“Where Has This Been All My Life?" Joanna Gaines Has a New Flooring Material She Can't Stop Talking About

Stunning and unexpected

joanna gaines ash tile universal

For years, Joanna Gaines was the undisputed queen of modern farmhouse style. Her designs were synonymous with rustic wooden floors, shiplap walls and a neutral palette that exuded cozy, country charm. Fast forward to today, however, and we’re witnessing a 180-degree flip to Jo’s design approach. In her new HGTV series, "Fixer Upper: The Lakehouse," Jo and her husband/ Fixer Upper counterpart, Chip, are transforming a 1960s lakehouse near Texas's Lake Waco. And aside from plaster walls—which might just be Jo’s new shiplap—she has a new material she can’t seem to get enough of: pressed volcanic ash tile.

With a hand-worn finish and ash sediment pressed into the design, volcanic ash tile combines the best of bespoke finishing with time-worn materials. “Where has this been all my life?” Joanna gushes in the video above. She’s marveling over the pressed volcanic ash tile on the floors of the lake house rec room, which have a “terrazzo-like quality,” according to Chip (in the most recent episode). “I think this is my new favorite thing in the house,” Joanna says. “I love the pattern because, you know I love black and white, but it feels a little more varied where it feels kind of organic."

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HBOmax/Magnolia Network

Plus, unlike the clean, sometimes sterile look of her previous designs, this tile uses centuries-old sediment specs that are a conversation starter in and of itself. “When you have guests over—” Jo starts before Chip finishes her train of thought: “You could talk about the dinosaurs! Those sediment specs tell a complete story.” (As evidenced by the use of pressed volcanic ash in the gorgeous kitchen designed by Alexander &CO below.)

Of course, this change aligns with the current trend of incorporating natural and artisanal elements into interiors. In this lakehouse, for example, the pressed volcanic ash tile is used as a foundational layer to set the stage for other design elements in the rec room. Joanna describes how the black and white finish will be paired with cherry paneling and built-in sofas, creating a stunning mid-century-esque space. “It's gonna be such a great first layer for the rest of the building blocks in this room,” she says. This thoughtful layering is just another example of how Jo’s style is evolving with the times.  

Our main takeaway? Chip and Jo’s design journey is far from over in this lake house—and we’ll be watching closely to see what buzzy finish we should be coveting next. 

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Associate Editor

Sydney Meister is PureWow's Associate Editor, covering everything from dating trends and relationship advice (here's looking at you, 'soonicorns') to interior design, beauty...