1960s pink bathroom remodel

by Terri
Here is the MASTER bathroom of the house we are in process of purchasing, any suggestions on how we can update with the current tiles?
  40 answers
  • Ginger Robinson Ginger Robinson on Nov 20, 2014
    I would get rid of the wallpaper and use a color on the walls to compliment the pink tiles. I would also get rid of the tiles on the counter. It won't be a big expense but that would make a huge difference. Paint the cabinets. Can't see the mirror and light fixture, but that might be a change to consider
  • Shari Shari on Nov 20, 2014
    Actually, there are probably more colors that go with pink than you realize. Browns, black, gray and greens, just to name a few, all look good with pink. However, since I personally detest tile and prefer to use it only where absolutely necessary (like in the shower), the first thing I would do would be to remove all the wall tiles except for whatever is in the shower. (You have no idea how much that towel bar to the right of the toilet is driving me crazy! lol) If your budget can handle new flooring (see my suggestion below), that would leave you with very little pink tile to work around--I'm assuming just in the shower and on the sink top. I would replace the existing tile with a beadboard treatment, either the *real* thing, or beadboard wallpaper. Some of the beadboard wallpapers are very realistic-looking. It is more affordable than real beadboard and super easy to work with. After the beadboard wallpaper is applied, it is suppose to be painted and if you used a semi-gloss paint, it would make the walls easy to wipe down, if necessary. If it were me, I would paint the beadboard (or beadboard wallpaper) white to lighten things up and then use a color of your choice on the upper half of the walls (where the wallpaper currently is). If you prefer to leave the wall tile, you might turn to the internet to check out tutorials on painting tile. There are probably posts right here on HomeTalk from people who have done it successfully. If you want an inexpensive flooring treatment to cover the floor tile, Home Depot carries a line of vinyl planks, Trafficmaster Allure, which works great in a wet environment like a bathroom. I have it in one of my bathrooms and absolutely love it. It is around $2.00/sq. ft. and it is an easy DIY project. To install it, you just need something to measure with and scissors or a utility knife to trim the vinyl planks. As Ginger mentioned, you might want to consider painting the cabinet base. Changing the hardware to something more current looking would help too. If the mirror is plain, it doesn't cost a lot to frame it out with some molding to dress it up. I would also highly recommend replacing the toilet. You would be surprised how one of the taller toilets in a modern design will make the bathroom look more current. Congratulations on the purchase of your new home, and good luck!
    • See 1 previous
    • Bernice H Bernice H on Apr 06, 2018

      Oh good gravy..just noticed this is from 2014....

  • Terri Terri on Nov 20, 2014
    Great ideas, thanks so much! My husband and I are not afraid to taking on projects like this. I am hoping to update the space without compromising the "personality" of the home. So as much as I dislike all the tile I am hoping and getting ideas of how to update the space with leaving the tiles in place and making the space more "liveable" to my tastes Thanks so much for the input, I look forward to reading all comments!
  • Melanie Melanie on Nov 20, 2014
    Is the rest of the house also vintage with a lot of original fixtures? If so, I'd leave it alone & play up the mid-century thing with a few cosmetic updates. Forget "relaxing spa" & go for more fun with some funky wallpaper in a retro print & new hardware. Add turquoise & trim things out in black for a '50s look or go with grays, silver, & burgundy for retro-chic. If you're really brave, think lime green & brighter pink, ala Lily Pulitzer. (Not sure that last suggestion would be hubby-approved, lol.)
    • Terri Terri on Nov 21, 2014
      @Melanie Yes the house is pretty much untouched since the 60's, this is a one owner home we are purchasing and are thrilled to be able to purchase it!
  • Terri Terri on Nov 20, 2014
    This actually is the home we are in process of purchasing in the next few weeks. We are going from a very traditional style home to a cool 1965 brick rancher. One owner home that really retains the 1965 vibe. So I want to be careful to retain the charm of that era but at the same time update what they started back in '65 :-)
  • Lola Lola on Nov 21, 2014
    I like the idea of removing the wallpaper and painting or replacing with a great retro wallpaper. I like the tile maybe update the whole vanity with retro fixtures, chrome and remove the towel bar
  • The Chirping Frog The Chirping Frog on Nov 21, 2014
    I saw a bathroom in a magazine that was black and white with pink.... it was a really great space.
  • Marion Nesbitt Marion Nesbitt on Nov 21, 2014
    Like the flooring. IWould remove tile from walls and paint and/or paper. If you ruff up the tiles around the shower, you can lay new tile over them. If you don't like the vanity top, you should be able to remove it without much problem and get a laminate in your new colour tones, Would definitely reposition the towel bar.
  • We had a similar color spectrum in our old house. We couldn't change it, due to cost. If you want to keep the tile, for whatever reason, I would suggest coastal inspiration. Paint the walls and go with sea glass (which would pick up on the floor tiles) and really light coastal colors.
  • Sharlene clair Sharlene clair on Nov 23, 2014
    We had a home with the original salmon pink tile. Yuc. There is a glossy surface primer that we painted over the tiles. The trick is to really really let this dry very well longer than what the instructions say. I would suggest one coat a day or every other day (3 coats) before you finally paint your tiles. I had went with a light beige and painted right over grout and all. Hung a wallpaper for where the bottom edge was not straight, leaves on trees hanging. I cut some of the leaves out of additional border and sporadically glued them on tiles. New floor and vanity. When we moved, that is the room I miss the most!!
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    • Marion Nesbitt Marion Nesbitt on Nov 25, 2014
      @Sharlene clair Thanks. Have a bathroom that has bright pink tiles with a flower in the centre. Fortunately, don't have to use this room very often because it makes me cringe, but will have to deal with it in case I sell. This primer would save a lot of time and aggravation.
  • Natasha Natasha on Dec 29, 2014
    I have a pink tiled retro bathroom and what i did was put up paintable wall paper that has some texture and painted the walls above the tile a nice dark egg plant. It came out really nice. And as much as I didnt love the pink tile because it was sooo outdated thanks to HGTV and so many other DIY-ers I have been inspired to work with what I have and beautify it making it my own. Good luck and have fun!
    • Karen Anderson Karen Anderson on Jul 21, 2015
      I like the idea of going with dark eggplant. I think that was the best suggestion I have ever heard to solving the problem of pink tile in the bathroom. I bet it looks wonderful.
  • Heliane Ripley Heliane Ripley on Jul 21, 2015
    You could work with the pink, or paint the tiles or cover them with bead board.
  • Lizzy L Lizzy L on Oct 21, 2016
    Those pink wall tiles are classic. I'd keep them, but probably redo the countertop in a solid surface, and the floor. I would also remove the wallpaper in favor of white paint.
  • Jud706938 Jud706938 on Dec 19, 2016

    paint the pink tile white to match the toilet and sink and then anything goes! Like the retro feel, keep the pink and go with a fun combo like browns and turquoise. Have fun!

  • Linda Linda on Dec 20, 2016

    I had the same pink in my 1947 California house. I went with black accents. Paint the floor tiles black and the vanity a darker contrasting pink. Nix the wallpaper. Very 1960's. That is, if you like black

  • Ellis Ellis on Dec 22, 2016

    Be wary of painting the tile. I live in a house that the previous owner painted over tile (ugly beige paint over a 50's turquoise), The paint is peeling like crazy, and we'll have to do something. The process of sanding and painting ruined the tile, so it's now a gut job. I would rather they left the old tile alone, and if I just changed out the vanity and mirror, it would be a retro-looking bathroom.

    Just go for a stunning wallpaper that complements the tile, and change out the vanity faucet, paint the cabinet front, new pulls, etc. Maybe hang a nice picture on the wall above the toilet, or an attractive cabinet or shelving?

  • Ginny Ginny on Jan 07, 2017

    I have a Cape Code built in 1955 with the same pink tiles trimmed in white in the only very small full bath in the house. I hated the pink at first but have come to like it. Found a wallpaper that I like (tulips) that picks up colors pink, blue, yellow and green on a white background; kept size of bathroom in mind when purchasing wallpaper. In your case, why would someone install beige floor tile in a primarily pink bathroom?


    • Find a wallpaper you like and pick up colors in towels, scatter rug and accessories.
    • Hang a cabinet or shelves over toilet for more storage.
    • Pick up a color from wallpaper and paint cabinets; change out hardware.
    • Remember that what goes around comes around, and pink bathrooms might be back in vogue in the next 10-15 yrs.
    • Take your time, and don't make hasty decisions you will regret.
    • Ellis Ellis on Jan 08, 2017

      My former pink and black bathroom had beige tub, sink and toilet...alloriginal from 1951!

  • Denise M. Babineau Denise M. Babineau on Jan 08, 2017

    My first place had that same pink tile in the only bathroom. We were renting so we couldn't do anything permanent to the tile, but we were allowed to change the gross, stained wallpaper. I scoured wallpaper books for a long time, but everything that that had some pink in it was way too floral and cutesy for my taste. Eventually, I found the perfect wallpaper which was a japanese style print of fans superimposed on each other with some gold, black, silver, cream, green burgundy and pink. It was expensive, but I only needed a few rolls because the bathroom was small. I went with an asian feel to the bathroom with the accessories and lack of clutter. I kept the clutter in a small chinoiserie type cabinet which I placed opposite the john with a bonsai on it. You might not consider pink when you think of an asian vibe to a room, but finding that wallpaper made all the difference in the world. Let me tell you, that it was GORGEOUS, and everyone who visited always remarked how beautiful the bathroom was. So, my best advice is to scour wallpaper books for a long time until you find exactly the right wallpaper. I also advise against painting the tiles unless you are planning on a gut job in the next couple of years. No matter how fantastic they look at the beginning, they will scratch and peel and look awful, unless you don't use the room. It's just a matter of time.

  • Charly Charly on Jan 08, 2017

    Paint the tiles. But......make sure you prime them first. I used Pinzer 1 2 3. Three coats. Let dry for 24 hours in between coats and then paint your choice of color. If you don't prime first then eventually the tiles will chip and peel. I did this to the tiles surrounding my tub which was an ugly emerald green and I have never had a problem. I did this 3 years ago and it sure saved me a lot of money. I also did this to the sink vanity top but I also put two coats of Polycrylic sealer on top because the sink gets more water splashes on it than the tile around the tub. Again no problems with it. Lots of time consuming steps but we'll worth it in the end.

  • Thomas Cain Thomas Cain on Jan 10, 2017

    Choose a color scheme that coordinates with pink and embrace it. Otherwise find a specialty paint to cover the wall tile, replace the countertop as an interim solution. There are also epoxy coatings used on bathtubs to regulate them that could be used here too.

  • Paula Marie Hyde Paula Marie Hyde on Jan 10, 2017

    I'm one of those folks that like the pink tile too. LOL I think pink and grey are a nice contrast. Honestly, if my house had pink tile, that's what I would do. I also like the idea of pink and green...like a mint or aqua green...even a sage green maybe. Though...I guess you run the risk of making your bathroom look like an Andes mint. lol

  • Nancy Nancy on Jan 10, 2017

    I live in a 1937 home with a bathroom with peach tile and black trim. Luckily every tile is perfect. Everyone in my neighborhood has similar color combinations in their Bungalows. Some homeowners have tried to paint these old ceramic tiles with no luck whatsoever, especially in the shower area. If you plan to remove the tiles, you will have to go to the studs. The tiles are usually adhered to a steel mesh on concrete.

    • Connie Connie on Jan 18, 2017

      Just beautiful!! Love to see old tiles still in good shape and so lovely!

  • Nancy Nancy on Jan 10, 2017

    Check out Retro Renovation website for inspiration.

  • Nancy Nancy on Jan 10, 2017

    This is my 1937 original floor in great condition. I had to learn to love this bathroom. The workmanship and tiles were too perfect to tear out.

  • Irene Gronewald Irene Gronewald on Jan 15, 2017

    well i see 3 types of tile right off the bat...flloor , counter, wall...hmmm there is a tile paint product...maybe white or cream ...get rid of wall paper..paint neutral beige ...or a nice green..which your floor tile would not contrast with...the patterns...lines of tile also pull the eyes at it...beadboard an potion...1/2 way up wall...assuming you want to keep floor wall and counter top in same materials..could tile paint floor also..but i have never done that several peeps have done tiles...succesfully...good luck

  • Linda Santo Linda Santo on Jan 15, 2017

    savethepinkbathrooms.com or retrorenovation.com Embrace the pink-lots of wonderful ideas here. No matter what you do to paint the tiles, you may regret it in the long run. Please resist the urge to change things right away. Live in the house, get used to the house-then decide. Good luck.

  • Eroque022810 Eroque022810 on Jan 15, 2017

    I love that vintage look but I get you dont. I would remove wall paper and floor tile I would also remove vanity sink that has tile. But I would keep the pink tiles on walls and since you lucked out and have white toilet I would get vintage area tiles in white with black to keep the look more modern I would trim out the tile in white or black and paint walls in white or dove grey. Grey and pink look beautiful together. But floor need to go and so does wall paper. I hop tub is white otherwise your going to gut it and that's expensive. If floor is vynal then remove and replace with a different vynal one it won't grow mold. That floor is so out of place make sure that if they had a leak that it was fixed by a professional person and that they have the receipt.

  • Eroque022810 Eroque022810 on Jan 15, 2017

    If you really just don't like it don't buy this house because you will regret it every morning and evening going into it and you will kick yourself. So unless you have the money to gut it don't purchase this house this is a red flag.

  • Connie Connie on Jan 18, 2017

    I wish I could've saved mine although they were only from 1960 but they were in bad shape. We had to have the whole bathroom redone. If they are in good shape and you can embrace retro that would be ideal but if not maybe paint as some have suggested.

  • C Veazey C Veazey on Jan 18, 2017

    If you just totally hate it, cover it up! Place adhesive stone tile over the old tile and use peel n stick tile for floor...cheap fix

  • Loretta Loretta on Jan 29, 2017

    Lots of ideas here. if you are willing to keep the pink tiles then you could paint the to

    half like it is in one of the retro pics, a taupe? If there is grey in the floor tiles and they are in good shape and you want to keep, then go with grey on the walls. If not, do some nice stones tiles,mor they have some porcelain tiles that look like stone and are beautiful. Definitely need to remove the vanity I believe, think the cupbaords are not the greatest. So it depends on what shape things are in and what you are willing to keep. I am not a great fan of pink, but you have to admit those retro bathrooms,look pretty nice! If you do not want the pink tile, I think placing bead board over it is your most practical so.ution. I would.not paint them or try to place anything else "on" them. just cover them and start from scratch.

  • Sharlene clair Sharlene clair on Jan 30, 2017

    We used a primer specifically for tiles or shiny surfaces (oven, fridge, etc). . I strongly suggest one coat a day for 3 days. It worked. then we followed up with paint. used a scalloped like wallpaper border in this room and I cut out parts of the flowers and sporadically glued them on tiles throughout. We don't live there anymore, but I sure wish I had a picture. The key was really allowing the primer to dry thoroughly. It said 3 coats in one day. No. Make it several days. New vanity, eventually new floor, I loved this room. Makeover gift from my daughtnlaw!!

  • Diana Deiley Diana Deiley on Jan 30, 2017

    I'm with a couple of the ladies who suggested to live in the house first and not rush into anything, and the other suggestion to cover it up if you can't live with the pink. Great ideas from both. Save your money for now and check out your local Habitat and resale stores for bargains. Paint is the least expensive way to change the room for now. Best of luck.

  • I have to say I could not live with the pink personally I say cover up the wall tile they have stick on tile works great in moist applications and it'll go right over top of the tile comes in many different colors the flooring not so sure that may have to be tiled over or ripped out and definitely get rid of the wallpaper and paint... I would rip out the cabinet and counter and put in a Furniture piece with legs that you can see under you can find them on Wayfair and all kinds of places they're very nice attractive pieces they come in many different colors you can put in white you can put in Wood tone I absolutely refuse to put floor cabinets in anything anymore due to water leaks...and floor cabinets tend to close off the room make it look smaller... we opted for inexpensive pedestal sinks based on the room being small instead of doing two separate cabinets ....this is a piece we put in our bathroom it's an antique.. please excuse the Valentine decorations for my husband's morning LOL

    • Soon I hope to get a piece of granite to go across the top of my antique furniture as my husband spilled something on the top and damaged it that's why there's a cover on it

  • Carol Ann Carol Ann on Jul 03, 2017

    Keep it! Retro is trendy! Maybe do a tropical theme. Add in some soft yellow and shades of coral. Even some shades of pale green. Oh what I could do with that room!!

  • Barb Barb on Jul 03, 2017

    Heres my spin on your project and I'll upload pictures for the visual. Remove all wall paper, window put plantation shutters in. The sink paint bottom and add new top marble etc with hardware. Add mirror tall and not much wider than the sink basen and add sconces. Paint the top portion except for behind sink area and keep the pink tiles. Add palm plant in corner near toilet and I'm not sure if that wall is flat across from window if so add a rattan stand. Add long rug or sub floor and place wood like flooring down. Heres are the pics😉

  • Catherine Geis Catherine Geis on Nov 10, 2017

    paint them a clean, crisp white

  • Kathy Kathy on Aug 16, 2021

    I am about to close on a house with 1960's white tiles with that same exact wallpaper. The house has 4 bathrooms which all have 1960's tile...pink, tan, blue and white. The tubs, sinks, toilets, floors and countertops are all the same colors as the tile in the room. I can't decide if I want to keep that wallpaper like yours or take it down. I kind of like the idea of keeping the bathrooms all retro. All of the wallpaper in the bathrooms are in perfect shape. I hate the wallpaper in two of the bathrooms. I will be taking those two rooms down. The blue bathroom has the same starburst pattern as the formica on the countertop. It is definitely 1960's retro. I can't wait to start fixing it all up!

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Jul 31, 2023

    Tile covers or Transfers would make a difference.

  • Mogie Mogie on Aug 06, 2023

    Remove the wall paper and paint the walls.

    New hardware.

    Do you have flooring? If so what color and or type?

    Do you need more light or less in your bathroom?