Soft gray countertops and other midtone shades such as beiges or rich creams are the most neutral counter options. In this kitchen with creamy off‐white cabinets and golden yellow undertones in the backsplash and wood the dreamy creamy counters add to a harmonious peaceful look perfect for friendly family breakfasts. Softly flecked gray stone has a look similar to concrete and it works perfectly in contemporary spaces with a bit of an architectural bent. It has the advantage of hiding the occasional spot while still looking clean and tidy and not too dark or busy. It’s great if you don’t always have a perfectly organized space but still want a put‐together look.
Matching the floor stain color is one of the most challenging phases of a project. If you've got original floors and plan to refinish just the kitchen – or are laying new wood floors to match the old for continuity – don't expect a perfect match. Many floors in old homes are made of old‐growth wood and flooring is manufactured differently now. The natural patina of an old floor also is nearly impossible to match. Companies offering reclaimed wood floors can make that matching process easier.
Wood counters naturally also work well in spaces that already feature wood cabinets – that is if you’re a true wood lover and don’t mind it dominating the palette. Notice in several of these examples how wood only dresses the island counters. Wood in general is an excellent material to use for an accent counter (often on an island or a small "chopping zone" in butcher block) contrasting with nearby stone or solid‐surface counters in a pleasing way.