Light Or Dark Countertops With White Cabinets – Which To Choose?

Since white is a neutral color and can match any shade, choosing between light or dark countertops is now a question of form and function. How do you want your color scheme to work? Are you concerned about dirt and staining? We have researched the factors that can affect your design choice.

Dark countertops create a lovely contrast against white cabinets by adding depth and structure. Meanwhile, light-colored countertops make the space feel airy and light, especially if you have cramped space. Try to incorporate patterns and textures into your interior if you want to add more depth.

There is a myriad of designs that feature light countertops with white cabinets and dark countertops with white interiors. The counter material, the space, and the overall look all play a part in creating the perfect kitchen. If you want to learn more about light and dark color schemes for your space, keep reading below!

bright, spacious and modern farmhouse style kitchen, Light Or Dark Countertops With White Cabinets Which To Choose?

Things to consider when choosing between light and dark countertops

There are no strict rules with choosing colors that go with white cabinets, but a few considerations can transform the overall look of your space. These things will also narrow down your choices until you achieve your artistic vision.

Dark type countertops may appreciate by the lights

Read: "Should Kitchen Sink Match Countertops?"


Consider the amount of light that comes into your space. Your lighting plays a major part in your countertops: both natural lighting during the day and overhead lighting during the night.

If you have an abundance of light, light countertops will reflect it and create a luxurious gleam. Dark countertops will also look good since your space will not cramp up.

If you do not have much natural light, it is best to avoid too many dark colors as this might make your space look more narrow and small.

Amount of Space

Ceiling and floor spaces should first be factored in when deciding the colors of your countertops. If you have a large space but with little natural lighting, opt for light colors that can brighten up the space.

If you have a small space but a lot of natural lighting, take advantage of this and be more versatile with your choice of colors. Go for Venetian golds or light greens, and anchor them all with a dark countertop.

Invest in under-cabinet lighting to make the space appear wider. Combined with white cabinets, it can elongate the look and give off a luxurious vibe.

Monochromatic vs. Contrasting

Consider the type of aesthetic you want. Monochromatic colors make your space look elegant. White cabinets with light countertops go well together, but you can break this monotony by choosing marble countertops or anything with a natural pattern. That way, your space will still be monochrome but with added visual stimulation.

Dark-colored countertops will create a dual effect. They will contrast each other beautifully, and at the same time, the countertops will act as an accent.

What stone should you get for your countertop?

Samples and types of stone perfect for countertops

The type of countertop stones will determine the appeal your kitchen gives off, but it will also determine its durability. Some stones are more durable than others, and some require more maintenance.

Here are some of the best stones you can use for your countertops.


Quartz countertops are popular for their durability, known as one of the hardest minerals on the planet. Quartz countertops may be man-made, but quartz as a material is entirely natural.

Not only is quartz a luxurious material, but it also does not need too much maintenance, unlike others that often need a sealer to be protected. This is because quartz countertops do not absorb moisture, making it difficult for bacteria to grow.

As with all materials, quartz has a weakness with a sudden change in temperature. You will need to add a temporary layer between your pots and the surface to not risk any damage.


Quartzite is not to be confused with quartz. Quartz countertops underwent man-made mechanisms, while quartzite was formed entirely through nature. Its gleaming surface was made through heat and pressure which made quartz crystals naturally embedded into it.

With its form, quartzite shares more resemblance with marble because of its veiny surface. This makes it a luxurious option for a countertop and an excellent design choice for breaking monochrome spaces.

Functionally, it shares similarities with granite but with obvious advantages: it is denser, more durable, and more stain-resistant.


Marble kitchen countertop installed in a modern kitchen

Granite is a staple with designers' choices for countertops and kitchens. Not only has it a unique natural pattern, but it is also extremely hard and durable, which makes it an excellent kitchen fixture.

Granite was formed naturally deep in the earth's crust, where it fused with shiny materials of quartz, giving it an alluring appearance.

Granite countertops require sealers to be applied on the surface to protect them from stains and moisture that are often present in kitchens.


Kitchen interior with a wooden floor, marble countertops and white cupboards with built in appliances

Marble is often equated with grandeur since it is often the material used in priceless sculptures. It is a natural stone that was formed under extreme pressure, giving it an array of unique colors.

However, despite its elegant structure, marble may not be an ideal choice for kitchen countertops. Marble is extremely porous, making it vulnerable to moisture damage and stains often present in kitchens.

If you are willing to maintain it with a regular sealing routine, you can use it to make your kitchen look opulent.


You can save money with prefabricated stone countertops since they have been previously cut and standardized before distributing them to the consumers. Compared to custom-cutting slabs, you can get these prefab stones as a more economical option.

These stones also come in interesting patterns that can make your space look more visually interesting. For dark countertops, go for Agatha Black, Arctic Sand, or Baltic Brown, which creates a beautiful contrast with white cabinets.

For light countertops, go for Aspen White, Bianco Antico, or Alpine Valley, which gives off an airy vibe.

Porcelain Countertop

Porcelain doesn't just come in tiles which are then installed in bathrooms or backsplashes. It also comes in gauged porcelain, the material made for kitchen countertops.

Porcelain countertops go well with kitchens since it is resistant to stains, moisture, and heat: all of which are common in kitchens. It is also resistant to sun damage, which is ideal if you want to incorporate natural light into your space.

One thing you need to watch out for would be damage. Although it is rare with porcelain, it is impossible to salvage damaged porcelain since it will eventually show.


Onyx stones give off opulence just as much as marble. You can incorporate this in your countertops or kitchen spaces, but as a countertop itself, it requires a lot of maintenance. It is reactive to strong acids and requires more sealants than you would want to be around your cooking space.

However, you can make this an accent piece if you want. It is durable, but many people would rather go for more durable stones that require less maintenance.


Soap stone countertop and backsplash with gold color handles

Soapstones are lovely against white cabinets in the kitchen. This predominantly dark-colored countertop material is perfect if you want to create contrast and a rustic appeal in your kitchen.

Some shades of soapstone will also not overwhelm your space. They have lighter shades that can still create contrast with white cabinets, such as earth-toned colors.

How to style kitchens with white cabinets

Go Cosmopolitan with Dark Accents

Wood built type kitche countertops and dark type kitchen cabinets

Dark accents give off a modern and industrial vibe to white cabinets. They ground the light colors and give it a sense of solidity that is often lost in light color schemes.

Dark countertops are also more adaptable to cooking routines. Although it is still dependent on the material, dark countertops can hide stains better and make your space easier to clean.

Rustic Wood with Light Color Schemes

Kitchen worktop on cabinets with metal pots and induction cooker

Incorporate wood countertops with light colors for a rustic appeal. You can opt for earth tones to give your kitchen more personality and make it blend with the natural light.

Dark and Neutrals for a Classic Twist

modern kitchen interior with dining space, black wooden furniture

If you have enough floor and ceiling space along with natural light, you can incorporate dark cabinets and trim with neutral accents in your kitchen space. This will create structure, and the neutral accents will not overwhelm the viewer.

Back-Splashes of Color

interior of the modern kitchen is illuminated with a gray stone countertop with a luxury washbasin

Add splashes of color on your backsplash whether you choose dark or light countertops. This will make your kitchen space more unique and reflect more of your preferences!

Final Thoughts

bright, spacious and modern farmhouse style kitchen

White is a blank canvass that you can experiment on using fixtures and furniture. Whether you choose dark or light-colored countertops, what is important is the kitchen makes you feel comfortable enough to whip up your favorite dishes.

If you enjoyed this article, check out "What Color Cabinets Go With Black Countertops?"

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