Retro renovations


Tile: Go retro.
Why: Add an easy dash of cool.

Have you ever completed a home improvement project in your kitchen or bathroom and had tile left over? DIYing was no different in the 1950s and '60s, which is why boxes of old tiles are still around and available for sale.

You don't need to redo an entire room to grab your piece of retro cool. A new kitchen backsplash doesn't take a lot of time or materials. If you're already redoing a bathroom, you can integrate a strip of old decorative tile with new tile to tie your renovation to the past.

There's a wide price range for old tiles, generally between 50 cents and $50 apiece, depending on size, age and quality. You can find a good selection of old tile at architectural salvage shops or at a Habitat for Humanity ReStore ( These shops sell new and used donated home items, and the profits go toward Habitat for Humanity's home-building efforts.