Light or Dark Countertops with White Cabinets – What Suits Better?

Updated: | Author: Kierstie Miller | Affiliate links may be present.

Remodeling a kitchen is always a large commitment, but deciding on your color scheme is one of the most fun parts about it! A new, visually appealing kitchen can be a point of pride for any homeowner and can add to the overall appeal of the house.

What countertop color looks best with white cabinets depends on color tone, house theme, and willingness to clean.

Light countertops with white cabinets look best in large, open kitchens because it gives a clean, crisp appearance. The tradeoff is that light countertops show dirt and debris easier. Choose dark countertops with white cabinets to add contrast, depth, and hide dirt & debris more easily.

Things to Consider When Choosing Your Countertop Color

Like with most projects involving color schemes, the color you should choose for your countertops is going to depend on a few different inter-related factors.

The Tone of the White Cabinets

When it comes to the color “white”, there is no one universal shade. Warm-toned whites, those with yellow or red undertones, offer a traditional farmhouse feel.

Cooler-toned whites have a purple, green, or blue undertone and give the space a fresh, modern aesthetic.

Pure white, or a white with no undertones, has the advantage of being able to accent multiple color schemes because it’s considered more neutral.

When deciding whether to get light or dark countertops, keep in mind that they should match the tone of the white cabinets. Both white and dark options for counters have different shade ranges that could help pull the entire kitchen look together.

The Desired Theme of Your House

It’s important to choose countertops that will round out the overall aesthetic you are trying to achieve with your remodel. Want a more crisp, contemporary look?

Opt for the lightest countertops with a similar tone as the cabinets. If you desire a warm, inviting feel, you could choose a lighter countertop color that is slightly tinted such as honey for warm tones or granite for cool tones.

If you are looking for stark contrasts and modern elegance, dark countertops juxtaposed against white cabinets can do just that. Dark gray colors work well with pure white cabinets, while black countertops make a great statement and mesh with almost any tone.

Kitchen Accessories

One time that is often overlooked in remodeling and choosing a color scheme is the existing and planned accessories in a kitchen.

Pay attention to the finish of your faucet, drawer pulls, and any other appliances. You’ll want to keep your current fixtures in mind when selecting your new countertops so as to prevent any color clashing.


Most countertops will have similar maintenance required but the color of them could determine how often they appear dirty.

White or light countertops will show dirt easier and will require more frequent wipedowns to maintain a clean-looking kitchen.

Dark countertops won’t show dirt as easily but have been known to show fingerprints more often than light-colored countertops. So, if you have kids or frequent guests, this is something to consider.

Where Do You Start?

Now that you have an idea of the pros and cons of each countertop color, it’s time to begin making your selection & getting them installed.

Make a List of Possible Options

Once you have chosen to go with either light or dark countertops, browse the internet or your local home improvement store to narrow down your precise color options.

Start with the colors and tones that catch your eye first, and work from there.

Request Samples

Some stores and websites will provide product samples when requested. These can be either cards with true-to-life color or physical sample squares.

Gather as many of them as you’d like and bring them home so you can see them in your kitchen & begin to narrow down your choices.


Take any samples you have acquired and lay them on your current countertops. Try to envision all of your counters being that color. Hold them up against your white cabinets and see how the tone matches.

Also, compare them with your current fixtures to make sure they are a good fit as well.

Take your time, you may need a few days to really decide. If needed, get some more samples. It’s also important to compare prices at this point so you can get the most bang for your buck.


Congratulations! You’ve done the leg work in picking out your new countertops. After all of the comparisons and determining the tone & theme of your house, you’re ready to install them & enjoy your newly remodeled kitchen.

Final Thoughts

Picking the right countertops to go with your white cabinets can seem overwhelming, but once you have a general idea about how you want your home to look, it can also be fun.

There may be a few things to consider, but the end result is beautiful new countertops to complement your newly renovated kitchen.

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About Kierstie Miller

Kierstie is a homeowner, gardener, DIY-er and food preservation specialist from Texas. As a mother of two, she understands the importance of self-sufficiency and taking pride in your work. She's also a believer in frugality and enjoys the knowledge gained through taking on a project on her own.

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