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Ask a Designer: Countertop Colors & Materials


Are there guidelines for mixing countertop colors and materials?

Trisha: I don’t think there is any specific rule. I think again, you have kind of the freedom to do what you want. But if you want to look good [laughs], I think that it’s going to depend on the size of the kitchen and the space that you have too. I would say that you probably don’t want to do more than two different countertops. But, if you have a really big kitchen with different areas that can handle maybe a third material, then I think you can do that. But generally, you don’t see that big of a kitchen that often. I would say you probably want to stick to no more than two surfaces. You’re going to work that second surface not compete with the main countertop.

For instance, most granite have a lot of different color and movement and things like that in them. So I come to with an island or wherever your other piece of countertop is, to have that be a little bit more neutral. Whether it’s a wood top, stainless steel top, maybe a Corian top, or another granite that’s a black or more solid in color, just so that you don’t have the patterns and the colors competing with each other. Because then it gets a little confusing and a little too much statistically to look at.

Terry: I try to stay away from mixing too much material in the kitchen only because then you’re not having the consistency of the material throughout, you lose the feel. Some change to wood or some other specific type of countertop, like a concrete type of counter, might add to the texture visual texture in the kitchen. But I wouldn’t mix too many of the different materials.