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So confused!! Powder Blue 1950’s Bathroom.

Carla Garcia
last year

Hello. I have a outdated 1950’s bathroom with a powder blue bath tub, counter tops and sink. As much as I want to tear everything out and remodel my bathroom. I’m financial unable to at this moment, however, I need to redo the flooring. I just don’t know what color, pattern, style to choose. There are so many options and I don’t have a theme just working around what I have. Any suggestions on flooring and color to do with the powder blue?

Comments (46)

  • PRO
    JudyG Designs
    last year
    last modified: last year

    Paint the walls the same blue as the counter top. LOL, this may be the color, coincidence?

    B.M. Blue Porcelain. The reason I am suggesting a blue is so the backsplash tiles and the wall above it blend together.



    Paint the vanity B.M. Eclipse:



    Paint the floor B.M. Mysterious:



    Materials Needed:
    (1) bottle of TSP cleaner
    cleaning supplies – vacuum, bucket of water, rubber gloves, rag, scrub brush
    (1) orbital sander with 320 grit sanding discs
    (1) roll of painters tape
    paint supplies – tarps, paint trays, 2” paint brush, disposable gloves
    (1) package of shoe covers for painting
    (1) 4-8ft extension painters pole
    (3) micro plus 5/16” nap 9” rollers
    (1) small 4” foam roller
    (1) large 12x12 stencil (we used Nagoya design)
    (1) gallon bonding primer
    (1) gallon of porch and floor paint in base color


    from a DIY blog


  • Robin Rosenberg
    last year

    For a quick (temporary) flooring fix try a vinyl self stick wall covering available at Home Depot or Lowe’s in a grey woodgrain pattern.

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  • Robin Rosenberg
    last year

    Then paint everything else white.

  • cat_ky
    last year

    I also think the vinyl stick luxury type tiles, would be a big plus for your bathroom. I love the retro blue, and think the bathroom is really cute. I would however, make sure the vanity is white and paint the walls white. It will brighten it all up and look fresh and clean.

  • tartanmeup
    last year

    I'd want a plain white floor and would look into vinyl sheet flooring. Affordable and easy to maintain with no grout lines.

  • dlreber
    last year

    I agree with painting walls similar to blue vanity tile. I thought my paint guru was crazy when she suggested same thing with a similar dated bath. Instead of making the tile stand out ( if you use white) it blended it, made it disappear more into decor. She did do a textured look- two colors patted on with rag I think.


  • PRO
    Lisa Caudill Designs
    last year

    what colors are in the accent tile around the tub?

  • Carla Garcia
    Original Author
    last year

    Different shades of blue.

  • Carla Garcia
    Original Author
    last year

    This is what is around the tub.

  • dee_mckervey
    last year

    Home depot also has planks that have an adhesive strip down the side which are very easy to install. You end up with a very forgiving floating floor it is a light grey wood look which you may not like, but they may have a tile look too?

  • PRO
    Lisa Caudill Designs
    last year

    The options are great. I would paint your walls and any trim a white that matches the tub tile surround.

    Using white as your base and then pools if the different blues in combination.

  • PRO
    Lisa Caudill Designs
    last year

    pull in the different blues*

  • PRO
    Lisa Caudill Designs
    last year

    mix and match the towels on display to pull in the colors. together.

  • PRO
    Lisa Caudill Designs
    last year

    If your cabinet base is not the same white paint it as well that same white.

  • Carla Garcia
    Original Author
    last year

    Thank you all for the great ideas. You’ve steered me in the right direction. I think my husband and I have a project a head of us, can’t wait to post pics. Please keep the those ideas coming!

  • Kimberly S
    last year

    You can also paint the tiles and tub. We did this with an outdated condo. The tile and tub were originally a powder pink and we painted it white. It turned out very well! It wasn’t going to be featured in Veranda or Milieu, but it was a wonderful option for the limited budget. I would recommend against the stick on and laminate tile options mentioned above. I know they are appealing because of the price, but they are aesthetically displeasing, they don’t feel substantial under bare feet, and they are already looking dated (they are to the early 2010s what that blue bath was to the 60’s). Consider Peacock Pavers, which are cement pavers that go for around $5/ft. They have various colors and beautiful styles to choose from. Good luck!

  • PRO
    Carol Designs
    last year

    I think a black and white tile floor would look great with white walls and cabinets. Then you can use other blue accents.

  • Kate Schulz
    last year

    I had the same problem but add 1967 floral wallpaper that was teal and powder blue. After a week of scraping and refinishing I painted the walls and vanity white and changed out silver/chrome fixtures for black. The tiles I want are white ceramic with a blue design.

  • Heather Neitzke
    last year

    I would use commercial sheet linoleum, no seams. vintage 50’s look, with specks of color that pick up tones in accent tile in tub surround. Armstrong used to make but i think there are a lot more companies now.

    the product i am familiar with you had to wax On occasio.


  • Kathy Smith
    last year

    Keep the tiles and tub if you can. Vintage bathrooms are very popular and can boost the value of your home.

  • husterd
    last year

    I had similar 60’s bath in green with black trim. A new ceramic “vintage style” floor will do wonders. EX. penny tile in white, anything might have used back then. Work with the blue and the vintage not against it with either paint or wallpaper. Same as tiles white vanity. Using half measures, sticks ons, or vinyls will just look out of place and shabby in short time. The floor is small, tiles relatively cheap, the labor the cost. My hated guest bath now gets compliments and “how cute.” Yours has more potential than mine did to be lovely.

  • Dione Williams
    last year

    Love all the ideas, but they are not cheap.

    What is your budget? What are the flooring issues?

    I hope you consider your long term remodeling within your quick fix. I would only spend money on items that fit into the long term scheme so as not to waste money. You can entirely change the look with textiles and accessories.

  • Pat Germain
    last year

    Rock that blue bathtub. This was my, “oops, my renovation budget is gone” solution to my tiny bathroom. Can you replace the counter?

  • lazidazi
    last year

    Kathy Smith [above] gave a sentiment of mine. Altho "outdated", a 1950's home is extremely well built - no comparison to materials and their application, to today's new homes. Try to keep this in mind when considering removing that bathroom.


    What you have: Quality porcelain sink; quality tile and quality installation of same [I'd bet your tile is done over concrete and lathe]; real wood vanity. To my notion, these are not little things; they are things that speak to longevity, lasting another 50 years.


    It looks like the existing floor is linoleum. I would remove it and replace with ceramic or porcelain tile. Husterd [above] said it well, " A new ceramic “vintage style” floor will do wonders." I would Not recommend painting it or laying anything else on top of it.


    Using black [or blk and wht] on the floor and black possibly even on the vanity I think would work. The tile inlay around the tub is gorgeous; take your color cues from it.

  • nolanirvana
    last year

    I would go with a vinyl sheet floor. That is an inexpensive diy fix. Later when you have the funds to renovate the entire bath, you can use tile. If you put a tile down now, you are limiting yourself to the current footprint of the layout. What if you want to change the size or location of vanity, tub, etc?

  • hollywaterfall
    last year

    Blue is my favorite color-I would be thrilled! I personally would go with a beachy theme. You have light blue tub, sink, etc. So add some teal or cream or sea green paint and some accessories. A wide plank vinyl flooring in a sandy tone would work to complement that. Alternately, you could do crisp white and dark blues but in a small bathroom that might be TOO much. The complement on the color wheel is orange/blue so maybe a coral peachy color would be a way to go also.

  • PRO
    Uplift, LLC
    last year

    I would take off tile vanity top. Are you and your husband handy? You can make a new top, from MDF covered in epoxy, or plywood and concrete or wood. Or, buy a new vanity with top. Then, possibly go with the blue or white theme. You can also paint the hardware and faucet with matte black from rustoleum(in the can), and then clear coat it.

  • lazidazi
    last year

    Wow - the suggestion of replacing premium quality Tile with anything MDF is atrocious.

    MDF is particle board, hardly a premium product. Please do not follow the advice above to use it.

  • husterd
    last year

    More thoughts from my tiny 50’s bathroom: New vanity hardware. Over time when funds allow a “vintage style faucet,” the shower head an easy fix with a combo head and hand held that just screws in. My tub faucets became a problem and plumber was able to replace and bring up to safety code with a single lever with out much trouble. I even regrouted the tile myself so nice and clean. I did the improvements over several years. This past year I was going to do a gut rehab. Everyone including the builder said why? It looks very nice, the materials solid much better than now, and retro back in. So kept it. The floor is key to liking it - simple vintage style.

  • frustratedgirl
    last year

    I would paint out your vanity in a charcoal grey or black. Use a white penny til for the flooring, give the walls a white coat of paint and bring in a black white shower curtain. I’m not sure what your budget is, but there are companies that will resurface your tub and sink to a white shade.
    All the best transforming your space!

  • sharpmarymd
    last year

    1. I'm in the save the tile school. you will never get equivalent quality.

    2. what is the aesthetic of the rest of your house? sleek modern? cozy cottage? fifties claustrophobic or fifties cool?

    3. If you are still unsure what direction you're going with the rest of the house, go with some adventure/cheap color play. Love JudyGdesign suggestion but could consider spring green for cabinet base and new hardware.

    4. The floor is a major commitment so get some inexpensive contact paper and try different colors to see how the colors "feel". If green, matching the cabinet green makes the space hum, then you can confidently go ahead with a more permanent tile/ vinyl/ composite flooring.

    5. Agree with possible bounce from a few rolls of wall paper, but can often make a small room feel too busy. proceed with caution.

    6. Often colors that we don't think would work in a small space like bathroom can work if lighting is addressed. Not sure what kind of natural lighting is available but maximizing light sources will improve any bathroom. Consider warm yellow bulbs unless you do make up in there, in which case you want to have some full spectrum light available or risk going out in to true day light looking like a peach or summer squash. Please have some fun!

  • Jo Mader
    last year

    wow your bathroom has so much potential!
    not knowing what the rest of the house looks like and just going on those 2 pictures you shared and the thought that you have a tight budget...

    i would keep the tub and tile and sink and counter.
    paint the window black or whatever that darker color is in the tub tile. (might think im crazy, but could you paint the grout gold or black as well?.... 🤔)
    add lighting to that bathtub! (do not skip this... you will thank me) those cabinets are so nostalgia to me... 🤣 if you really really dont like them, replace just the fronts maybe and their hardware. id keep it white depending on the colors you choose for the floor. otherwise a dark wood could look lovely with that powder blue and look like a stand alone piece of furniture.
    I have no thoughts on the floor right now, but I like others idea of using a feature wall- doing wallpaper could bring in a lot of character to this bathroom and tie everything together.
    Gold... is my other thought. gold faucets and light fixtures would be awesome in here. play this up with the mirror frame as well.
    ceiling- everyone gets creative with walls and floors but forget about this huge blank canvas. this area could also help you change this bathroom from retro to farmhouse, to maximalist, to ... endless possibilities.
    copper or tin ceiling tiles could add to that old age feel.
    Tongue and groove/beadboard for a downhome country feel.
    White ceiling tiles could add a more refined royalty touch.
    im so excited for you and your bathrooms new adventure! it has great "bones" cant wait to see the end result!

  • Jo Mader
    last year

    oh my gosh, I just seen the close up of the blue tile in your bathtub! 😱😱😱 that is gorgeous! I'd use that as your inspiration for the rest of the bathroom! please dont get rid of that. oh.. the light fixtures, if you could find a broken glass style to match /highlight this.. would be amazing

  • tartanmeup
    last year

    FWIW, I suspect the bath tile surround isn't original and the wood vanity has been DIY-painted. Not every wood vanity was well-built and I wouldn't cry over replacing a tile countertop because grout can be a pita to clean. I'm all for salvaging worthy vintage elements but I doubt this bathroom is 100% authentic.


    In any case, budget often dictates reno options so unless we know the flooring budget, we can only suggest options. @nolanirvana brings up a good point about tile limiting a possible layout change down the road.

  • sharpmarymd
    last year

    please remember that bathrooms have special functions that involve lots of humidity. the more you add to a bathroom the more surface area you are providing for mold. laying new surfaces over old surfaces just provides a whole cavern for dark loving mold to proliferate.

  • sjabd5
    last year

    I have that same blue tub with matching sink at the house my grandfather built in the 1950's, although my countertop is white tile. I have a couple suggestions.

    First: I used this Tarkett product for flooring:

    https://www.floorcity.com/collections/iq-optima-homogeneous-sheet

    I ordered it through Linoleum City in Los Angeles and used the person they referred me to for installation. I used "Periwinkle" but you could use "Morning Sky" or "Poipu Beach", too. It gives the classic look of linoleum but is a commercial product which is more waterproof, doesn't require any special treatment. Its been great.


    Here's another (cheaper) option I considered, complete with DIY instructions. Its another Tarkett sheet vinyl product, but I've seen it in flooring stores where you can buy it off the roll. I think it would look great in a "retro" bathroom:

    https://residential.tarkett.com/en_US/collection-C000477-easy-living/rich-onyx-grey-14361
    Instructions: https://www.decoradventures.com/install-sheet-vinyl-floor/


    I kept the vanity white and the walls are Benjamin Moore "Constellation" AF-540. Looks great!

  • erin atencio
    last year

    black vinyl for floor or a penny tile, white or black. I love you tub/shower area!!

  • Julie Schmooley
    last year

    It’s hard to tell by the photos if the tub and counter are the exact same blue? I’m assuming and hoping so! I found this image online, if it’s possible to get the blue to match this could be a great route to go for tile. Otherwise similar but in white and black, it’s classic and can’t go wrong! I would avoid white grout shows so much dirt, but I think they even make blue grout!

  • zhenkamama
    last year

    I'd paint the vanity the same deep blue-green shade as the large squares in the beautiful accent tile in the tub area.

  • J-Cali 9B
    last year
    last modified: last year

    As the owner of a vintage bathroom I recommend embracing it! Clean and polish the blue fixtures so they shine (don't use harsh chemicals that could damage the surface, and when in doubt, test on an inconspicuous area). Paint the vanity with semigloss warm white and the walls with a satin off white that's a shade more color for contrast. Then spend your money to replace the floor if it's awful, or if you can't afford it, get a rug and save up for what you want instead of a cheap looking low quality fix. You can add your style and contrast with modern vanity knobs if you like (but save the original vintage ones and put them back before you sell). Contrast the nicely preserved vintage fixtures with your choice of shower curtain, towels, rugs, soap dish, etc. Way more economical than remodeling and you can change it easily to a different style later. Please don't paint vintage tile or porcelain! The posters are correct when they say that vintage construction is in demand and higher quality than new construction or cheap fixes. Don't forget to take before and after pictures for your scrapbook and post them! I'm adding examples of vintage style flooring from Home Depot.

  • J-Cali 9B
    last year
    last modified: last year





  • husterd
    last year

    Clean and clean some more your sink, tiles and tub with a non scratch liquid cleaner. NO grit. I use Scrubbing Bubbles spray foam. Spray, let sit, spray again. Will take several times depending on condition,until shiny. Don’t give up. Then “Gel Gloss “cleaner and polisher (Home Depot). Follow directions, let dry and then polish to a shine. Gel Gloss is almost like a wax. It protects and the water just glides over it. It will make daily/weekly clean up so much easier. Depending on use Gel Gloss again once or twice a year. A friend who bought a rental thought she would have to install new fiberglass
    tub and surround, fiberglass loves this product, after hard work and lots of bubbles followed by the Gel Gloss it looked new again. The grout, bleach and a toothbrush or regrout:(

  • lenachristina
    last year

    Those wall tiles are fabulous! Even if you had the money to do a total remodel, I wouldn't want to remove them. Once gone, you'll never get them back. There is a beautiful vintage look to them. Please show us your changes once completed. Lots of great paint ideas on the thread.

  • Nancy in Mich
    last year

    Those wall tiles are not 1950s vintage. First, they are subways. The 50s were mostly square tiles, like on your sink. Second, there were no lines of accent tiles like that. Accent lines were just above the field tile and under the bullnose (or rounded edge) tile. The blue in the shower is different from the bathtub in, not a 1950s color at all. Tub and sink being off from each other is fairly common. I am going to bet the shower was in the same tile as your countertop, but got moldy grout and chipped tile or a leak, and someone replaced it in this century. Given that, you are free to do whatever you want to do. Since you can’t afford to redo, just get the least expensive flooring that looks good. Do you have to remove the subfloor due to leaking? If not, then you may well find a tile floor under the sheet flooring that seems to be in your photos. It may be salvageable if you like it and the subfloor is good.

  • Addie Abrams
    last year

    I'm actually also renovating a dated bathroom myself, although mine is a mauve pink and I have no choice but to remove the bath and the sink because of the tininess of the way they were built back then and because I need a walk-in shower for health reasons. So I've been doing my research. Keep in mind with my advice, I'm using a contractor.


    Does the floor need to be removed or do you just not like it? Because if you don't need to remove it you can just put a new floor over it which will save a ton of time and money, especially since this is one of those jobs that unless you have experience doing you're much better off going with a professional because you could damage the floor underneath. Also, if the floor is already damaged underneath it won't be an issue if you don't remove the current flooring and a professional will be able to recognize it. I'm managing to not remove my floor and it's saving me about $3000.


    I haven't decided whether or not to put a new floor over the old one, but if I do it will probably be with removable tiles because they are just that, removable. They are cheap, and easy to install and remove, so if I ever decide I want to mix things up in my bathroom I can always just pull them up and redo the floor. Also, they won't damage the original tile, which is in good condition, so if I ever want to sell I can pull them up then as well. If you need to replace the floor, or don't want to go with the removable tiles then there are tons of options you can go with that are inexpensive, some of which are also easy to self-install. I really liked the idea above of the black and white checkerboard floor; you're not going to get your bathroom to not have a vintage vibe, you should embrace it and play it up.


    I'd keep the tile as is. I don't love the blue line, but it's too difficult to remove and replace just that line and too expensive to replace all of it just for that. Live with it with the rest of the changes and see how you feel, you can always redo the tile later.


    I'd also keep the vanity, but I'd sand and repaint the bottom. Keep it white, but go with one with a warmer undertone, like Clare's Whipped or Timeless. I'd paint the trim and the windowsills black to go with the floor, put in some wainscotting in the same white to about 4 feet and above that I'd go with removable wallpaper with a matching blue background with a floral or nature-based pattern(removable for the same reason as the floor, but if you find one you really like you can have it done permanently). Have it be something that pays homage to the 50s and 60s. See if you can get samples of a few different ones and stick them on the walls before you renovate to see what you like.


    IF YOU TAKE ONE PIECE OF ADVICE TAKE THIS ONE:

    Change your medicine cabinets (ditch them for mirror if you have enough space), change your faucets, change your cabinet hardware, change your window dressings (or get frosted glass windows and ditch the window dressings), change your light fixtures (and check to make sure they shine on your face properly to shave and put on makeup). I cannot impress upon you how much of a difference these little things make. Do these things first and then see what you can live with.

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