Not Your Everyday Tile Shop
If you're thinking about starting on a tiling project, you might want to take a trip to the spacious showroom at Tile Trader in Stonehouse. And if you happen to have a penchant for vintage goods too, you'll have a welcome surprise when you get there.
For along with the displays of tiles and related goods, customers are treated to a wonderfully quirky display of retro curios dotted all around the premises.
The first hint that this may not be your average tile showroom comes from the classic cars that you'll find parked outside. A little out of place on a typical industrial estate, it's clear that someone with a passion for antiques is contained within. The vintage Rolls Royce and Mercedes belong to Dave Jones, co-owner of Tile Trader along with his wife Gail. An avid enthusiast for all things nostalgic, Dave has been amassing a fine collection of retro goods over the last five years, which can be found displayed around the shop.
Once inside the showroom, you're greeted by the conventional rows of tiles and tiling accessories that you would expect to see. The old Player's cigarettes machine on the wall, however, may be a bit of a surprise. So might the petrol pump, the suit of armour, pinball machine, ship's steering wheel and Wurlitzer juke box.
This is no run of the mill tile warehouse. It's a place where the wide selection of tiling goods meets a creative collection of the vintage kind. A treasure trove of random antique artefacts waiting to be discovered as you browse for your floor or wall tiles.
The serving counter itself is hard to find at first, almost hidden by the wide and colourful array of tin advertising signs shouting about blast-from-the-past goods like Fry's milk chocolate, Will's Gold Flake cigarettes and Cherry Blossom shoe polish.
Alongside is a corner containing pub signs, games machines, and classic toys like a pedal car and rocking horse.
Items aren't limited to eye level either. You'll find plenty of other curiosities higher up, like the rows of old medicine bottles, tin oil cans, road lamps, American number plates and even a railway station sign.
The array of classic extras doesn't detract from what is an impressive showroom, however. There can't be many - if any - tiles you're not able to get here. Tile Trader occupies a huge space, with masses of room to stock an expanse of different products.
There are also wide corridors of beautifully presented kitchen and bathroom mock-ups where the tiles can be seen in situ and customers can get ideas for designs. Even here, however, you're reminded of the retro theme when you come across the occasional antique clock, copper kettle, can of Castrol, Wrigley's gum dispenser or table football game.
Said Gail, "Our aim is to be a very different tile showroom and to get customers to talk about us a lot more. Many of our customers love the place as it's different and they can remember lots of the items from years ago. It's certainly a fun place to visit and work in."
An original and memorable way of brightening up a routine showroom. You may have only popped in for a bag of grout, but it's certainly not a place you'll forget in a hurry.
Visit Tile Trader at Unit 8, Ryeford Industrial Estate, Stonehouse, Stroud, Glos GL10 2LA. Tel: 01453 828881. Find them on the web at tiletraderstroud.co.uk
and follow them on Twitter @TheTileTrader
and Facebook at Tile Trader Stroud
Date: 24 July 2015
Author: The 360 Company