What Kitchen Countertop Color Should You Choose?
One of the most common and coveted countertop finishes is a stone or manufactured slab material, such as quartz, in a white or off-white shade with a light multitonal fleck or grain to give it subtle natural richness.
This snowy, sparkling look works well in many situations since it is very neutral but also contemporary and fresh. The pale tone brings a sense of cleanness and lightness to the space with a twist of subtle sophistication.
Pure white countertops, generally only available in manufactured materials such as Corian or Caesarstone, bring a contemporary, minimalist freshness that no natural stone can match. Luckily, these materials resist stains well, so they can stay a crisp white for years with just a little care.
In this example, the counters are paired with a more sumptuous backsplash to balance the stark white with a little gentle character.
Warm wood, with its inviting air and natural richness, is a great choice for infusing a cool, breezy kitchen with some approachable character. Crisp white kitchens feel a little more “homey” and a little less austere with a wood countertop. It makes a popular choice for transitional kitchens that balance traditional and contemporary elements, especially since classic wood fits into both categories.
Notice in several of these examples how wood only dresses the island counters. Wood in general is an excellent material to use for an accent counter (often on an island or a small “chopping zone” in butcher block), contrasting with nearby stone or solid-surface counters in a pleasing way.
Dark counters, in tones such as black or charcoal, can appear very gothic in some situations and perfectly harmonious in others. If you have dark cabinetry, dark floors or other rich and weighty finishes, a dark countertop will fit right in. In this example, you can see that the white counter is the one that pops, compared with the island counter, which almost blends into the deep wood drawer fronts.
Choosing a dark gray rather than pure black will soften the look, so it’s usually preferable to stop at charcoal in most situations.
In this kitchen, the counter picks up on the black elements of the appliances, the dark legs of the furniture and the rich and complex parquet floors, so it feels integrated into the design rather than being a single exclamation point.
Again, it’s never wise to have just one large black element in your design, as it may stand out like a sore thumb, so you’ll want to introduce other sprinklings of black such as elegantly simple black cabinet knobs and pulls.
- You have dark cabinets and want the counters to blend in with them.
- You have colorful, fun cabinets, and you want the hue to really shine.
- You have a smoky mirrored backsplash, a trendy favorite in condos and modern homes.
- You want to connect to other black elements in the space.
- You’re aiming to achieve a classic black-and-white scheme.
Soft gray countertops and other midtone shades, such as beiges or rich creams, are the most neutral counter options. In this kitchen, with creamy off-white cabinets and golden yellow undertones in the backsplash and wood, the dreamy, creamy counters add to a harmonious, peaceful look, perfect for friendly family breakfasts.
- You want a soft, friendly vibe with muted tones harmonizing.
- You have colorful cabinetry or multiple tones of cabinets mixed together.
- You have a black-and-white scheme that could use a little softening.
- You love warm metallic accents and want to show them off.
- You have a large kitchen.
- You want the counters to be the primary statement.
- You have dark cabinets to offset a dark, moody stone.
- You can’t get enough visual drama.