Black Countertops Are Making a Comeback—Here’s How to Get the Look

Black countertops provide a sleek backdrop in any kitchen. Here’s how to make them work in your own home.

kitchen with walnut finish kitchen cabinets

Erin Little

Twenty years ago, when filmmaker Nancy Meyers featured a honed black granite countertop in her movie Something’s Gotta Give, she set off a design trend that reverberated throughout kitchens across the U.S. Two decades later, and interior designers are reporting a black countertop resurgence. “The color exudes elegance and drama while making a bold statement,” says Joe Carline, a partner at Kligerman Architecture & Design. “Plus, it provides a sophisticated canvas for expressing design ideas.” 

Ahead, design experts share why you should consider a black countertop in 2024.  

It Works with Any Kitchen Style

Black countertops are chameleons and can adapt to pretty much any kitchen style—whether they’re enhancing an ultra-modern design, adding drama to a farmhouse setting, or evoking a coastal chic or cozy cottage vibe. Their versatile nature allows for both an elevated and relaxed aesthetic.

“Black countertops effortlessly adapt to various design styles to create a cohesive feel,” says Becky Shea, creative director at BS/D, who likes pairing them with natural woods, softer color palettes, and casual decor. 

Choosing complementary accessories is key to making black countertops work in any style kitchen, notes Marie Cloud, owner and principal designer at Indigo Pruitt Design Studio. “With coastal and cottage styles, for example, black countertops add contrast and depth against lighter and softer elements.”

Ashley Maddox, a kitchen and bath designer at District Cabinets, loves accessorizing black countertops in French country kitchens. “Picture pewter-colored cabinets, funky art in vintage frames, and a large wood dining table."

gray cabinets in kitchen

Annie Schlechter

It Complements Most Existing Cabinet Colors

Black countertops function as a neutral, creating contrast against white or light cabinets. “However black-on-black can be daringly chic, especially in a sleek, modern kitchen,” says Ross Padluck, a partner at Kligerman Architecture & Design.

Black countertops can also look earthy and warm against natural or ebonized wood. “I love bringing a look together by mixing an all-black painted wood island, a lighter perimeter cabinet, and a black countertop,” says Laura Bischofberger, a designer at J. Banks Design.

For a moody combination, Lucy Penfield, founder and creative director at Lucy Interiors, likes to team black countertops with deep green or Bordeaux cabinetry. “It’s like velvet and leather—sultry and luxurious,” she says. 

It Comes in Two Different Finishes

A matte finish on a black countertop offers an understated elegance with minimal reflection, while a glossy finish results in a polished, high-end look.

“A matte usually works best in a more traditional setting, while a glossy surface is sleeker and looks more modern,” says Padluck. “I once put honed granite black countertops in a 19th-century home and it appeared as if they’d always been there. I also installed a polished black marble countertop on a bar in a contemporary waterfront beach house and it looked perfectly at home.” 

With a matte finish, reflected light won’t compete with the details of the stone and will be easier to maintain and hide imperfections. “A polished finish exudes a luxurious appeal, but I prefer to lean into a quieter, understated matte for a subtle yet impactful presence,” says Shea.

black and white compact kitchen with black/white diamond floor tiles, white cabinets with black hardware, black pendant light and black countertops

Jay Wilde

It Makes a Room Feel Bigger

Some believe a black countertop will make their kitchen feel smaller. “But it’s actually quite the opposite,” says Maddox. “Black countertops add depth and dimension, opening up and visually expanding a space.” Maddox suggests choosing a stone with subtle veining, “as solid black can come off as monolithic,” he says.

The only time you should avoid black countertops, says Seth Ballard, founder of Ballard + Mensua Architecture, is if there’s not a lot of natural or artificial light in the room. “Things could feel a bit claustrophobic,” he notes.

It Shines in the Right Light

Strategic illumination of pendant lights, under-cabinet lighting, and statement chandeliers is important when you have dark countertops. “The key is balancing ambient and task lighting to enhance visibility and prevent the kitchen from feeling too dark, along with using under-cabinet lighting and pendant lights to illuminate and accentuate the space,” says Cloud.

If you’re implementing LEDs, experts suggest using warm, white 2700K bulbs. “The last thing you want is for your kitchen to feel like an operating room,” shares Padluck.

It Works Well with Neutrals

Whites, grays, and muted colors all create a balanced backdrop when it comes to black countertops. “It’s called neutral harmony, where you allow the countertop to shine without overwhelming the space,” says Carline.

A variety of flooring can be paired with black countertops—from ebony wood to black and white marble. “I love a white oak floor and a bone white wall with black countertops,” shares Christina Kim, the owner and principal of Christina Kim Interior Design

It's Low-Maintenance

Black countertops will show fingerprints and smudges more, especially under bright lights and in glossier finishes. “Look to textured materials to help hide smears,” suggests Ballard. “Something like Absolute Black polished granite requires very little maintenance.” Adds Cloud, “The good news is dirt and crumbs don’t show up on black countertops as much.”

It Looks Great in a Thin or Thick Slab

When choosing a thickness for your countertops, consider your overall vision and the style of your kitchen, says Cloud. A thin black countertop contributes to a minimalist aesthetic, while a thicker one will add substance to a space and can withstand more weight.

“My go-to with black countertops is a 1-¼-inch thickness with an eased edge,” says Penfield. “But a ¾-inch countertop with a minimal overhang can look great in a modern setting.” Shea prefers a 2-inch thickness with an eased edge. “I like a profile that adds a sense of volume.”

mudroom sink and black counter

John Gruen

It Works Outside of the Kitchen

Black countertops can create a luxurious and dramatic feel in places like a home office or library. Bischofberger loves one on a bar paired with brass accents, while Penfield finds them equally as elegant in a powder room or pantry.

However, Maddox doesn’t recommend putting black countertops in a bathroom, “You don’t want to risk toothpaste and soap stains,” she says.

It Doesn't Have to Be Moody

It’s all about creating the right balance using the other elements in the room. “I’m actually all for the moodiness!” says Cloud. “However, I like to pair a black countertop with a lighter or more colorful backsplash, plenty of lighting and natural elements to keep the space feeling welcoming.” Carlene often introduces elements including open shelving and glass cabinets to stabilize the dark drama of a black countertop.

Vibrant colored accessories can infuse energy and prevent a moody atmosphere, while a softer hue can work as well. “Consider pairing black countertops with something unexpected, like pale blush,” suggests Penfield.

It Never Goes Out of Style

A black countertop can be timeless, but it’s important to update any finishes to keep things fresh. “Replacing cabinet hardware, for example, is one way to do so,” says Ballard. “It’s all about incorporating finishes that are trending to keep black countertops feeling current.”

kitchen with black honed marble backsplash

Better Homes & Gardens WERNER STRAUBE

The 5 Best Black Countertop Options

There’s a lot to consider when choosing a black countertop for your home. Here, Zach Epstein, president and chief product officer at Artistic Tile, shares the pros and cons of the most popular offerings.


  • Pros: Highly durable; scratch, stain and heat resistant. 
  • Cons: Prone to chipping and cracking.


  • Pros: Heat-resistant, comes in a variety of colors and textures, a good value.
  • Cons: Requires annual sealing.


  • Pros: Heat and stain-resistant, won’t chip easily.
  • Cons: Prone to stains and scratches, requires maintenance with a light sandpaper and oiling.


  • Pros: Durable, comes in solid colors.
  • Cons: Not heat tolerant.


  • Pros: Natural colors and veining, luxe look and feel.
  • Cons: Pricy, susceptible to chips, stains and etching, requires regular sealing. 
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