Bisque color for sinks, tile, etc vs white?

laurielou177August 4, 2011

Old house specialists, do you generally choose the bisque color (or whatever the particular brand calls it's off-white)for sinks, subway tile, hex tile, appliances (though we already have white appliances and wouldn't replace til broken) instead of the white? Especially interested in whether you'd order the bisque color kohler cast iron vs white. The house is 1918 and the kitchen will have yellow painted cabinets and green and cream colored checkerboard floors.

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I would go with white, myself...I'm not sure bisque was a finish available at that time; my house is from '08, and all the fixtures are white and original.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2011 at 8:40PM
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I think the question is, are you a purist or not. I respect and even admire purists, but I'm not one. It takes a lot of energy and some compromise. But even if you're not a purist, there are things that fit, and things that don't, in old houses. I've gone to some open houses in old houses where floors had been redone in dark stain, or where stainless steel appliances had been installed. Both, to me, don't fit. And granite counters - also not a fit, in my view.

My kitchen sink is navy blue, as in the thread I linked on your other question. But it is a fairly traditional-looking sink, as is the whole kitchen in fact.

Certainly if you are going for historical accuracy, white is where it's at. But if you are opening up the Pandora's box of compromise... nothing wrong with bisque, in my opinion.


    Bookmark   August 5, 2011 at 1:59PM
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Your kitchen colors, cabinets and flooring, sound wonderful.
I think you should go with whatever color you want, but it sounds from your description that the traditional white would look best.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2011 at 3:29AM
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I guess we were remembering stuff we've read from bungalow kitchens book and old house magazines suggesting not buying the "white - white" of particular things for this time period, but am thinking that was applied more to the paints for cabinets and walls - saying the whites just weren't as white. And I'm thinking the hex tiles, though they appear white-white unless compared directly to something more white, were not as white either. Does that make sense. But, yes, my cast iron pedestal sink from the 20-s or 30's seems pretty white. So maybe the porcelain was all super white? The white is fine w/us vs bisque. Guess we just need to look back over some info. And yes, we realize we can just do what we want for any of it too. Thanks for the input.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2011 at 10:50AM
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In my bathroom, the 1900 era fixtures were far from pristine & I chose to have the tub & sink re-coated with Kohler's 'Biscuit' color which could be easily matched to a new toilet; I was afraid a white epoxy coating wouldn't be the same color as new white porcelain.

The Biscuit is so light it appears white unless it's side-by-side with ultra-white - almost like an antique white.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2011 at 3:00PM
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mama goose_gw zn6OH

I'm no old house expert, although I live in a house that was built in the 1920's. I love bisque--had almond in the early days. I'm trying to give my kitchen (which was gutted by a PO in the 1980's) a more vintage look, including bisque appliances and 'Adobe White' painted cabinets. It all reads as white until you look at something pure white against the bisque.

I recently found a porcelain stove from the 1930's:

Against the 'Adobe White' closet door, (reflecting camera flash) the stove looks dark, but when I look at it, I see cream and green. I've read that oil-based paints often yellowed, so maybe painted surfaces weren't bright white for very long.

BTW, your plans for the kitchen floor sound wonderful--I'd love to do a checkerboard floor. I'm looking forward to seeing your progress pics and finished project.

antiquesilver, we did the same thing with a bathtub that was blue--had it professionally painted bisque, then I painted the ceramic wall tile in the room with 'Lovely Buff' epoxy. Love it!

    Bookmark   August 8, 2011 at 5:05PM
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Wow, that's a beautiful stove! Our appliances, will just stay for this remodel until they absolutely break and aren't worth repairing, as we are putting $ into other parts, but that's certainly the stove I'd pick if I were choosing! Love green! Our walls will be a very pale pale green, though it's hard for us to know if it's too much green til the yellow cabinets and green floor tiles go in, but we figure paint can be changed.
Need to order the sink this week, so will decide bisque vs white this week. I'm sure either will work. Thanks for all your thoughts.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2011 at 9:49AM
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Green and cream were popular colors not only for kitchens and their appliances, but also for the gadgets--I have an egg beater and a kitchen scale which are both those colors.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2011 at 1:37PM
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New White products are most often the result of very effective modern bleaches. Older whites, including paints and porcelain, were exposed to weaker "early" industrial bleaches. As bleach became more efficient at wiping out all traces of color in a product, consumers clammered for more bleaching power, which lead to stronger bleach, which lead to more consumer outcry for whiter whites, and so on. All to the distress of our waterways ... ugh

    Bookmark   August 14, 2011 at 6:27PM
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