Choosing the right colour for your countertop, one of the focal points of your kitchen, is an important decision. I am going to give you some information (and pros and cons) for six popular colour choices to help you get the look you want that is a good match for your kitchen.
Colour Choice #1 – Pure White Countertops
Pure white countertops are usually only available in manufactured materials (e.g. Corian or Caesarstone) and give a contemporary, minimalist feel. It is also very convenient that these materials resist stains well to maintain a crisp white colour for a long time with very minimal effort.
Pure white counters work well in contemporary spaces. A true white can conflict with a traditional decor, but it is a lovely complement in a modern space. You may wonder why it’s often used in smaller kitchens in condominiums; a pure white counter paired with minimalist white cabinets gives an illusion of a larger kitchen.
White countertops also work very well in spaces that already have bold character elements in the other finishes (e.g. grainy wood cabinets) to contrast and offer a visual break. This holds true for modern flat-front cabinets in a wood finish with a yellow-orange undertone. Choosing a pure white counter will steer the look away from a retro style. White and blue is a lovely (and popular) combination. Even though white and blue are chilly colours, they work together to create a warm, sophisticated vibe in a kitchen.
Choose white countertops if you like:
● Making small spaces look larger
● Modern, fresh styles
● Breaking up modern wood cabinets or other attention-seeking finishes
● The crisp look of white and blue together
Colour Choice #2 – Softly Veined or Flecked White Countertops
One of the most popular countertop finishes is a stone or manufactured slab material (e.g. quartz) in white or an off-white shade with a light multi-tonal speckle or grain. The subtle detail looks classic and regal.
This countertop works well in many kitchens because it is very neutral, but it can hold its own in a contemporary kitchen as well. The pale tone brings a sense of brightness and cleanliness to the space with a subtle note of sophistication.
In traditional kitchens, a softly veined or flecked white countertop is a better choice than true white because a true white can look too severe against other elements like pendant lights or knotty woods.
This style of countertop also works well paired with brass accents. Again, the subtle richness is a perfect match to keep countertops from feeling too stark or stern.
Choose softly veined or flecked white countertops if you:
● Want your kitchen to look large (with some warmth)
● Have a traditional or transitional style in your kitchen
● Want the details in the counter to subtly hide crumbs or dust from everyday use
Colour Choice # 3 – Wood Countertops
A wooden countertop radiates warmth in a kitchen. It’s inviting and brings a natural warmth to the space. They also pair very well with crisp white cabinets due to the contrasting colours and materials. Wood countertops are commonly found in transitional kitchens because they strike a middle ground between contemporary and traditional style. Wood, and it’s many colours, also works well in kitchens with a more classical style.
It’s no surprise that wood counters look great with wood cabinets. Contrasting colours add some depth and diversity to kitchen, such as a butcher block island against darker cabinets. However, ask your designer for their opinion to avoid colours that clash or complete with each other.
Lighter woods look rustic and casual in comparison to darker options. They can also create a cabin-like feeling when paired with other decorative elements. Darker woods look more formal than lighter colours; a darker colour works well in bright spaces with lots of natural light.
Choose wood countertops is you:
● Want your countertop to contrast with white cabinetry
● Love the warmth and rustic charm that wood offers
● Want a warm, cozy feeling in your kitchen
● Like the look of contrasting with an accent countertop to offset other colours in the kitchen
Colour Choice #4 – Dramatic Countertops
If you want people to remember your countertop choice, consider injecting some drama into your kitchen. Think about bold veining with contrasting colours that will make you stop in your tracks the first time you see the counter. Remember that choosing a dramatic style for your countertop means that you will likely want to tone down other elements (e.g. flooring and cabinets) to let the countertop have top billing in the kitchen.
Size is another consideration when deciding if a dramatic countertop is a good option for your kitchen. Too much drama in a small space can be overwhelming, but just enough will increase the wow factor you’re hoping to achieve, such as using a dark, richly veined stone with the colour of the cabinets taken from a colour in the countertop. Your kitchen designer can help you decide if (or how much) drama is right for you in your kitchen.
Choose dramatic countertops if:
● You want the counters to serve as the conversation piece in the kitchen
● You have a larger kitchen with plenty of room for drama
● Your have a smaller kitchen with contrasting elements
Colour Choice #5 – Dark/Black Countertops
Black or charcoal countertops can look very gothic in some situations and harmonious in others. If you have dark cabinetry, dark floors or other rich finishes, a dark countertop will fit right in your kitchen. If you’re going for a dark-on-dark look, it helps to have lots of light sources (artificial or natural) to keep the space feeling cozy and sophisticated.
Be careful when pairing black or dark colours with white because white can sometimes absorb and dampen nearby colors. A dark countertop can actually be the better choice to bring out subtle colors in painted cabinets instead of a lighter option. If you use a tinted mirror backsplash to subtly open up the space visually, a dark counter will echo the deep, moody surface beautifully. Some people are drawn to black and white; we recommend achieving this look by adding black accents (e.g. a countertop, cabinet handles, picture frames) to the kitchen to provide some instant dimension and drama.
Choose dark or black countertops if you:
● Have colourful cabinets and want the countertops to complement them
● Your kitchen features a smoky backsplash – a fun, trendy feature in modern homes
● You want to accent other dark or black elements in the space
● Love the classic look of a black and white kitchen
● Your kitchen has dark cabinetry, and want the cabinets to blend in
Colour Choice # 6 – Midtone or Grey Countertops
Midtone (e.g. beige and cream) or gray countertops are popular neutral countertop options. They often add a soft, peaceful look to the kitchen. A softly speckled grey stone looks a lot like concrete; this look is perfect for contemporary spaces, and it has the added advantage of looking clean and tidy when some crumbs or dust find their way onto them. Midtone or grey counters give the appearance of, “I have it together in the kitchen,” even after you didn’t have time to do some detailed cleaning in the space.
Grey is an excellent choice to pair with colourful cabinets because it is so neutral, and it works to tie light and dark elements together. It also pairs beautifully with metallic accents like a brassy faucet. If your kitchen has some black and white elements, or dark woods with white walls, a midtone countertop will soften the look (and act as a transition between dark and light accents).
Choose midtone or grey countertops if your kitchen:
● Has black and white elements that need a transitional colour
● You love a soft, welcoming look
● Enjoy metallic accents in your kitchen
● Has bright, colourful cabinets or lots of colours mixed together
We hope that learning about six different kitchen countertop colour options has helped you get a little closer to choosing the right countertop for your kitchen. If you have questions or need some guidance, visit our showroom or contact our kitchen design team at 416-679-9300.