Low cost finishing materials (flooring/counters)

7 Replies


I'm new to the world of rehabbing properties. I recently started a buy and hold project where I will have to redo a number of the floors and cabinets. I was thinking of of going with fake wood vinyl planks for the floor and laminate for the counter tops. Vinyl planks seem to be a cheap option, but considerably more durable than laminate. 

I'm wondering if there would be any real advantages to upgrading to wood for the floor and some sort of stone for the countertops? Would renters really pay that much more for those kind of touches?

Thank you!

Hello...newbie here....just wanted to know if you tried some of the podcast. BP Podcast 048: Duplex Investing, Finding Great Properties, and ... with Darren  Sager seemed to offer some great advice that might seem to help you  regarding upgrades that can increase value and more. I hope this helps and good luck on your rehabbing.

Hi Arun,

I can't speak to whether renters will pay more, but I can say that plenty of renters can do plenty of damage to wood flooring. I guess it all comes down to what market you're operating in.

I'm using a slate-look DIY vinyl tile for floors, and laminate countertops with a pattern that disguises some marks. 

I've also stumbled onto what I consider to be a great, affordable tub surround: I go to the local flooring warehouse and buy a roll of scrap vinyl, then apply it to the tub walls with contact cement and metal edging. If I find the right vinyl, it can look great and last a long time--and I spent about $40 instead of $350.  :-)

Good luck!

@Arun Gokhale - You really need to consider your market. Do other rentals in the area have stone countertops? If not, I would not be installing a product that costs 10x more than formica. As for flooring, I would suggest looking at Allure flooring from Home Depot. It's a little pricey, but it is water resistant and very durable. It looks good too.... Hope that helps.

 - Justin

Vinyl plank is very good for rentals. I know developers are using it on large multifamily. I just bought some for my rental. Key is to read and understand the thickness on it. I bought 5.5mm from lowes that is waterproof (not water resistant). You can get it as thin as 2mm but you get what you pay for. Hardwood floors everyone loves but for a rental I would not install due to having to refinish them if renters destroy them.

I agree depends on your market. We manage over 10,000 apartments. We mostly use wood-look vinyl and carpet, and get the same rent. We use some vinyl plank, it's pricier, but more durable. Easy to replace a single plank if needed. 

We have added granite, in some units, but mostly we use laminate. There are also refinishing options that give you a great look at a fraction of the cost.

Will the upgrade pay for itself in 24 months or less? If not I recommend keeping it basic.

I would avoid the wood on the floor, it can get torn up so easily. But stone countertops on the other hand is more durable than laminate tops. It took some shopping, but I have been able to find great deals on granite slabs in the 100 dollar range and have found an installer that can install at really good prices. All said and done I get granite tops for only a bit more than I would pay for premium laminate tops. For me it's worth it because it's more durable and granite really pops when prospective tenants and buyers come to take a look.


Skip the wood floors, you can buy tile that looks like wood.   Also there is a very inexpensive product that looks like Stone that is applied directly over the laminate counters.  YOU WOULD have to consider the market you install this material as it is not going to work in a community where everyone else has true granite counters.    Also stage the home for potential renters just like you would a buyer:)   They think Almost the same way!    I hope this helps.    Lisa Schofield/HomeSmart Assoc. Broker, Investor/Flipper/Renter/all around loves real estate

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