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A Complete Guide to Matching Kitchen Components

Updated: Dec 1, 2020

Cabinetry, countertops, and flooring are three major components of the style and color scheme in your kitchen. Properly matching cabinets, countertops, and flooring will not only give your kitchen a peaceful tone but also increase your home’s aesthetic value. In this article, we will give you some tips on the matching process and answer some questions people often ask.

General Rules

1. Think of three colors

The best place to start is to settle on three colors: two main and one accent. The two main colors are usually complementing and simple, while the third color acts as an accent and adds visual interest. For example, if you have selected a countertop style that has multiple colors, your accent color should be one of the colors in the countertops.

Try to consider using a simple color palette for cabinets and a bolder color for the accent. Keep the major items such as cabinets and flooring simple but use accessories and appliances to make your kitchen pop if you want something more colorful.

For instance, instead of getting green cabinets with yellow countertops, try choosing a simpler color combination such as black and white and making smaller things like accessories vivid. This will allow you to use various elements to create a balanced look and bring the design together. Another upside is that you can change up the look in your kitchen over the years more easily by altering the accent color.

2. Start with countertops

Some people may think that as cabinets attract a lot of attention, choosing cabinets should be the first step in kitchen remodeling. But in fact, picking out countertops first will make the process smoother and give you more options. There are more countertops to consider than cabinets and flooring products, so building the rest around your countertops allows you to explore more color and pattern options. If you select cabinets first, you will be limited to finding countertops that pair well with your cabinets. Therefore, it is easier to match your cabinets and flooring to your countertops first, than to match countertops with existing décor.

On another note, countertops are important if you want to add a backsplash. Starting with the central part of the kitchen lets you set a main tone for the kitchen and makes the coordination process straightforward and simple.

3. Compare product colors in different lightings

Visiting a showroom is key when it comes to choosing countertops and cabinets. Cabinets may not look well in certain lighting conditions so view them during various night and day times. Start by grabbing your existing or new cabinet door and some countertop samples. Viewing them under your own lighting and against the backdrop of your cabinet will give you an opportunity to choose a pattern and design to complement your kitchen décor.

Lights can be used to influence how a room looks and feels. Now, you may be thinking how can I choose the right lighting for my room? When deciding on different types of lightbulbs, it is best to plan what kind of atmosphere you want to create. Warm white light adds a yellow hue that is meant for a more relaxed environment such as bedrooms, bathrooms, and living rooms. Because of their warm color and yellow hue, they may not appear as bright as natural or cool white colors. On the other hand, natural and cool light gives more of a blue hue. These lights are more useful in spaces that require attention to details such as kitchen, garages, and offices.

The color light you choose is completely based on the vision you have and what you want to create for it.

Color Selection

As we mentioned earlier, having three colors in mind will help you put your kitchen design together, but how to select the colors exactly? Here are some tips for you to have a better understanding of kitchen color selection.

  • If you are feeling stuck, looking towards a color wheel may help:

  • Modern and contemporary spaces tend to use brighter colors and stronger contrasts such as black and white; traditional styles prefer warmer, more neutral colors with lighter contrasts.

  • There are two types of pairing: contrasting or complementary. As the name suggests, contrasting pairing uses contrasting colors to create visual interests in a room. The contrast does not have to be black and white. Warm wood cabinets or flooring and countertops of a lighter color can also offer a crisp distinction with a complete feel.

On the contrary, elements complement each other by complementary, analogous, or neutral combinations. For example, beige, tan, and gray are commonly used together.

  • If you don’t know what you want, stay in simple colors. You may use a solid base of black and white, greys, or other neutral colors on your room’s main elements, and based on the style you are going after, you may choose bolder colors for accents.


1. Do island cabinets and countertops need to match the perimeter cabinets and counters?

Not necessarily. Some homeowners opt to use the same color of the cabinets for the kitchen island, but many people like to mix it up and try various color combinations. Your kitchen island cabinets and countertops do not need to match the perimeter cabinets and tops. In fact, they can even contrast with each other.

A common way to utilize different colors for cabinets and the kitchen island is by using a darker shade on the lower cabinets and a lighter shade on top. This makes it possible to spice up your design with more colors, and as the lighter shade on the upper cabinets draws your eye upward, it helps space appear larger.

2. How do we decide on the color of the floor?

There are also two common ways to match your floor with other elements in the kitchen: 1. Coordinate your floor with countertops and cabinets and the color of the floor acts as a secondary color.

2. Make the floor color a contrasting color. For example, a kitchen with white cabinets, black countertops and dark flooring looks classic, clean, and elegant. Black and white are the two dominant colors in this design, while the dark wood flooring acts as a contrasting element.

3. How to match countertops and backsplash?

A backsplash is, in many ways, an extension of your countertops. As the countertop is the primary focal point, the backsplash is usually designed in either the same material or a complementary tone that blends with one of the primary colors in the kitchen. In addition, selecting a contrasting tone for the backsplash is also an option. If your countertop is more neutral or flat in appearance, then you can get more creative with your backsplash with more interesting colors.

Matching cabinets, countertops and flooring requires some work, but no matter you choose to stick to a color palette that provides a uniform look throughout your kitchen or decide to be more creative and use contrasting colors, following the general guidelines will help make designing your kitchen a simpler task and can go a long way.

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