Modern Countertop Colors for Honey Oak Kitchens


What Countertop Goes with Oak?

Hey there honey oak kitchen owners!

You might think your oak cabinets are hopelessly outdated, but I’m here to tell you that simply updating your kitchen countertops is a great way to achieve a modern look in a 90s home. So, what are the best modern countertop colors for honey oak kitchens? I’ll lay it all out for you so you can decide what material to use and what countertop color is best for your oak kitchen.

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What are the most popular countertop materials?

Before we get into the modern countertop colors for honey oak kitchens, we should touch on the more popular options for materials. According to Frank Lloyd Wright, form follows function…the color (form) should reflect the activities (functions) that take place in the kitchen. So, you’ll want to be sure to choose the color of countertop after you decide from the material options that best fit your needs.

So, let’s talk countertop material!

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What is the Best Material for Kitchen Countertops?

When it comes to kitchen countertop materials, you have a lot of options. Whether you prefer a classic look or a more modern vibe, there is something that will work for everyone. Granite and quartzite offer a lot of durability, making them an excellent choice for anyone looking to add endurance to their kitchen.

Quartz is your best bet to offer excellent resistance to heat and scratches, making it great for everyday use in even the busiest of kitchens. And finally, marble exudes elegance like no other option can, but the trade-off is the higher level of care and maintenance, and the cost.

So, whether you’re dreaming of granite or just gotta have marble, there’s something out there perfect for every home cook’s needs.

RELATED: Quartz vs. Granite Kitchen Countertops


Oak Cabinets with Quartz Countertops

Quartz is a low-maintenance to no-maintenance material that is resistant to scratches and stains. As a result, it is an ideal choice for busy families who want a beautiful kitchen that is easy to care for.

You do not seal quartz countertops like you do natural stone countertops. While quartz countertops are extremely durable, they still require some care and maintenance to keep them looking their best.

How to Care for Quartz Countertops

  • Wipe up any spills or messes as soon as they happen. Quartz is resistant to staining, but it’s always better to be safe especially with lighter colors.
  • Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners on your quartz countertops. Stick to gentle, pH-neutral cleaners or a mild all-purpose cleaner and avoid anything with bleach or ammonia.
  • Quartz is heat resistant, but it’s still a good idea to use a hot pad or trivet when placing hot pots and pans on your countertop.

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Granite Countertops with Oak Cabinets

Granite is durable and easy to maintain, making it a good choice for a busy kitchen. I’ve always been a big fan of granite countertops. The smooth, sleek surface is both practical and beautiful, making kitchens look sophisticated and elegant. Granite is incredibly strong and durable, making it perfect for all kinds of high-traffic areas. It’s also heat resistant; however, I still recommend using a trivet with hot pans.

How to Care for Granite Countertops

  • Wipe up spills immediately. Granite is naturally absorbent, although not as absorbent as marble. So, it’s important to clean up spills as soon as they happen. This will prevent them from staining the granite.
  • Use pH-neutral cleaners. Harsh cleaners can damage granite, so it’s important to use mild, pH-neutral cleaners when cleaning granite countertops.
  • Regularly seal granite countertops. Sealing granite countertops helps to protect them from stains and scratches. For best results, sealing should be done every six months to one year. I recommend having granite sealed professionally for the best results.

Oak Cabinets with Marble Countertops

Marble countertops are a popular choice for kitchens, I mean, they are gorgeous! However, marble comes with a few drawbacks.

First, it is more susceptible to scratches than other materials like quartz, quartzite or granite. Additionally, marble is porous, so maintenance can be tricky when you have marble countertops in your kitchen because spills can quickly stain the material and require professional cleaning or polishing by experts.

So, if you’re someone who is rough on your cooking surfaces, then you might want to consider going with quartz for the same look, but no maintenance.

How to Care for Marble Countertops

  • Use coasters or place mats when setting down glasses or dishes.
  • Use a trivet for hot pans or dishes.
  • Be quick to wipe up any spills as soon as they happen.
  • Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners on marble, as these can damage the surface.
  • Marble is a porous material, which means it can easily absorb liquids and stains so it will need to be sealed on a regular basis to prevent staining. I recommend having marble sealed professionally for the best results.
  • Marble is susceptible to scratches, so it’s important to use coasters and cutting boards when preparing food.

Oak Cabinets and Quartzite

Quartzite is a natural stone that has become increasingly popular in recent years as a material for countertops. It’s also very durable. Quartzite is similar to granite in that it’s hard (but not quite as hard), and resistant to heat and water, making it a great choice for countertops that will see a lot of use.

How to Care for Quartzite Countertops

  • Quartzite is porous so it needs to be sealed. Sealing quartzite countertops helps to protect them from stains and scratches. For best results, sealing should be done every six months to one year. I recommend having quartzite sealed professionally for the best results.
  • Use a trivet to protect quartzite from heat when placing hot dishes or pans on the counter.
  • Wipe up spills immediately. Quartzite is a natural absorbent, so it’s important to clean up spills as soon as they happen. This will prevent them from staining the granite.
  • Use pH-neutral cleaners. Harsh cleaners can damage granite, so it’s important to use mild, pH-neutral cleaners when cleaning granite countertops.

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Which Countertop Finish is Best?

There are four main finishes for countertops: polished, leathered, honed, and matte. Each has its own unique look and feel.

  • Polished countertops have a high shine and are very reflective. They are easy to clean and maintain but can show smudges and fingerprints more easily than other finishes.
  • Leathered countertops have a soft, velvety texture. They are less reflective than polished countertops and can camouflage smudges and fingerprints more effectively.
  • Honed countertops have a smooth, satin-like finish. They are somewhere in between polished and leathered in terms of reflectivity and smudge-resistance.
  • Matte countertops (similar to honed) have a non-reflective finish that is growing in popularity because it is modern and sleek. It is also more resistant to smudges and fingerprints than polished or leathered countertops.

So, which finish is right for you? Only you can decide!

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Modern Countertop Colors for Honey Oak Kitchens

Let’s look at some countertop color ideas to work with your light oak kitchen or even your medium to dark oak kitchen cabinets. Because your cabinets are in the warm wood tones, you have a lot of options in terms of what countertop colors will look good with them. You could go with light colors, dark colors, or neutral color countertops. It all depends on the look you’re going for in your kitchen design.


RELATED: Are White Kitchens Timeless or Trendy?

White quartz countertops would look seriously chic with your honey oak cabinets vs. in an all-over white kitchen. Alternatively, if you want an inviting feel in your kitchen, then bring in some warm neutral colors.

Below are a few of my picks for countertops colors for honey oak kitchen s or other wood cabinets. Each one has a little something to bring in the warmth of the honey oak while bringing in fresh new look and color palette.

What Granite Looks Good with Honey Oak?

Earthy tones are making a big comeback in interior design. Natural stone like granite is the best way to achieve an earth toned color scheme. Granite is available in a wide variety of different colors. The neutral colors of natural stone granite go well with most wooden cabinets and looks good with most wood tones. But best of all, no two pieces of granite are exactly alike!

Sterling Granite
Volcano Black Granite
Kempton Park Granite

Quartz Countertops with Honey Oak

Quartz is a versatile material that comes in a variety of colors you can’t find with natural stone. Options such as large swooping veins, bright colors for a modern kitchen, or more neutral colors such as white or black, make it easy to find the perfect countertop color for a honey oak kitchen.

Brittanicca Gold by Cambria Quartz Surfaces
Hollinsbrook by Cambria Quartz Surfaces
Windermere by Cambria Quartz Surfaces

Marble Countertops with Honey Oak

Marble countertops have been a popular choice in recent years, and it’s easy to see why. They add both value and beauty that increases the overall aesthetic of your space. Marble countertops are definitely a luxurious addition to any home. They come in a variety of colors, from classic white to striking black, and they have a timeless elegance that is hard to match.

Calacatta Oro Marble
Arabescatus Marble
Crema Marfil Marble

Quartzite Countertops with Honey Oak

Quartzite is available in a wide range beautiful of colors, making it a good choice for coordinating with honey oak wood or any oak cabinetry. This natural stone is incredibly beautiful with its soft veining and Monet like watery patterns.

Quarzo Bianco Quartzite
Blue Roma Quartzite
Sea Pearl Quartzite

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Contrasting Countertop Colors for Honey Oak Kitchens

If you’re looking to add a focal point to your kitchen, why not choose contrasting countertop colors for your honey oak kitchen? A bold pattern on the island and a solid color or smaller sale patterned countertop on the perimeter cabinets can really make a big impact and give your kitchen a custom look. You’ll want to avoid competing patterns and create a harmonious color palette with complementary colors.

A harmonious color palette is created with honey oak kitchen cabinets, contrasting countertops and coordinating backsplash.

So, there you have it! Whether you have honey oak, dark oak, golden oak, light oak, or medium oak cabinets, there is a countertop shade out there that is sure to complement your 90s kitchen.

A few ideas to get you started in the right direction to choose countertop color for your honey oak kitchen. We hope this inspired you to take on a little DIY project in your kitchen!

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Hi, I’m Carla


I’m glad you’re here! You are in the right place if you are feeling overwhelmed at the thought of embarking on a remodeling or interior design project. Living with an outdated home and don’t know where to start? I’ve helped families like yours update their home and create spaces that reflect what’s important to them for over 25 years.

Join me!

I’ve been honored to be featured in and receive awards from:

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Houzz / Best of Service & Design

Minnesota Chapter ASID – First Place Award

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7 Responses

  1. Hi there, I really have enjoyed your posts on updating 90’s Honey Oak kitchens as we have one and will not be painting or replacing them because we love them. I struggle with countertop / flooring combo with Honey Oak. I am drawn to Private Studio Collection, Lusso for the tops with the gold, black and grey accents. I think the gold ties in the honey oak and we plan to replace the hardware with matte black and replace appliances with stainless. Backsplash I would tie in with tops with a sleek look (no dark grout). After doing some research I believe I want to go darker with our flooring (grey seems to be on its way out and I want classic) but would love your input. Thank you!

    1. Hi Michele! I’m so glad you are enjoying my posts and find them helpful! It is true – the on-trend colors are now moving to earthier tones but not the beige colors of the 90s! My suggestion is to go with what you like for a color palette vs. what the trends are. One thought about dark flooring – it does show dust, lint, crumbs, etc. much more than lighter colors. It sounds like you are on the right track with your selections so far! Love to see photos when it is complete! – Carla

  2. Changing countertops for my kitchen. I love my honey oak cabinets which I didnt think I would grow to love but I love the uniqueness in today’s age. I am going with Lusso quartz that has a little hint of gold but am struggling to find a backsplash I like. If I go with subway tiles, would you recommend light or dark grout?

    1. Hi Marie-Aimee, If you go with subway tile, I assume it is white? I am a fan of keeping the grout light to keep it from looking too busy.

  3. Hi Carla. I have honey oak cabinets and am changing my countertops. I am thinking of white with grey veins called Bettoglio Quartz. What do you think? I have been told the backsplash would look good with the matching Quartz. It would go on the wall behind the stove and along the small walls on the side. Also another small wall under where my microwave sits. Do you think that would be too much? I am in a Condo and have a bar top behind the sink so I will be removing that and extending the counter.. This is a big investment so I would appreciate your opinion. Thank you.

  4. Could you please tell me what countertop is in the top picture of this article. I love it!

    Thank you!

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