World of Tile — liquidation sale — going out of business — closing — The End — or so it seems

world of tileThis weekend, I received confirmation from a reader who’s been to the liquidation sale, twice: Yes, World of Tile — our beloved time capsule tile store — chock full of New Old Stock going back to the 1960s — seems to be in the midst of closing. Currently, there is a big closeout of all stock going on — 80% off, Marie says, and you can wander throughout the cavernous structure to hunt treasure in every nook and cranny. I do love me a time capsule liquidation sale — and this may be one unlike any other — but even so, please say it ain’t so. Alas. Lovely photo of World of Tile’s classic 1960s sign (click to enlarge and experience the beauty) courtesy Tony Zarak on flickr and professionally here.

pam tours the basement storage area of world of tile

Me, amazed in the basement in 2011…. the New York Times was with me on this, my first visit…

Marie wrote to me on Saturday:

Thanks to you, I discovered World of Tile in Springfield, New Jersey.

Sadly today, I discovered it was sold and in liquidation.

Marie took these photos at the liquidation sale yesterday.

Marie took these photos at the liquidation sale on Sunday — she went back a second time over the weekend.

Yes. I went to the store today. It was so sad. Liquidator service is there. No one in charge really. [Marie had some info from the folks on site about what had occurred to lead to the liquidation sale, but I do not feel comfortable publishing this unless I can have it confirmed from my own confirmed source.]

yellow soap dish pink soap dish blue soap dishRight now every room is open to the public to roam and select things and pay for it in cash. So, those wonderful black ceramic bathroom fixtures she used to sell for $30 are going for $5. Boxes of 50 tiles – $8/box. There is room upon room of tile and you just make a deal for it. Very good deals indeed, I’m sorry to say.

But for your readers, if they go (with a mask and a flashlight-it’s dusty), the gigantic caverns are theres to explore and find treasures! You can go upstairs, downstairs, basement and the rooms in the warehouse. Crazy!

Marie

tile warehouse for NOS vintage tile world of tile

In the cavernous basement. It’s like that federal warehouse at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark….

Thank you, Marie!

Update: I spoke with Marie this morning — she added that on-site liquidators told her that the sale is expected to continue for about two weeks.

I had received hints of this news from a few other readers, but could not confirm what was going on. As of early last week, at least, the phone number was disconnected. My emails were not returned. I then began trying to reach a friend nearby to see if she could drive over to see if I could get some sort of official information on the situation. While I was trying to find out something definitive, I didn’t want to jump the gun with a speculative story. But now, we have Marie’s on-site report. So here’s the story, as much as I know.

vintage mosaic tile from world of tile image copyright retro renovation 2011

The “Mosaics Room”

Chippy....

Chippy, when the New York Times visited with me.

jason at world of tile

Nicky and Jason (Jason in this photo) were the ones to discover World of Tile and report their find to Retro Renovation, so’s we could share it with retroworld. Everlasting gobstopper thanks to you, Nicky and Jason!

World of Tile — the single most important discovery on Retro Renovation ever

This is really sad. I loved that place.

I loved that we — via readers Jason and Nicky (that’s Jason just above) — “discovered” World of Tile, “the single most important discovery” ever on Retro Renovation …

… and got it in The New York Times 

… and I wrote all about their many tile varieties and sinks and table legs and backsplashes and counted 95 colors of pink tile and more …

… and I became friends with Chippy …

… and when I called to say hi she would tell me about the latest excitement — like World of Tile tile being used in scene in American Hustle …

… and readers used World of Tile in their projects …

… and it was Our World of Tile.

tower of pink tileYikes, I have things going on today and tomorrow. But if I can confirm that doors are open on Wednesday… and if I can steel myself for the three-hour drive (each way, ugh), I might drive down to World of Tile with a camera and video camera and a big wad of cash for one last visit … and one final report.

Be-Safe-graphic2.3

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Comments

  1. Joe Felice says

    It was only a matter of time, as we have witnessed the local stores’ closing one-by-one. I think tile, like laminate, should be colorful, so WOT will be missed.

  2. LynnSusan says

    I am devastated! I am about 6 miles west off Rt.22 and World of Tile has been a landmark since my childhood. I just bought replacement soap dishes for my pink bathroom and the blue one, too, in July. I always enjoyed speaking with Nick and Chippy. So sad—really the end of an era.

  3. Marcia Lincoln-Heinz says

    Dear Friends,

    I just sent my husband to World of Tile and unfortunately he describes it as a giant mess. They are still open for now. If you are considering going I would do it soon. Tile is 60% off. The site has been sold to a car dealership. He said it was very sad. We live in Pa but he works in NJ. We are going to try to go on Saturday but he has warned me that it will be a challenge to find anything because of the state of things. Nothing on display – only in boxes.
    Good luck!

  4. LynnSusan says

    Pam,

    I have Nick’s card with his cell#. This is not for general publication, but if you have a private message function I will provide it to you.

  5. Bunny says

    So sad. I grew up close to World of Tile and remember it in its beginnings. As a kid, I always loved seeing the sign when riding down Rt 22. It is an amazing place. It truly is the best place in the World for retro tile. I might have to take a trip to Jersey to see family and say goodbye. I would love to know what will become of all that beautiful tile.
    Bunny

  6. louis walker says

    I’m going there tomorrow with a 16 ft. 14,500 GVW box truck with a 2000 lb. lift gate. Anyone that can’t get there but needs something….. I’ll spend up to two hours trying to find pieces for you guys. I could take cell phone pics and relay them while I’m finding things. I hope to buy a ton (literally) of stuff tomorrow and don’t mind helping out others. Hopefully there is something left for all of us. I don’t know if I can leave my cell number here, so I’ll wait for Pam to reply.

    • Cara says

      Louis,

      that’s great & so generous of you. I’m pretty sure you can post your e-mail address (I did in my post) & Sherry posted a phone number– so we can contact you. I’d like to suggest the RRers going tomorrow try to coordinate with fellow RRers so there’s not duplication of effort. If everyone knows what everyone else is looking for, the finding will go much quicker.

      Louis, if you give an e-mail address, I will send pictures.Try me at BSG@slashconsumption.com. My partner, Gary, & our friend, Clay, will be there tomorrow (thank goodness we have friends in NYC & Gary was on a trip up north! )I will tell them to try to find you & Pam.

      Thank you for saving the tile!!

        • says

          Louis – You should be good to go for tomorrow – I was there just today and the guy from the liquidation company was impressed that I had traveled far – I told him a LOT of people were interested in the vintage tiles. He had been expecting Pam (and she and I had planned to meet up) so hopefully tomorrow she’ll be able to convince them to stay open a wee bit longer, if it helps Retro Renovators save those tiles from being plowed into a landfill!! Crossed fingers!!

  7. says

    I was there today (Wed) and here is some info for anyone wanting to go there.
    1. GET THERE NOW! They may be open into next week, but the sooner the better. I chatted with the gentleman from the liquidation sale running the place and he was impressed I drove all the way from the Philly area, and I told him that Pam (and I) were spreading the word on the internet.
    2. THE PLACE IS HUGE, STOCKED FLOOR TO CEILING – plan on spending A LOT of time – its like a rabbit warren in the stockroom, where you’ll be spending all of your time.
    3. THE PLACE IS DISORGANIZED – this is decades of stock, tons of unopened boxes, that may have been organized to the people who work there, but to us folks not so much. Don’t expect to quickly find something specific, it’s all over the place.
    4. THE PLACE IS DIMLY LIT AND DIRTY. Wear junk clothes, bring a BRIGHT flashlight (mine was too small, and the light on my cell only did so much) bring a face mask if you don’t like dust
    5. BRING CASH!
    6. Be Careful! The stuff is heavy, the place is old, and things have been moved around and may not be piled safely in places.

    All that said, I saw a lot of tiles that Retro Renovators would like – those 12×12 pieces of mesh with 1×1 tiles on them in pink, blue, yellow.

    • jay says

      Mod Betty, I’m impressed too. I live on the other side of Valley Forge and contemplated a drive but since reno plans are too far in the future, passed on the idea. What great treasures did you acquire?

      • says

        Jay – hey neighbor! I’m a Phoenixvillian.

        I scored a box of seafoam green tiles to use as replacements for our 1950s bathroom.

        I wish I could’ve picked up some more stuff, and am seriously tempted to go back there just so things don’t get thrown into a dumpster. Hubs might have a fit, but it’s SAVING HISTORY! It would be such a sin to let it all be plowed under for a parking lot.

  8. Ben says

    Any idea if they’ll be open on Saturday? I’m working tomorrow and Friday, but would love to get there one last time…

    • Jean says

      We called the number in the craigslist post I posted above, and they said only what’s in the basement is left (and you need to wear gloves and a mask!). Can you confirm there’s actually enough stuff remaining to head over from 2.5 hrs away?

      • pam kueber says

        I just got home after a 3.5 hr drive each way. The place is still packed to the hilt. I saw plenty I could work with to create incredible floors, backsplashes and bathrooms. Issue: Matching bullnose; you’re gonna have to work for that, maybe. I realized one hour after leaving that I’d purchased a bunch of backsplash tile – but forgot about the bullnose. Ugh.

        Depending on how open you are to making quick judgments about what to buy, I LOVED IT. Tile is $10 a box and you should tip the guys who help. AN INCREDIBLE DEAL considering some (most) of these tiles!

  9. Cara says

    Gary & Clay were there today & there’s a really nice guy called Larry (I think) who worked at WOT & he’s helping people find stuff (please tip him). Word is Chippy took a couple of truck loads with her & others are taking truckloads too. YOu really have to search EVERYWHERE unless you’re lucky enough to find a sample tile that has the location & Larry can tell you where it is. The good news for me is that Gary thinks he found the closest match possible & went crazy, buying 119 pieces (minimum we needed was 7) for less than one tile would have cost before. Say a prayer to the RR gods that it matches ours!!

    Good luck everyone. By the way, Gary kept asking people if they were from RR & nobody knew what he was talking about.

    GO FORTH & SAVE TILE!

    • says

      Cara that is such good news that there’s someone there who might know where things are. I saw some tiles on the wall but no one to help me find out where they might be – I tried myself, but came up empty handed.

      Ask them to see if Larry is going to be there again before the place closes, I’d be willing to make another trip up there if there was someone who could help locate stuff!

      Swear we need a pink tile bathroom added to the Hacienda, just need to convince the hubs 🙂

    • Kate says

      Just got a call from Pam, who is there right now looking for goodies. She says there is a lot of good stuff there and she is loving it! 🙂

      • Sharon says

        Please keep us updated on last day to get tile. It seems to change…And, is it worth it to make a trip?

        Thanks!

        • Kate says

          From what Pam said, it sounds like it is worth the trip… She says there is lots of good stuff for retro renovators. I’m sure she’ll be back with the full story soon!

  10. Shannon says

    This is such sad news. I was hoping this place would be here if the need to replace any 1942 era peach bathroom tile (with black trim) came up.

  11. Steven says

    I’m at world of tile now 🙂 they told me tonight they will be open into next week now still no definite last day though… also at lea st on weekdays they are open until 7-8pm

  12. Jean says

    Just left shortly ago. It’s definitely an adventure in there. Someone please buy the coral toilet and pedestal sink – my mother refused to let me buy them and I’m so very upset (so what if I don’t have a room for them right now…I’ll find one! Or something!)! No time to go back on my own now. If they’re discounted anything like the amazing 1960s lucite shelves and towel bars I got, it’ll be like $25/piece for them. Sigh.

  13. says

    I was back for my third trip today. I found out about this late and missed so many fantastic finds but there’s still plenty there to be had. The lady you pay up front got extremely angry that I thought boxes of tile were $3-4 and was charging $5 as well as opening the boxes and explaining if the tile was grouped in paper that counted as multiple boxes. Not pleased with feeling taken but at the price it was still an incredible bargain. Parts of the basement now have no light at all which makes it tough but there were some things it still killed me to leave like the 40’s stove and 60’s hair dryer chair not to mention all the marble and tiles and that lemon-lime iridescent toilet! Btw- when i questioned the pricing I was angry told take it or leave it and that she was very mad so many people were coming in as a result of this page and wanting to pay $3 a box. Oy vey! Be grateful for the advertisement! But despite her, it was worth it!

    • pam kueber says

      Ugh. When I left on Saturday, she told me boxes would be $3 – $4 starting the following day. I’ve never heard the “wrapped in paper counts as multiples” issue. I will call the liquidator tomorrow to ask him what is going on. I find your comment extremely distressing in particular because through this blog we have sent SO MUCH traffic to this sale.

      Note, when I went Monday, I picked up boxes that friends had bought for me at $4 each.

  14. Jen Allison says

    I am just discovering this now. Is this place definitely closed? I could not find then on line. Any other ideas for cool retro tiles and flooring in the NYC Tri-state area. I live in the city. THX!

  15. Rhonda Yanno says

    Hi, feverishly looking for a pink bathroom towel holder. Ours has broke. I have NOT been able to find any place that has this particular style. World of tile did, but now they are out of business. So sad!! Can you please give me any leads as to where I can find various vintage pink towel holders? Thanks! Rhonda Yanno

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