What color countertop goes best with white kitchen cabinets? 6 ideas for timeless spaces

White kitchen got you thinking it’s a bit boring? Think again and check out our ideas for adding color and design kudos to your scheme

A kitchen with vintage and modern elements
(Image credit: Nate Berkus Associates. Photo credit Christopher Dibble)

What are the best color countertops for white cabinets? A white kitchen is an ever-popular choice for good reason. It’s a classic and timeless option and a color you can easily add your personality to. With white cabinets as the base for your scheme, countertops are a great way to introduce style and colour, and put your stamp on the look, taking it from ‘meh’ to totally marvellous. 

'In the realm of white kitchens, there's an incredible versatility in the spectrum of available colors,' says Alexander Adducci, Senior Designer at 210 Design House. 'This allows for a highly personalized design approach based on the client's desire to make a unique color statement.'

So what are the best color kitchen countertops for white cabinets?

1. Dark designs for drama 

A modern kitchen with white countertops and matt black fixtures

(Image credit: Christy Kosnic)

A monochromatic kitchen looks slick and sophisticated. Dark or even black countertops will work best with a pared-back white kitchen such as a handleless slab door design, leaning into the super modern aesthetic. Keep the rest of the decor simple so that the countertop becomes the focal point.

Do remember practicality. Dark countertops have a habit of showing up flaws more than their paler counterparts. 

'Darker countertops tend to reveal crumbs, fingerprints, and minor blemishes more readily compared to lighter surfaces,' says Alexander Adducci of 210 Design House. 'This is a crucial consideration for maintaining a consistently pristine appearance in your kitchen space.'

If you’re worried about this color combo looking too stark, warm the palette up with brass taps and edging details, or even accessories elsewhere like your lighting.

2. Detailed stone countertops

a white kitchen with white stone countertop

(Image credit: Cambria)

Introducing details like veining or subtle textures can be a powerful way to elevate a white kitchen without resorting to full-on contrasting colors, especially if your kitchen features an island. 

Why not introduce a detailed stone countertop – either quartz, porcelain or natural stone – on your island to give it its own design identity? 

'By selecting a veined material for the island's countertop, you infuse the space with captivating visual interest, especially when contrasted against solid or minimally textured perimeter countertops,' says Alexander. 'Using veining strategically doesn't just bring depth and character, but also gives a touch of elegance to the overall design, making the space feel warm and visually captivating.'

3. Your favorite color

kitchen with a green countertop

(Image credit: Silestone)

While you can absolutely find a beautiful array of colored marble kitchen countertops and natural stones, manmade materials like quartz and solid surface countertops stand out as versatile choices that are super practical and hardwearing too. And importantly they can be specified in an extensive spectrum of hues – from moody tones to warm neutrals as well as blues, greens, browns and more. 

The Cambria palette, for example, shows off the range of colour choice, while brands like Silestone can offer creative opportunities with green, orange or blue options. 

Think outside of the box too. What about a copper countertop to introduce warmth to a white kitchen as well as a dose of color? Or a Formica, laminate or ply style that can often be specified in a RAL colour of your choosing? 

If you’re a neutrals fan, a white kitchen works well with a pared-back countertop color too. 'Warmer natural tones that induce a sense of well-being and calm into the home have seen a surge in popularity within kitchen design,' says Charlotte Hughes from Cosentino. 'This shift toward earthy tones, as opposed to the minimalist, clinical white homes, can be incredibly powerful in conveying calm and tranquillity in a space.'

5. Wooden countertops

Butchers block reclaimed wood kitchen

(Image credit: deVol)

 'In the world of white kitchens, adding natural elements like wood to cabinet accents and countertops never goes out of style,' says Alexander. 'This timeless approach not only makes the space feel cozy but also brings a bit of the outdoors indoors, creating a warm and welcoming vibe.;

Do remember that natural wooden or butcher block countertops do require maintenance to keep them looking their best, including periodical sanding and oiling. For a lower-effort option, it’s worth looking at good-quality laminate options. Or you could use wood in areas where you know wear and tear will be less, for example on a breakfast bar. This way, you’ll create warmth and a contrast within the design. Win win. 

5. White on white 

White kitchen with rustic design and no splashback

(Image credit: Ron Royals)

Sometimes, the most obvious choice is the right one and the best color countertops for white cabinets is, actually, white.

'For achieving a truly contemporary aesthetic in a white kitchen, opting for a white countertop is the quintessential choice,' says Alexander. 'This selection creates a seamless and harmonious visual canvas. The white worktop serves as a blank slate, allowing other design elements to shine while exuding an air of modernity and sophistication.'

6. Mix and match countertops 

white kitchen with mixed countertops

(Image credit: Bakes & Kropp)

Mixing and matching colors in countertops can be a brilliant way to add depth and character to a white cabinets, and its a growing countertop trend

One effective approach is to focus on the island if you have one. By introducing a different color or material on the island's worktop, you create a striking focal point that complements the surrounding perimeter countertops. This not only adds visual interest but also provides a cohesive yet dynamic look to the overall space. 

Lindsay Blair
Freelance writer

 Lindsay Blair is a freelance editor, writer and content consultant with a focus on home design, interiors and lifestyle. Having spent more than a decade working in the UK publishing industry, she worked her way up to become the editor of Kitchens Bedrooms & Bathrooms magazine and now writes about all things home design for a range of national media. Follow Lindsay @lindsay__blair and check out her work at lindsayblair.co.uk.