Countertops for basic flip

50 Replies

I’m wirking on a mid-level flip property with a limuted kitchen countertop budget we are installing ourselves. Because granite and other solid surface options are out of our budget and not necessarily needed in this neighborhood, would you install a nice laminate or real butcher block countertops? I have never been a fan of butcher block, but realize its coming back in style so am leaning that way.

@Jennifer Marshall , I think if the cost is similar, the butcher-block counters are the way to go. That would certainly look more upscale than laminate.

Is there anyway you can trim the budget from somewhere else? In a mid-level SFH, I think most buyers expect granite / solid surface. Have you looked into soap stone? Looks amazing and can be worked with wood-working tools and special bits/cutters. Might be an install-yourself option (as long as you have a few strong friends).

What do other homes in your area / price-point have? You don't want to be the one house without solid counters.

@Jennifer Marshall Do you have to make a decision this week? If you can wait, I would spend this weekend looking at open houses in the neighborhood or in similar neighborhoods in Canyon Lake. This will get you and idea for the expectations for different price points. I would lean towards nice laminate over butcher block. The market will dictate what people want. Just see what is out there.

Good idea. Thank you for the suggestion. And excuse my typos in the original post.

I am looking into the cost of granite and installation today. Maybe there is a way to make it work!

@Jennifer Marshall , look into Wilsonart HD laminate. It looks like granite, but is a really durable laminate. I actually have them in my home. 
































































































































































































@Jennifer Marshall if it is a smaller counter top, sometimes you can get granite cheap if they have a small piece on the slab they are trying to get rid of. This worked well for our bathrooms. 

In my rentals I do HD laminate which has a simulated granite appearance. It looks great and it is easier to care for than granite or butcher block. 

Another option is cement, which can look amazing and is very low cost. It does require skill, but if you can perfect it, then it could be your standard on all flips.

I cannot imagine any "mid-level" flip that laminate counters would be ok. Those very visible finishes are the exact thing that sells your home quickly for top price. Not the place to skimp.

If you budgeted too small amount for the counters that is a problem, don't just stick to the budget if the budget is wrong.

@Jennifer Marshall floor n decore in Austin has 12x24 black granite tile $8 EA as well as precut granite counters for 3-500$.

@Jennifer Marshall, There are large slabs of both natural and synthetic stone in high end tile shops. We have used them in new construction to have the look of expensive granite at half the price. The installation Contractor and finish out is key to making it a great project.

I would choose laminate over butcher block, Laminate will not turn off any buyers assuming it is neutral where as butcher block has an appeal to a select market. I would advise keeping everything in the conservative/normal range when flipping a mid level. Your goal is to appeal to the widest buyer market. 

Keep a close eye on price if you go for any stone counters. The additional cost above laminate will not likely be captured in your sale price however you need to know your local market as others have suggested..

You can get low end granite for under $40/ft. Take your measurements and price around. If you have a smaller counter space, it could be less expensive than you think.

Originally posted by @Eric Michaels :

I cannot imagine any "mid-level" flip that laminate counters would be ok. Those very visible finishes are the exact thing that sells your home quickly for top price. Not the place to skimp.

If you budgeted too small amount for the counters that is a problem, don't just stick to the budget if the budget is wrong.

There is no set budget at this point...trying to establish the budget. Its a good deal for us either way, but of course, want a higher profit margin.  In our agreement, we are working for ourselves and for the best interest if the seller. Its not a normal flip, but trying to apply the same strategies as best as possible.

@Jennifer Marshall The kitchen is one place I never skimp out. What’s a mid level flip? What type of area? What’s the resale price? I’ll spend more knowing it will sell fast and at top dollar. If it’s a so so rehab it wouldn’t sell immediately and for top dollar

I ALWAYS put in quartz or granite (people don't seem to care or know the difference).  I do this at a price point of only 105-120k for the homes I sell.  I know that it's certainly more than others are doing but my last two homes sold in 12 hours and one before it hit market, so I feel like stuff like that is money well spent.  

I got a really cheap guy from my realtor.  I'd call a realtor who does investments and ask him or her who they know AND how much they should charge.  Call the installer and say so and so recommended you.  By doing this, I found a great guy I've used time and again. 

Good luck!  

@Jennifer Marshall I've done granite for 28 per sqft. It really wasnt much more than laminate and it provided a much nicer kitchen which will help sell the home. I would never do butcher block, maybe because I am in Florida, but I only see that on 40 year dated remodels.

The price difference between granite and laminate is minimal. You can really save on installation if you do it yourself though. But installing a large heavy slab is not exactly easy. If it was me and I wasn't going to pay them to install, I would tile the countertop. I think tiling is a better in-between option than laminate or butcher block. BB can be damaged so easily.

Originally posted by @Mayer M. :
@Jennifer Marshall

The kitchen is one place I never skimp out. What’s a mid level flip? What type of area? What’s the resale price?

I’ll spend more knowing it will sell fast and at top dollar. If it’s a so so rehab it wouldn’t sell immediately and for top dollar

Its in our neighborhood, and I am very familiar withnthe comps. its a huge mix of homes, and I would love to put granite in.  Just need to figure out how to do that affordably. I have a resource in the area that I’ve reached out to.  What I was really asking is if you couldn’t put granite in for some reason, what would be your alternatuve. 

I love all of the ideas, and at least know whre to start on the issue now.

Thanks!

@Jennifer Marshall I've had butcher block in my primary residence and I would not put it in a rental. It's a labor of love to keep it in good condition that only an owner will keep up with. We have used a large porcelain tile that has a travaertine look for countertops and bullnose trim. It looks really sharp and is durable, cost effective and easy to install.
Originally posted by @Marian Smith :
@Jennifer Marshall floor n decore in Austin has 12x24 black granite tile $8 EA as well as precut granite counters for 3-500$.
Originally posted by @Marian Smith :
@Jennifer Marshall floor n decore in Austin has 12x24 black granite tile $8 EA as well as precut granite counters for 3-500$.

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