when for years I’ve heard tile shop personnel tell me there is no way to match and restore. I hope Chippy can come through!

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