feature green and white kitchen

How to save $5K on a new countertop.

$5K on a New Countertop? Really?

I recently saved a husband $5K on a new countertop by asking his wife two questions. They were about to buy a new Corian countertop and came to me for help choosing a new backsplash.

Question 1:

“Why do you want a new countertop, what’s wrong with the one you have?”

Her answer: ” I don’t really want one, I love the one I have and there is nothing wrong with it, but my kitchen is dated and everyone else is getting new counters.”

Question 2:

“When you walk into your kitchen, is there something there that really bugs you?”

blue and green backsplashHer answer: “ Yes, my backsplash. I hate it.” Her current backsplash is 6-by-6-inch tiles, some green and some blue. Here is an example of an over-zealous backsplash.

The Discussion

So then we had a conversation about the possibility that it wasn’t the countertop and backsplash, but rather just the backsplash that was the real problem for her. And we came to an agreement that we would solve the problem without a new counter-top.

But now more questions popped up.  What should she use as a backsplash that would not fight the some-kind-of-beige ceramic floor-tile in the kitchen or the green countertop but work with her fairly new cabinets which are, in her words, “White.”

Solve the Problem

Sounds daunting, doesn’t it? Here is how we are going to solve the dilemma. With samples of white paint in hand, we will compare whites to find out what color of white her cabinets are.

There are four kinds of white: blue-white, true white, off-white and cream-white, according to my Color Guru Maria Killam. Blue-white and true-white work with grays and blacks. Off-white and cream-white work with the browns of the world.

4 whites

white tiles cream cabinets



What we choose for the backsplash has to bridge between the cabinets and the countertop.  White subway tiles with cream-white cabinets and an earthy  counter just won’t cut it.




white cabinets beige counterSimilarly, if the cabinets are true or blue white, a biscuit subway tile might look just plain old dirty. It’s going to be tricky, but she knows, now, that the counter and backsplash must look like they belong together — so that neither one hollers; “Look at ME, Look at ME!” And the backsplash must work with the cabinets.



off-white and green kitchenWith any luck at all, her cabinets are either off-white or cream white. Then a soft beige subway tile will be just perfect. And the cost will be a whole lot less than the Corian new countertop.


Written by