Guide to Choosing Colors for Kitchen Countertops

Kitchen with beautiful granite countertops

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Most people obsess over the materials for the kitchen countertops but tend to rely on impulse or gut instinct when choosing the colors. While the material you choose is certainly important from a functional point of view, the colors will have a big impact on the overall kitchen design. This guide to choosing colors for kitchen countertops will look at suitability for certain kitchen styles and desired effect.

Uncompromising white

white quartz countertops

Solid white countertops are an easy choice for many homeowners because white goes with anything. However, you are unlikely to find natural stones in uncompromising white, so you will have to choose quartz stone for durable, low maintenance countertops that will not stain. Pure white stones show up stains very quickly, so you want quartz countertops for this. 

The best thing about white is its contemporary and fresh look, and its crispness is often ideal in modern spaces. It does not do so well in traditional kitchens, but most kitchens today are small and compact, so you want to create visual space. A modern look with white countertops and cabinets is the best way to go.

Another way that white countertops can help with your kitchen is to provide some relief from an already bold or striking design. If you have a colorful kitchen with a mix of different materials, the white countertops can serve as an oasis for the eyes.  For instance, if you have cabinets in orange or red, your white countertops can tone it down and keep your kitchen from looking too warm or explosive.

If you have some nautical leanings, white countertops is the perfect match for blue walls and/or cabinets. White and blue are both cool colors, but together they make for a stylish welcome. 

You want uncompromising white for your kitchen countertops if you:

  • Are going for an ultra-modern, sleek look
  • Have a small kitchen that you want to look bigger
  • Need some relief from bold or colorful styles
  • Want something that goes well with a blue kitchen

White with flecks or soft veins

marble or quartz countertops

If you choose some type of stone for your kitchen countertops, the most popular color is some shade of white with faint flecks or soft veins of different colors. It might be a natural stone such as marble or granite, or it might be an engineered one such as quartz. In either case, the overall effect is a neutral but striking look that makes any space look clean, sophisticated and contemporary.

This is a good choice for both modern and traditional kitchens, but particularly traditional kitchens with a white color palette. The details in the stone make it much less severe and institutional than pure white countertops, which tends to draw attention away from other elements of the kitchen such as vintage light fixtures or reclaimed wood cabinets.

Soft flecks and visible grains in the white stone also go well with metal elements such as brass light fixtures or chrome faucets. Subtly colored veins on white provide depth to the countertops without making any dramatic statement. You can choose to use it for all your countertops or just the kitchen island, which is usually the center of attention.

You want white countertops with soft veins or faint flecks if you have a:

  • Transitional or traditional kitchen style
  • Small kitchen you want to look more spacious
  • Kitchen that you want to be low maintenance, as this type of white countertops will camouflage dust or crumbs on the surface quite well


wood butcher block with granite countertops

Wood is a great choice for kitchen countertops if you are fine with all the maintenance it requires and issues with them. It adds a rich, natural ambiance to your kitchen, making it look homey and approachable. It goes well with almost any style of kitchen, from crisp, modern white kitchens to traditional ones. It provides balance to both transitional and contemporary kitchens as well.

Since most kitchens already have wood or wood composite cabinets, wood countertops can blend right in.  Of course, an all-wood kitchen might not appeal to all tastes, but it is particularly great for a rustic kitchen design.

If you are thinking that wood countertops might be too much trouble, you can choose to use it for an accent countertop such as kitchen islands or butcher blocks. It will provide a nice contrast with hardworking stone countertops.

Wood comes in many varieties. You should choose light-colored or unstained wood for a rustic or casual feel, and dark wood for a more elegant and formal look to complement a bright kitchen. You can achieve a Scandinavian ambiance or older cottage effect with unstained light-colored wood depending on your choice of accents.

If you have a lot of wood in your kitchen, you should choose wood countertops that match the existing wood tones, which could be warm or cool.  Wood with red or brown tones is traditional, while gray tones are modern. You want to stick to one tone when choosing your wood countertops.

You want wood countertops if you:

  • Need contrast for your stone countertops
  • Want to add warmth and intimacy to your kitchen
  • Like the rustic look
  • Love wood


black and white kitchen with black countertops

The most obvious situation that will require black countertops is a black and white kitchen. In other situations, black or dark countertops might seem to be too gloomy for many homeowners, but they can add richness and harmony to your kitchen. It goes very well with dark cabinets and ornate finishes, blending right in. If you go this route, you do need to have a lot of light to keep it from looking closed-in and enhance the elegance and sophistication.

If you have a neutral kitchen, a dark countertop can give it depth and bring out the subtle colors in the cabinets, walls, and floors. Black might be a bit too stark for many kitchens, so choose something in dark gray for a softer look. However, if you have a mirror mosaic backsplash, black countertops can create subtle visual space and depth.

The one thing you must remember is that you need to have more than one major black part in the kitchen because it will look off. You should add smaller black elements such as light fixtures or hardware.

You want dark countertops if you have:

  • A dark color palette
  • Cabinets in bold colors
  • A mirrored backsplash
  • A black and white kitchen


In most cases, you can choose the right color for your kitchen countertops with stones such as granite, marble, or quartz countertops. Granite ASAP is your best resource for advice on the colors of your kitchen countertops if you are in the state of Virginia, including the cities of Alexandria, Arlington, Falls Church, Fairfax, Chantilly, Herndon, Centreville, Tysons, and Washington DC. We offer free estimates and quotes for any of your kitchen countertops and remodeling needs.

We carry a wide range of the best engineered stone brands in the country and natural stone slabs. Over 100 colors of granite and marble slabs are available for inspection at our Chantilly, Virginia showroom.

If you prefer engineered stone, we can offer you products from the Cambria, Caesarstone, Silestone, and MSI brands, each one carrying the manufacturer’s warranty. You can choose what you want, and we will deliver it ASAP!

Feel free to ask any questions over the phone or get in touch using our contact form today!