Backlit Kitchen Counter Tops Are the Trendiest Kitchen Look Right Now

Want to make your kitchen look great and work better for night snacking? Consider a backlit kitchen counter. Learn all about this cool decor trend.

Our editors and experts handpick every product we feature. We may earn a commission from your purchases.

When it comes to home decor, details matter, and this is especially true of kitchens. That’s why choosing the right look, feel and materials for your kitchen countertops is worthwhile.

Lately, a new kitchen decor trend has been taking the internet by storm—the backlit kitchen counter. Cleverly using light and the natural translucence of certain countertop materials, backlit kitchen counters are a great way to make the heart of your home both eye-catching and more useful. Especially if, like me, you enjoy nighttime snacks. Keep reading to learn about this cool trend.

What Are Backlit Kitchen Countertops?

Backlit kitchen countertops are mildly translucent countertop surfaces with flat LED light panels installed underneath. The right combination of light panels and translucent material (usually stone) creates the illusion of a countertop that glows.

Several companies make LED panels designed for installation beneath countertops, and they all work similarly. All backlit kitchen counters need some sort of substrate installed underneath to support both the counter and lights. Plywood 3/4 inch thick is an excellent choice since it’s thick enough to accommodate shallow grooves for wires to be tucked out of the way. Vertical backsplashes can also be backlit using the same method, as seen below.

@thewoodenpalate Reply to @thebigburg0r onyx backlit 💡#kitcheninspo #greenonyx ♬ Sunshine (The Light) – Fat Joe & DJ Khaled & Amorphous

What Kind of Countertop Stone Can Be Backlit?

Regardless of your decor preferences, it’s important to choose the right material for the job— one that’s translucent enough to allow lots of light through. Luckily, quite a few types of stone fit the bill: quartz, onyx, agate, marble, certain varieties of granite and others. Some man-made materials like glass and resin also make great backlit kitchen counters.

Can I Do This Project Myself?

It depends on the size of your countertop, your experience level and available tools. At the very least, you’ll need the following tools and materials:

  • Counter backlighting panels
  • Plywood
  • Table saw
  • Jigsaw
  • Caulking gun
  • Silicone
  • Drill and drill index
  • Basic wiring tools and skills
  • Countertop fastening hardware

You’ll need to be comfortable cutting the plywood to size on a table saw, and probably custom-cutting certain areas with a jigsaw.

Place your plywood substrate on top of the cabinets, then arrange your light panels on top. Use a table saw to cut 3/8 inch deep channels in the plywood as needed to route wires from the LED panels, then join the custom-sized plywood substrate to your cabinet using countertop fastening hardware.

Fasten the LED panels down with a little silicone, then route and connect the wires to the nearest handy circuit (if doing your own electrical work is permitted in your area).

For a seasoned DIYer, building your own backlit kitchen counter isn’t difficult. But if it’s your first DIY project, you’d be wise to get some experienced help.

Popular Videos

Robert Maxwell
Robert Maxwell is a writer, videographer, photographer and online strength coach based in Northern Ontario, Canada. He grew up on a rural self-sufficient homestead property where he learned the skills to build his own home from the ground up, do all his own vehicle repairs, and work with wood, stone and metal to find practical DIY solutions to many everyday problems.