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Atwater Village’s go-to tile shop — Mortarless Building Supply — closing after 40 years

Owner Joey Ranieri Jr. | Roberto Fonseca

By ROBERTO FONSECA

ATWATER VILLAGE — Mortarless Building Supply, where contractors and homeowners loaded up on gravel and hard-to-find tile for four decades, will be closing its doors after today.

Mainly known for their tiles, Mortarless has become a staple of the Atwater Village community with its instantly recognizable murals on the walls of the Fletcher Drive building.

“It’s just time to go,” Joey Ranieri Jr., whose father opened the business in March 1977.  “It was a business dynamics decision.”

Customers who made their way past mounds of sand, gravel, and other materials in the storage yard discovered a large and colorful collection of tile once they entered the shop crammed with merchandise. Mortarless became a go-to place to for decorative tiles not easily available at a chain home improvement chain. The wide variety of tile available at the shop won it praise from Los Angeles Magazine.

It’s not clear what’s going to happen to Mortarless property. Ranieri says that he currently does not have any plans for the business moving forward.

“Maybe we’ll pop up online somewhere,” he said. “Maybe go to Northern California, but nothing concrete as of right now.”

Mortarless will close permanently after Thursday,  Aug. 4.

#vintagetile when we’re homeowners 👀

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Roberto Fonseca is a senior journalism major at Chico State University. Fonseca grew up in Atwater Village and attended Atwater Elementary, Irving Middle, Marshall and Sotomayor High schools before graduating in 2014.

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6 comments

  1. Truly wonderful neighborhood store with beautiful new & old tiles! Sorry to see them go.

  2. Sorry to hear but good for Joey. What’s happening with all that great vintage tile?

  3. That makes me sad.

  4. Joey and his uncle always made me smile in that chaotic, friendly, fabulous tile store. I have many memories of that place and I’ll miss it and miss Joey’s ever present gold necklaces! I was driving through the Fairfax district about 20 years ago and a gorgeous, vintage bathroom had just been demolished and entire chunks of the bathroom wall were out on the sidewalk. The walls had tons of intricate, vintage tiles in tact. I loaded as many pieces of wall as I could fit into my old Tercel and drive it over to Mortarless. Joey gave me 80 bucks in credit for those wall pieces and I was thrilled beyond belief. Always a good time at that place! I wish them good luck on their new path.

  5. Thank you for all your service! You will be missed.

  6. “Maybe we’ll pop up online somewhere … but nothing concrete as of right now.” Mortarless – nothing concrete. Get it?

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