How to Pair Countertops with Gray Cabinets

Aug 22, 2018 | by Carrie

Cabinets and countertops create a pairing—and the goal is to create complimentary or contrasting pairs, depending on your preference. With some cabinet colors—like white—there are plenty of options to choose from because just about anything can be paired with them. Other cabinet options, such as cherry or gray, are trickier to work with.

Best Countertop for Gray Cabinets
Suede Gray Cabinets with Blanco Taupe Granite Countertops

That's why today's post focuses on how to pair the perfect countertop with gray cabinets, and we've divided it up by various color groupings: Cool, Warm and Bold.

Seeking a Cool Countertop to Go With Your Gray Cabinets

Gray is considered a cool color, so the cool color palette is the easiest to work with when selecting countertops.

White kitchen countertops are a natural choice

The easiest option is to go with a white countertop. One that has plenty of white or off-white in its background will coordinate beautifully with gray kitchen cabinets. As we mentioned above, white works with just about any cabinet color. Plus, white also brightens things up if you're worried about a too-dark effect.

Countertops that go with Gray Cabinets
Suede Gray Cabinets with Cambria Quartz Countertops in Waverton

Many of the white-based countertops out there display flecks of gray, black or other neutral colors because they're replicating (or they are!) natural stone. That's great news for those pining for marble, because our marble-like quartz options look stunning with gray cabinets. The gray kitchen with white countertops shown here just made our Remodel of the Month with it's well-coordinated style!

Make that a suave gray-on-gray kitchen

If you like the look of a monochromatic design foundation, gray-on-gray is a smart choice. It streamlines the overall look of the kitchen and allows you to build other colorful accents or finishes via walls, appliances and/or countertop accents. If you like a little movement or flash, you can work that into the backsplash.

Countertops to pair with Gray Cabinets
Suede Gray Cabinets with Corian Countertops in Platinum

How about a classy black meets white?

Black and white kitchens are a timeless design standard and they happen to be trending this season. And, of course, since black + white = gray—the black-and-white countertop is a perfect transition between your gray cabinets both above and below. In this kitchen, the quartz countertops mimic a typical granite slab, with even proportions of black-and-white.

Gray Cabinets and Granite Countertops
Suede Gray Cabinets with Granite Countertops in Sparkle White

The sophisticated, all black countertop look

If you're aiming for more dramatic effect, or you're cabinets are on the lighter side of gray, all-black countertops (or mostly black) make a classy and punchy statement. In this kitchen, you see the exciting combination of gray-toned rustic barnwood cabinet doors with an almost all-black countertop that has a hint of lighter flecks peeking through.

Gray Cabinets and Laminate Countertops
Barnwood Cabinets with Wilsonart Laminate Countertops in Fossil

Prefer a Kitchen Countertop That’s on the Warmer Side?

Since gray is a cool color, it takes a little extra effort to pair it with warmer tones. Most often, we look for warmer countertop options that have gray in the design, which creates a smoother transition between the two color temperatures.

Cream or beige cozy kitchens up

A countertop with cream or beige-y hues creates a cozier feel than something from the cooler shades. In this case, you'll want to find a countertop with a pattern that includes or is reminiscent of the gray countertop color. Here, you see how the gray flecks embedded in the cream countertop help the two blend, and a mosaic backsplash continues to transition the cabinets and countertop surfaces.

Gray Cabinets and Quartz Countertops
Suede Gray Cabinets with Cambria Quartz Countertops in Darlington

Beige—or really we should say greige (a color that combines gray and beige tones) is trending right now, and it's a reason why beige countertops pair well with gray cabinetry. In this beautiful beige countertop, the swirly tones include all manner of neutral hues—and so it inherently creates a beautiful compliment to stone-gray cabinet finish.

Drawn toward earthy browns?

Do you like the rich, earthy look of brown hued countertops? To make that look work with gray cabinets, you're best off choosing cabinets with a warmer gray tone. Or, vice versa—choose a countertop that melds cool grays with warm browns. The example below pairs our Suede Gray cabinets with a granite countertop that perfectly blends hues of gray with a warm, ruddy brown.

Countertops to Match Gray Cabinets
Suede Gray Cabinets with Granite Countertops in Paradiso

Suggestions for a Splash of Countertop Color

Were you hoping to add a countertop with a little color into the mix? Again, you'd want to steer more towards the cooler tones to work well with the gray—although there are always exceptions.

Throw in a little aqua

Cambria's Kelvingrove is a stunning slab choice, including hues of gray, beige and a graceful aqua. This is a great choice for those who enjoy the idea of color but prefer a understated—rather than dramatic—effect.

Cambria Quartz Kelvingrove
Cambria Quartz in Kelvingrove

Gold and amethyst glam

Want to add a bit of glamour to your gray kitchen? Check out Cambria Quartz's Annicca slab. It's a marble-inspired design that has delicate swirls comprised of subtle amethyst and gold flecks, amidst a gray and cream backdrop.

Cambria Quartz Annicca
Cambria Quartz in Annicca

Natural greens and blues

Do you prefer greens or blues? Softer shades are the way to go with most gray cabinet options. For example, Corian Solid Surface's Cilantro or Juniper are beautiful options.

Corian Cilantro
Corian Solid Surface in Cilantro
Corian Juniper
Corian Solid Surface in Juniper

If you're feeling adventurous, Wilsonart Laminate's Blue Iceburg is also a contender.

Wilsonart Blue Iceburg
Wilsonart Laminate in Blue Iceburg

Rosy and cozy

If you really want to warm things up, take a look at Formica Laminate in Tuscan Marble. The warm, rosy tones in the foundation will keep your kitchen from feeling too "cool," and those gray striations will work with virtually any shade of gray you'd choose. Plus, it's a major budget saver, too!

Formica Tuscan Marble
Formica Laminate in Tuscan Marble

Having a tough time pairing your ideal gray cabinets with the right countertop? Schedule a free, in-home consultation with the Kitchen Magic design team and we'll help you sort it out in no time.

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Topics: Countertops Cabinets