In the wondrous basement warehouse of World of Tile

pam tours the basement storage area of world of tileUpdate: World of Tile has now closed. See our story on the liquidation sale going on through about Nov. 15 here.

Remember that famous closing scene in the first Indiana Jones movie — the Arc of the Covenant has been found and saved from evil Nazi hands, and where does it end up? In the cavernous basement of a U.S. government storage facility salted away in a box among millions. Well, that’s the movie moment I recalled the minute I entered the Most Truly Amazing part of World of Tile yet: The basement warehouse storage area where all the priceless NOS tile booty is kept just waiting for us to liberate it. To conclude our Retro Renovation World of Tile Week, let me take you on a short tour…

storage area for vintage tile from world of tilePhotos likely can’t begin to capture the awesomeness of this space. And I mean ‘awesome’ as in ‘magnificent and beyond belief.’ Chippy could not tell me for sure, but I’ll swag-estimate and say there was 15,000 s.f. of storage space, all jammed with tile. And in many places, it was 30′ high. Or more. And while we all know the U.S. Government has long forgotten where it stashed Indy’s priceless treasure, Chippy seems to know where every stinkin’ rotten piece of tile stocked at World of Tile since 1957 (when it opened) and especially since 1968 (when she started) is located.

vintage tile storage at world of tileI think this was the area where World of Tile stocked all its vintage pastel colored tile, especially for replacement tile requests. I recall Chippy telling me that they have at least 20 different shades of 1950s and 1960s pink bathroom tile.

vintage tile in storage at world of tileSo much tile. So little time.

1970s tile in storage at world of tileGary was my guide. In this aisle I spotted tile that I had not seen upstairs. The basement stockpiles also include multitudes of small lots of leftover boxes of tile. Perhaps enough to do a foyer or other small room? Or, maybe put the remnant pieces together into one great big crazy quilt floor design? I would, very very happily.

vintage 1970s persian floor tile in storage at world of tileOh, just some fantabulous Persian style 1970s floor tile. Kind of cavalierly propped there and there. I wanted to stop and go through every aisle, every shelf, every pile…

heading down to the second storage area at world of tileThat was a sliver of the first big storage area. Now, a whole second, separate basement warehouse. Down more stairs. Deeper. Higher. If I don’t come out in a few days, send in the Coast Guard.

vintage tile warehouse world of tile Down in Jerry’s Room, tile is piled …. what? … 30 feet high?

tile warehouse for NOS vintage tile world of tileI am pretty sure these guys were amused and perplexed by my jaw-dropping fascination.

mid century modern table legs new old stockNot only does the basement warehouse contain thousands (tens of thousands? hundreds of thousands?) of pieces of vintage floor tile, but there also are areas like this that house other New Old Stock NOS like mid century modern table legs.

romany spartan tileI think I need to doctor, then sell, this photo as a poster.

romany spartan floor tile in world of tiles basement warehouseVintage Romany Spartan tile. “Here Today, Gone Tomorrow.” Yup. Well, sort of.

Thanks for coming out to play with me all this week. Hope you enjoyed. 🙂


CategoriesBathroom Tile
  1. Rich says:

    I had to make a repair in the shower and had to demo about 14, tile.
    The tiles are 4 3/8 and are Mottled textured Bone White with Tan. If I sent a piece would you be able to find a match? My house was built in 1964, I live in California. It is a smaller common tract home.
    Thank you,

  2. Sue says:

    Looking for some 1965 seafoam green bathroom tiles – the ones that go on the wall at the very bottom. I think it is called (bull nose)?
    Do you know where I can find them and how much?

  3. David says:

    Boy Pam..You are not kidding..This is a wonderful find in retro tile and the next time I visit my friend in Ringwood,I will have to pay a visit.Thanks for the link Pam! This is tile heaven!!

    1. pam kueber says:

      Yup: Yes, they should change their name from World of Tile to Tile Heaven! Or… World of Tile Heaven!!

  4. Carol Gog says:

    Dear World of Tile Springfield NJ?
    am I in the right place? It does not matter.
    Pam Kueber at retrorenovation gave me the name World of Tile Springfield NJ.
    I had written her back in July of 2012, with this request:
    “we desperately need to fill in about five square feet of octagon/dot tiles due to a renovation.
    The colors are a kind of a smokey blue-to-gray (more blue) dot and the octagon is a “gradient” of off-white to blue/gray (more blue).
    I haven’t seen any such octagon tile with a gradient on it, to describe the pattern is tough, but it’s rather two-tone.. is there such a tile any more?
    The floor was installed I believe in the late 1960’s”
    I would so appreciate it if someone could contact me about finding that tile, or if I stand a chance of finding that tile, anyway.
    Thanks so much.

    1. pam kueber says:

      No, Carol — you need to contact World of Tile directly. The link is in the story, or google them.

  5. Neva says:

    Man, now there’s a good idea, a retro convention near enough that we can go on a field trip to WOT! Maybe a home tour… Seems like Teaneck would have some good 50s houses…

  6. Steve says:

    Ahh… Indiana Jones brings good memories. Thank you a lot for taking those pictures; I can only imagine how hard it is to keep track of all of the merchandise.

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