World of Tile: The single most important discovery on Retro Renovation yet — 100+ photos

vintage new old stock mosaic tile image copyright retro renovation 2011Update: World of Tile has now closed. See our story on the liquidation sale going on through about Nov. 15 here.

world of tile vintage NOS tile 1950s and 1960s bathroom tile in a wide variety of pastel colorsAnnouncing the single most exciting discovery on the blog yet:  World of Tile — a tile store that opened in Springfield, New Jersey, in 1957 and which is still open today. A lovely story of same-family-ownership small business longevity. But, the big news is that this tile store is chock full of new old stock NOS mint in box MIB vintage tile from the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. GORGEOUS tile, and at what I consider very fair prices. You read it first here… !!!GeT Y@Ur T!Le FaSt!!!! — because once the fancy shmancy hotsy totsy New York interior design crowd finds out about this place (that is: starting NOW), they are going to rush on over to New Jersey and, I fear, wipe the place out.

My great big fat World of Tile story is so fantabulous, that I am dedicating the next several days to rolling the story out.

How we discovered World of Tile

First, I want to extend a huge THANK YOU to Jason and Nicky — who discovered World of Tile. Nicky, in particular. As you may recall, Jason and Nicky are intrepid renovators and they made a trek a few months back to Emily’s big stash of NOS tile in West Virginia, which I had discovered via the Forum.

jason at world of tileAs Jason explained to me by phone: After their trek to West Virginia, where they did buy some fab tile, they still needed some specific, mint-colored tile that they had in mind for a bathroom renovation. Nicky would NOT give up, and kept searching and searching online, following up on any little tidbit of information about a possible source that she could get. World of Tile was just one such tidbit. She saw it mentioned in a discussion forum somewhere, and with little expectation of success, she called World of Tile. Yes, World of Tile said, they had mint green tile. Old stuff. Vintage stuff. New old stock stuff. From the 1960s or so.

Pronto, Jason and Nicky drove three hours north to World of Tile, and it was then they discovered they had hit a motherlode. Now, “motherlode” is a quite a cliched term, but in this case, it really fits. When Jason and Nicky arrived home, Jason wrote me a long email and send lots of cameraphone photos. Here is an excerpt from Jason that pretty much sums up my feelings, too:

I expected to find a few varieties of vintage tile, but I never expected an entire store of vintage tile. I was speechless; I was actually incoherent.  My wife found this greatly amusing, as I pretty much could only say ‘Wow’

Looking at all of Jason’s photos, I knew this place was going to be good, so as quickly as I could, I arranged my schedule to get down to World of Tile to see for myself. The place is about three hours south from my house. It did not disappoint. The owner Chippy — as in “little chip off the old block” — was very very gracious and kind. She gave me a tour of the 5 showrooms upstairs… I also toured the downstairs, where they store all the tile… I took hundreds of photos… and even made a video walking through the entire store so that you can see for yourself what a retro wonderland it is.

new old stock NOS vintage tile from world of tile

How to do business with World of Tile

Chippy, the co-owner of World of Tile advises that if you need replacement tiles, you are going to need to send her an actual sample — not photos, they do not provide enough info to do the matching. If you are interested in any of the tiles I’ve shown here, I’d advise the same: Save a copy of my photo, send it to her, and see what can be arranged. Honestly: I think the Best Bet, if you want a whole room full of NOS vintage tile based on any of the photos I’ve shown here, would be to go to World of Tile and see everything in person, yourself. The place is six miles from the Newark airport. Please be advised: This is a small business — give Chippy and her team TIME to handle your request and all the requests likely to come. Like I said: Are you crazed to get your hands on some of this stuff? FLY TO NEWARK. Before the NYC crowds — just 40 minutes away!!!! — descend.

More of the story to come as this week unfolds. Meanwhile, here are 100+ photos from my trip to BLOW YOUR MIND. Note, I am showing all these photos, so you — Retro Renovation readers — can get a jump start going after any tile you need. You can get both replacement tile, and full orders.

This story and all images are copyrighted 2011.
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please see requirements outlined in Terms of Use.

And again, the link to contact Chippy at World of Tile is –> click here.

See all our stories on World of Tile by clicking here.

To play slide show: Click on an image… it will enlarge… use arrows below image to move forward or back… you can start at any image.

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    • pam kueber says

      Richard, read the story and the links — the place is shutting down. There are no e-orders, no phone orders — ya gotta go there and find it and buy it, cash….

  1. Rudy says

    Yes they are closing, it is so sad. Place is being liquidated, you basically just carry out what you can at cut throat prices. The place is huge and so there is so much stuff left over and whatever they dont get rid of will go in the dumpster. Like I said the place is huge so that is a lot of stuff going in the garbage !!

    It breaks my heart…

    I was able to get some great tile for dirt cheap and right now I am contemplating where to put what. Need to redo my 1960’s bathroom as well as a basement bathroom. I dont really go for the retro look to be honest but some of the tile could be mixed in with a more contemporary look.

    Really sorry to see the place go…

  2. mariuccio says

    Hey chippy this is Mario Acosta please send your phone number to me .Posible we have a job in Livingston coming and we can get together . Said hi to everyone . .

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