Is Joanna Gaines’ controversial bathroom tile choice the next subway tile? We say yes.

Jo: ‘Doesn’t it feel more special?’ Chip: ‘There’s no additional specialness at all.’

Joanna Gaines tile
(Image credit: Magnolia Network)

In a recent episode of Fixer Upper: Welcome Home, interiors expert Joanna Gaines championed matte black terracotta tiles in the bathroom. Husband Chip couldn’t get on board with her controversial bathroom tile tip, but Joanna's bathroom idea went down brilliantly with their client.

In the second episode of the latest series, titled ‘Planting Roots in Waco’, the pair renovate the bathroom of their colleague John’s home. They opt for a sleek and versatile monochrome scheme for his bachelor pad. 

Joanna Gaines tile

(Image credit: Magnolia Network)

There are white marble, hexagonal bathroom floor tiles, and the much-debated terracotta tiles painted matte black on the walls. These are laid directly above one another, in railroad style-columns, and cover almost every wall.

While laying the tiles, Chip complained about how expensive they were, arguing that they’re not that different from much cheaper subway tiles. ‘There’s no logical explanation behind buying tile that’s terracotta, that’s been painted matte black,’ he complains. However, Jo, who of course knows exactly what she’s doing, explains the many benefits of painted terracotta. 

‘What you see in terracotta, that you don’t in subway, is subtle movement,’ Jo begins. ‘There is a texture difference, there is a finish difference’ and a ‘little bit of an irregularity that you can’t get with porcelain.’ That’s why in her eyes, it’s absolutely worth the extra money.

Joanna Gaines tile

(Image credit: Magnolia Network)

What’s more, the choice of pricey tiles perfectly matched John’s vision for his bathroom. When he saw the end result he admitted that he hadn’t been ambitious enough to ask for black terracotta, but that he absolutely loved it. ‘This is amazing, I can’t get over this,’ he says as he checks out the walls.

At Real Homes, we’re definitely going to side with Jo on this one, as the finished bathroom is just stunning. The black and white tiles inject personality while not overwhelming the space, and we think having the tiles run from floor to ceiling creates a real sense of luxury. It was a fairly dark space anyway, so embracing the darkness of the room makes a real impact.

Joanna Gaines tile

(Image credit: Magnolia Network)

What do you think? Too extravagant or inspired?

Millie Hurst

Millie joined Real Homes in early 2021 as a homes news writer. When she isn't writing about trends, makeovers and houseplant care, she spends her free time making tweaks to her rented flat in North London. Her next project is a very basic armchair reupholstering job to help create a cosy reading nook in her living room. She loves browsing antique centres, tending to her small front garden, and is never without some fresh flowers at home.


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