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

Update: World of Tile closed in 2014. See our story on the liquidation sale (now completed) 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

World of Tile, we loved you so

Again, update: World of Tile has now closed. See our story on the liquidation sale (now completed) here.

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.

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.

  1. DJ Sparkles says:

    Sigh… what a tremendous place.

    As a So There to every homeowner who ripped out gorgeous vintage tile to put in the $$$$$ “must-have” granite, granite is officially on the “out” list now. Thousands of dollars and it’s regulated to the trash heap, or if there are responsible people involved, crushed and recycled as decorative stone for yards. Moral of the story: Forget the trends du jour and decorate as you like. Go Team Tile!

    1. pam kueber says:

      World of Tile now closed. See our mega-story on where to find tile in Bathroom Help / Tile Help subcategory.

      1. Coki says:

        To Barbara B who is looking for light grey tile: I bought some 4-1/4″ square and some 2″ x 6″ bullnose tile from the Home Depot website last year, so you might have some luck there.

        I have some light pink 4-1/4″ square tiles, a little lighter in than the “classic” 1950s darker pink. They’re also a tiny bit thinner (1/8″, vs. 3/16″ thick for regular tiles made in the United States), all made in England by H & R Johnson Ltd. I’m going to post them on eBay by January 10, 2017.

        I’m looking for ten (10) 2″ x 6″ darker pink bullnose tiles, if anyone has a source.

        Does anyone from New Jersey know what happened to World of Tiles’ inventory?

  2. Mrs.D says:

    I live in Chicago and am looking for some pink plastic 1950s kitchen wall tile and pearl ceiling time.Would you know of any place I can find them in or near Chicago,Illinois?I need to purchase some soon.

  3. 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 . .

        1. pam kueber says:

          nope – as it says in the beginning of this story, they are now closed. there is a link to our writeup at the top, too

  4. 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…

  5. Pingback:My Trip to World of Tile | A Pinch of Vintage

    1. 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….

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