I arrived at a tile shop in Brussels just after they smashed a bunch of tiles. These were sample tiles that had never been installed. They were just spot-glued in the 4 corners. Why? Because tiles go out of style… “fin de serie” (end of series) they call it. I don’t get it. Tiles are so neutral & boring, how can anyone even know whether they are out of style? What a waste.

I said to the guy I would have taken them. He said if I came before they were smashed, his boss would have expected him to sell them to me. I suppose this is the same reason destroys products that no longer fit in the warehouse: they’re afraid if people can take the unsellable products at no cost, they will lose sales on the products that can be sold.

A couple years ago I was in a smaller mom-pop run tile shop. I said I needed just 1 big tile for small project. The saleswoman (who was part owner) said I’ll just give you one. She gave me a 60×60cm²×10mm tile b/c it too was “fin de serie”. It was such neutral solid gray that I can’t distinguish it from the gray tiles I see today.


The only way this makes sense is maybe the manufacturers deliberately want colors to slightly change so that when you break a tile 5 yrs later or do a partial demolition, you can’t get a match and so you have to retile the whole room. That’s the only reason I can think of.

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