Louise O’Bryan, Houzz employee
Mixing and matching kitchen cabinet doors is a big trend, and now we’re seeing a mix of materials in countertops too. Combining different types of countertops in contrasting colors and textures has several advantages. It creates visual drama, offers versatility, and can help stretch a budget.
For example, if you had your eye on an expensive marble slab or stunning hardwood, you could use it as a focal point in a small space while installing something cheaper in the rest of the room. Surfaces can be tailored for functions such as a heat-resistant top for the cooking zone and warm wood for the dining area. Regardless of your style or taste, there is room for more than one countertop material in your kitchen.
Wood combinations. Wood is the support of the kitchen surface, but if you want something different, combine it with a modern composite material or natural stone.
Many people pick wood for its good looks, but it needs regular oiling when used around the stove and sink to prevent burns and water damage. So if you want the beauty of wood but also want it to be practical, only use wood in the dining area to save a lot of time on maintenance. I love the combination of distinctive wood grains like zebrawood or iroko with modern pale surfaces like limestone.
Paired. Kitchens with worktops in the same finish as the cabinets look elegant and uniform. It’s good practice when combining materials to avoid making the room look crowded.
When mixing a wood with a colored surface and cabinets, take into account the tone of the wood. The color varies within the wood countertops and the result can be either warm or cold to the touch. Combining wood with the right color is crucial. Combinations that work well are pale oak with deep gray and rich walnut with cool green.
Practical ending. Bakers know the benefits of rolling dough on a chilled surface (it doesn’t stick as much). Why not add a marble or granite top to the end of a wooden or laminate counter to get the job done? It also creates an interesting visual function.
Raw edge. Polished concrete slabs make a statement and are perfect for channeling an industrial look. However, their texture and finish can feel a little cold and uninviting for a dining area. Try pairing yours with a smooth and clean looking surface like a composite material. Composites are man-made materials that use rock minerals suspended in tough resin. They are dirt-repellent, easy to care for and antibacterial.
Color blocks. Laminated surfaces are the cheapest countertop option. Thanks to their tough coating wrapped around high density particle board, plywood or medium density fibreboard, they are hard wearing. They also come in a variety of colors. Here they are combined with a stainless steel worktop around the sink area for ease of use.
The professional touch. Stainless steel countertops are hygienic and can withstand heat, water and stains. However, steel feels pretty cold and scratchy, so it’s probably not the ideal material for a breakfast bar that has a lot of cutlery action. Combining it with another smooth and smooth surface for the dining area like limestone will make your serious kitchen welcoming yet very functional.
Attractive opposites. Marble is enjoying growing popularity again in the kitchen. Its bold veining adds drama to backsplashes, islands, and other surfaces, and each slab of natural marble varies in color and pattern. However, this beauty has its price. So if you devote a considerable amount of work space to another material like wood or laminate, you can save a bundle and still keep the classic look.
Cool monochrome. If you want to play it calmly and collectively with a nifty black and white palette, consider increasing the stake with a standout island. Choose wraparound black countertops to highlight this central feature and white surfaces for the rest of the room to make it feel light and bright.
Compare and contrast. Galley kitchens often feel a bit strange because of their long and narrow construction. Try to get the heart rate up by mixing something rough with the smooth. A chunky, sturdy concrete slab opposite a thin porcelain surface creates a breathtaking contrast that will make your heart beat faster.