Quick question about counter tops in a flip

7 Replies

I am working on a flip and I wanted to ask others about their experiences with counter tops (ct). I am thinking about placing granite ct's in the house. However, before I do so I wanted to know if it would matter. I know granite is a better seller than laminate in general, but I anticipate that this house will sell for no 100-115k. In a house in this price range does laminate vs granite matter all that much?


Interested to see the answers to this..

What is the cost difference for you?  What are your monthly holding costs?

@David Clay - check the comps in your area. In general, if comparable houses all have granite, you go with granite. If not, you don't.

If your comps show a mix of granite and laminate, I'd go with the granite if my budget allowed. Our goal is always to make our house the best one in its price point, while at the same time being careful not to over-improve (i.e. putting in unnecessary flourishes).

A couple years ago I rehabbed my first house......before I got a contractor involved I started on my own and got laminate counter tops from Lowes......for X amount (can't remember the price exactly), about a week later I hired a contractor to help me move things along....and he had a resource that could have gotten me granite for less than I paid for laminate.....  so you never know, worth a look around......

Hi David,

Here's another possibility. I'm a GC and have two or three stone supplier / fabricators that I work with on a regular basis. Aside from doing residential work, they also do larger commercial jobs for which they order large slabs of stone, and often have left over material when the project is finished. For my smaller residential jobs, I'm able to pick up stone tops at pretty significant discounts from their leftovers. More often than not these are very nice pieces of stone. Just a thought.


Thanks for all the feedback and ideas. I'm sorry about the delay in response. I'm new to the forum and didn't quite figure out how to get back to my posts and subsequent responses. I think I have it covered now.

@Heather Jones - I believe my holding costs are going to be about $160 per month (taxes, insurance, & utilities - If I were to include opportunity costs it would be more but I haven't figured that number out just yet). I bought the unit with cash and am rehabbing now. The difference between granite and laminate is significant, but the difference between granite and something like coriander or some other less expensive stone doesn't seem to be so bad. I decided to go with granite with the idea that I will get the money back via a quicker sale of the home and a nicer all around look. 

@Karin DiMauro - Thanks for the advice.  I have the same goal. Since this is my first flip I have been trying to figure out what is too much and what is just enough. I have compared some of the units in the area and they seem to have granite and nicer finishes all around. This led me to a complete remodel of the kitchen (wasn't a part of the original plan when I thought about holding as a rental) which turned out to be a good thing as the old cabinets were much worse than I thought they were originally. 


@Shawn Pennington  - thanks for the advice. My contractor didn't have much of an opinion on granite vs. laminate to be honest. I'm glad I went with granite. It was a bit expensive, but hopefully a quick sale will make it worth it.

@Wayne V.  - Hi Wayne, I'd like to get up with you on my next project so I can see about getting cheaper stone. I've hit the connect button for you. Thanks. 

Hi David,

Don't hesitate to reach out when you're ready to proceed.

Wayne V.

For basic houses like this I'll just throw out the idea of reconditioning the existing counter tops with stuff in a box for about $200. No removal, cutting or re-install. At the price point of $115k or so, it may just matter that they aren't bad.  I refinished 6 of my nicer apts (kitchen and lavs both) with 3 box kits and a couple guys over a weekend and they look great.  They come in a few colors and are very economical.   Total cost with labor was about $1100.  The contractor bid to replace the 6 kitchen's only with basic ct's was $4600.   Upper-end houses would be a different story, of course.    

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