Perfect Countertops for Hickory Cabinets

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Last updated: April 7, 2023

So, you finally got your dream hickory cabinets. You’re glad that they look downright at home in your kitchen. But here’s the thing. You have no idea what countertop will pair with them well. What countertops work best with hickory cabinets, then?

Don’t worry; hickory cabinets go well with many countertop materials, specifically ceramic tiles, quartz, soapstone, solid acrylic, and stainless steel. They also look great in many colors, from light to dark, perfectly suit several kitchen styles.

Continue reading to learn more about hickory cabinets.

Table of Contents

Perfect countertops for hickory cabinets

While several countertop materials boast impressive popularity, not all go well with hickory cabinets. There are a few great picks that you’ll want to consider.

Ceramic tiles

Ceramic tiles are easy to clean and install and look great for the beach or modern kitchens. With most ceramic tiles mimicking the look of marble, wood, leather, granite, or even cork, you won’t be hard-pressed to find a color that perfectly matches your hickory cabinets.


Quartz is a favorite stone-like engineered material that offers the same perks as granite and marble for a lower price. You can easily find a matching quartz material in the right texture and color that will go well with your hickory cabinets and further bring out their beauty.


Soapstone is a type of natural stone often with a gray hue, making it a great countertop option if you have hickory cabinets in your industrial kitchen. The high heat-resistant and stain-resistant material also works great in traditional kitchens.

Solid acrylic

Resin and solid acrylic countertops are made from pressed sheets containing the two materials. Thanks to their cheaper price tag than other natural materials, resin and acrylic sheets work better for bigger kitchens. They also come in various patterns and colors that pair well with hickory cabinets.

Stainless steel

Countertops made from stainless steel are a fantastic choice for contemporary or industrial kitchens. These are easy to clean, heat-resistant, and durable surfaces that add value to any property. These neat countertops can go well with dark and light hickory shades.

Perfect Countertops for Hickory Cabinets master with hardwood floor

What are the characteristics of hickory wood

Hickory wood is what most people often call a tough cookie for many reasons. Being one of the strongest and densest American domestic hardwoods, it established its reputation as one of those materials that are difficult to work with and as tough as nails.

Hickory is a type of hardwood with more emphasis on the hard part. Around 12 species are growing in the USA alone, although mixing them up is common and sold as just plain hickory wood.

It has paler brown sapwood, while its heartwood often has a medium to light brown color with a reddish hue. This natural material is also acclaimed for its durability, which makes it an ideal choice for high-wear products like flooring and tool handles.

But the most desirable characteristic of hickory wood is its distinct combination of hardness, toughness, and strength that you can’t get from other species. This extremely durable wood is considered tough enough to endure almost anything.

The Janka scale, or the measure of a wood’s hardness, shows hickory having a remarkable 1820. It’s around 41% harder compared to traditional red oak, and it’s also North America’s second hardest species of hardwood.

What countertop colors work best with hickory cabinets

The medium to light-colored countertops with minimal movement works best with hickory cabinets.

Earthy medium to light colors such as brown, cream, and beige can help bring out the wood’s warmth. These are versatile colors that work with dark and light-colored hickory wood. Your kitchen will have a lovelier contrast if you opt for a lighter countertop and darker wood color.

Beige and cream are popular since they highlight and make hickory wood’s rich texture stand out more. These are the best color options for rustic or traditional kitchens.

Gray is also a favorite color for farmhouse kitchens or traditional kitchens. Meanwhile, white works best with beach kitchens. A white countertop is also a chic combo for dark and medium-colored hickory in Mediterranean kitchens.

Black or brown countertops are best for light-colored hickory. These look elegant, classy, and clean and blend well with various wall paint colors. A dark gray, dark brown, or block counter can best complement hickory cabinets in industrial kitchens.

But these darker countertops may be trickier to clean depending on the material due to the risk of visible print marks. They may also make small kitchens look and feel more cramped.

Luxury kitchen with tile floor and stained hickory cabinets

Which kitchen style works best with hickory cabinets

Many kitchen styles work best with knotty hickory cabinets. Here are some examples.

Farmhouse kitchens

Farmhouse kitchens are popular design trends that exude warmth, making any home look cozier and more inviting. Remember that while the style may seem easy, it also requires research. In particular, you must be extra careful when combining materials like hickory cabinets, paints, hardware, and color finishes.

Modern kitchens

Modern kitchens boast many incredibly user-friendly counters and valuable storage space, making this style lean more toward functionality. Designs are usually streamlined using practical layouts and sharp edges, making the cabinets look more compact. Modern hickory cabinets work best for this style.

Rustic kitchens

Rustic is probably the most popular kitchen style that works best with hickory cabinets. You won’t be able to resist the charming and nostalgic vibe of a rustic kitchen made even better by cabinets made from hickory wood.

Perfect countertops for natural wood cabinets

You might have always wanted natural wood cabinets, but you have no idea what countertop materials will work best with them.

If you prefer something as timeless and classic as natural wood cabinetry, some of your best choices are solid stones such as granite or marble slab.

The manufactured and more durable white stone quartz is another timeless substitute for marble countertops.

If you prefer a more modern or contemporary design, try gray soapstone or concrete to achieve that concrete appeal. Modern kitchens often have clean lines and are bright and open, which means that anything that can create these clean lines will work to your advantage.

Another timeless material like marble is also great, although you can be extra creative with a waterfall edge. You could also use the same material as your countertop on the backsplash to create clean lines. 

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