Update: World of Tile closed in 2014. See our story on the liquidation sale (now completed) here.
Announcing 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.
As 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.
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.
Oh and howdy hudee, The New York Times came with me on this visit — read the story they did on the blog (and World of Tile)!
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.