Should The Kitchen Floor Be Darker Than The Cabinets?

The style of your flooring can transform the personality and appeal of any room. But the kitchen usually needs to be treated a little differently since it serves such unique purposes. So, you’re probably wondering what relationship the kitchen floor should have with the cabinets. Because cabinets also take up so much surface area and wall cabinets are typically at eye level, we have carefully researched if your kitchen floor should be darker than the cabinets.

It is not necessary for your kitchen floor to be darker than the base cabinets or wall cabinets. The color of your kitchen floor can actually be a little lighter or darker than the cabinets. This creates a proper balance in the room. You just have to keep the floor and cabinets within two to three shades from each other.

The right kitchen floor can be tricky to find. Once you have selected the best material and properly protected it, you have to worry about style. The kitchen has plenty of opportunities for personality using bright colors and versatile flooring materials. Keep reading to learn all about the relationships between your kitchen floor, cabinets, countertops, and backsplashes.

modern black kitchen with wood built, Should The Kitchen Floor Be Darker Than The Cabinets?

What is the best color for a kitchen floor?

A kitchen floor can basically be treated like any other flooring style in the home. It should have a color scheme that is consistent with the rest of your house. But setting your overall style aside, kitchens don’t have to use a darker floor to ground the space.

Most rooms have a gradient design, which gets brighter as you style from the floor to the ceiling. But you’ll likely want to choose a brighter color for the kitchen floor than you would for other floors in the house. That’s because a bright floor can make any room feel more spacious.

Kitchens can often feel a bit more cramped because it’s such a busy room. Cooking requires a lot of tools and appliances. If more than one person is involved, using several different gadgets, there’s a lot of cross traffic. In the mornings, your kitchen might be busier because you’re in a hurry. No matter the case, most kitchens could benefit from feeling a little bigger.


White kitchen

So, the best color for your kitchen floor is typically some shade of white. White is a neutral that reflects all colors, which means it will also agree with any color. But white can also warm up the room without feeling overwhelming because it doesn’t call any attention to itself.

This is why it’s common for kitchens to use so much white across the floors, walls, and appliances. Fortunately, white tends to be cheaper than other colors or even fellow neutrals. And in the long run, you won’t have to restyle the floor if you decide to change the décor or fixtures.


Modern gray kitchen interior

Gray is a cool neutral alternative to white floors. This means it can work with nearly any color too, but the room's temperature will always feel colder. Many times, gray is considered to be a boring and industrial color. And since gray is darker, it will probably make the kitchen feel a little smaller.

But gray can still be molded into other interior design styles that are actually supposed to feel cozier. For example, it’s very common to find gray color schemes in Cottage style homes. The rooms are meant to feel a little snug, cool, and vintage.

Natural Wood

natural wood kitchen interior

Some people actually choose to match their kitchen floor with the dining room or living room if they have hardwood floors. This can save you money by purchasing the hardwood in bulk. It also creates a natural sense of consistency. The floor just continuously flows from one room to the next.

In other words, this is yet another way to make the kitchen feel larger than it actually is. Connecting the kitchen to the rest of the home’s floor plan can make the room feel just as spacious as a white kitchen. The only drawback is that even laminate flooring, which only imitates hardwood, can still suffer more damage in a kitchen.

What color floor looks best with white cabinets?

If you’re using white cabinets, they will give you the same freedom as a white floor. White is truly versatile enough to let you use just about any color surrounding the cabinets. You could always use more white, as long as you put a shade or two between the floor and the cabinets.

Usually, you’ll be deciding if you want more focus on the floor or the cabinets. As a general rule, lighter cabinets will only pop with darker floors. Meanwhile, dark cabinets are best highlighted by pairing them with brighter floors. This means that white cabinets will draw the most attention if you use cool colors or neutrals like gray.

Gray kitchen interior, table

But you might want to add some more personality than this conventional formula. You can choose neighboring colors that will agree or complementary colors that would create contrast. The third option is to use other neutral colors or even a nearly neutral like brown.

Neighboring Colors

Because white is a warm neutral, you could match its temperature to find colors that agree. This would primarily involve yellow, pink, orange, or red. These are very floral colors that should feel right at home in a kitchen.

Contrasting Colors

To create contrast, you would naturally need cool colors like blue or dark green. These are good choices because they are just as comfortable in darker shades as brighter shades. That flexibility shines through no matter what direction you choose.

More Neutrals

Lastly, you could use cold neutrals like gray or black. This would allow you to use more elaborate décor without making the room too busy. However, brown is nearly neutral that sometimes feels a bit like a cool, soft shade of orange. This means wooden floors will look nice too.

Should countertops match floor or cabinets?

You should treat kitchen countertops the same as any other fixture in the house. The color of the countertops should remain within the same neighborhood and style as the rest of the kitchen and home.

Typically, your goal is to coordinate the floor, cabinets, and countertops all at once. Determine which one you want to be the kitchen's focal point, and let that dictate the rest of the room.

However, remember that kitchen countertops are going to be your primary workspace in the room. So, it’s best that you can easily distinguish them from the base cabinets. This is why most countertops have some contrast with the base cabinets and wall cabinets.

Kitchen with granite countertops

That would make it easier to match the countertops with the floor instead of the cabinets. The countertops also take up less surface area than the cabinets. So, matching your countertops with the floor wouldn’t feel nearly as overwhelming. Just keep in mind that it might feel a little boring.

This is easily possible because countertops are available in such a wide variety of materials, ranging from natural stone to laminate. These materials are immediately distinguishable from the conventional wood used for cabinets. And they have a lot of personalities, which might be wasted if you simply color them to match the floor.

Still, you can read this post to learn how to paint granite countertops in 15 steps.

Remember that nothing should ever truly match in the sense that they are identical. Always coordinate your colors to keep their distance by at least a shade or two.

Should your backsplash match your floor?

A backsplash is a protective addition behind your sink, which is literally designed to guard the wall from stray water splashes. This means that the backsplash is always going to be directly connected to your countertops. It is often best to coordinate the backsplash with the countertops instead of the floor.

Click here to find this peel and stick backsplash on Amazon.

However, the backsplash also has the unique opportunity to make an individual statement in the room. You can actually have a backsplash with its own distinct personality, using highly different materials and designs.

So long as the backsplash feels appropriate to the rest of the house, it can sometimes operate with a totally unique color in your kitchen.

If you're worried about water damage, you can read this post to learn five ways to waterproof the base cabinets underneath your sink.


modern black kitchen with wood built, Should The Kitchen Floor Be Darker Than The Cabinets?

It can be challenging to coordinate every single fixture in a kitchen. Especially since the style doesn’t just need to be enjoyable to look at but also serves the practical functions of a kitchen. Now that you understand how the kitchen floor, cabinets, and countertops will interact with each other, you can let your creativity roam free and select the right colors for any interior design.

One comment

  1. I’m thinking of putting hardwood flooring in my livingroom, my kitchen an dining room have the laminate hardwood look,which I’m changing to real wood.
    My question is, I have the weathered barnwood look on the back wall as focal point,it has a mixture of colors. I’m not sure if I need to match that with the wood flooring??

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