Pairing Kitchen Countertops, Backsplashes and Cabinets

5 Tips for Pairing Cabinets and Countertops

Cabinets and countertops are the focal point of most kitchens. You could even say that well-paired countertops and cabinets are like art – they give the kitchen its character, beauty and aesthetic appeal.

Finding the perfect combination of cabinets and countertops for your kitchen isn’t easy. Both fixtures can be made in a variety of materials and finishes, which gives homeowners a lot of choices to sort through. While there’s no right or wrong answer when it comes to which cabinets and countertops are best, there’s definitely a process for finding the combination you’ll love best.

Give yourself time. Shopping around, testing different combinations and exploring all the possibilities can lead to a successful match – and years of happiness with your new kitchen.

1. Choose Colors Wisely

Coloring is one of the first things to consider when pairing cabinets and countertops. Cabinets and counters both come in a range of colors. Natural and engineered stone countertops – the most popular options available today – typically come in neutral colors like black, brown, cream and gray. Cabinets are made from many species of wood and can be stained or painted in just about any color you can imagine.

The color combination you choose for your kitchen depends on your personal preferences.

Pairing Neutrals

Neutral colors can easily be combined without concern that they’ll clash. Brown combines easily with white or cream. Gray pairs easily with white and cream as well.

When trying to combine neutrals in the same space, remember that blacks and browns can clash when not paired thoughtfully. If it’s important to you to install cabinets with a natural brown finish and black countertops, add accents of black elsewhere in the kitchen to help the black integrate into the space. Consider finishing your cabinets with a cooler brown that will combine easily with black, as warm brown cabinets may clash with your black countertops.

One Bold Color and One Neutral

Are you attracted to bold blue cabinets? Or perhaps green granite countertops? Combine bold colors with neutrals. This enables the bold color to stand out, and the neutral colors to fall into the background in a supporting role. Avoid combining multiple bold, non-neutral colors in the same space. Too many vibrant colors can create a sense of chaos in the room.

Hold Samples Against Each Other

Collecting samples of cabinet finishes, paint finishes and stone samples can make your job easier. Hold samples against each other in the space where they’ll be installed. Look at the samples in various qualities of light, to get a more accurate picture of how the materials will look.

2. Select Material Carefully

Color isn’t everything. Each material has qualities that should be taken into consideration when trying to decide what to install in your kitchen.

Durability and longevity. How much do you use your kitchen? How careful are you while cooking and cleaning? Do you have children and pets who may scratch surfaces or cause damage? How long do you want your cabinets and countertop materials to last?

  • Soft stone like marble can scratch easily while porous stone (marble and granite) can absorb stains. If you’re in need of a long-lasting, scratch-resistant, stain-resistant stone, engineered stone (also called quartz) may be the right product for you.
  • Wood can be scratched and vulnerable to stains and rot if not properly maintained. If you’re seeking a truly durable and long-lasting cabinet material, consider engineered wood.

ROI. The cabinets and countertops in your kitchen contribute to your kitchen’s value and your home’s overall value. If you’re seeking a high ROI countertop product, stone and engineered stone deliver the biggest return on investment.

Ready-to-assemble cabinets tend to be low-quality and come with the fewest style options. Semi-custom cabinets are more attractive, tend to be higher quality and are often more impressive to buyers when the time comes to sell your home.

Maintenance. Consider the level of maintenance you’re able to keep up with before choosing the materials. For example, many types of natural stone countertops need regular sealing to maintain a durable finish. If you’re not able to keep up with sealing and maintaining your countertops, consider an engineered stone countertop for your home.

3. Set Your Budget Before Making a Purchase

Know how much you can afford to spend on your countertops and cabinets before making your selection. Some tips for setting a budget:

  • Get multiple quotes from various remodeling professionals to determine how much you’re likely to spend on your upcoming remodel.
  • Shop around for financing (if financing is required) to find the right loan for your project. Determine how much you can afford to pay back per month, and ensure that the loan you’re considering has a repayment schedule that works for you.

4. Buy From Quality Suppliers

Your cabinets and countertops will only continue to look right together as long as they remain in good condition. One of the things you can do to ensure that your cabinets and countertops will remain in good condition is to buy them from quality suppliers that only sell good quality products.

Do your research before choosing a supplier. If you’re working with a good contractor to remodel your home, they may refer you to some reputable suppliers in your area. If you’re choosing the suppliers on your own, some suggestions:

  • Check references
  • Read online reviews
  • Shop around

5. Consider the Kitchen Environment

In addition to matching each other, your countertops and cabinets need to integrate into the surrounding kitchen. Consider the wall color, floors, and appliances in the area around your kitchen.

Most likely, you’re installing countertops and cabinets in your kitchen as a part of a larger remodel. Hold paint samples, wallpaper and backsplash samples against your countertop and cabinet finish samples. Work with a designer if you need suggestions or help – or work with a contractor that offers some design