Author Topic: Granite or wood countertops for rental unit?  (Read 8621 times)

valk001

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 35
Granite or wood countertops for rental unit?
« on: September 20, 2015, 08:57:34 AM »
Hey everyone. 

I have a question regarding countertops for a rental unit that I have.  I want to invest in quality material (Granite is what first comes to mind) but I understand that it is a renal and the wood countertops with the cheep finish would be the other option.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this.

So here is a little back story.  I just returned from Japan after spending a few years there in the military.  I got out, got a new job and I am in the process of closing on a duplex as we speak with a 0 down VA loan (because the renter can pay off my mortgage).  The current renter pays 600 a month and that is fine for them.  But I want to upgrade unit 2 that the renter is in once they leave to make it more appealing to potential renters. 

Basically the question is Granite or wood countertops for rental unit.

Thank you!

Another Reader

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5222
Re: Granite or wood countertops for rental unit?
« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2015, 09:30:39 AM »
My guess is a $600 a month duplex unit is not a high-end property.  I would not put granite in a moderately priced unit.  I would install laminate that looks like granite from a big box store or somewhere I could get it even cheaper.

Here's a recent kitchen remodel that Eric of nononsenselandlord.com did.

http://www.nononsenselandlord.com/2015/08/july-august-2015-rental-cash-flow/#more-2892
« Last Edit: September 20, 2015, 09:34:17 AM by Another Reader »

valk001

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 35
Re: Granite or wood countertops for rental unit?
« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2015, 11:03:14 AM »
yeah, it is not a high end unit.  It is a "B" property that is used to enable me to buy more homes and try to reach FIRE in 20 years. 

Thank you for the link I will look into that!

sistastache

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 68
Re: Granite or wood countertops for rental unit?
« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2015, 11:54:08 AM »
My guess is a $600 a month duplex unit is not a high-end property.  I would not put granite in a moderately priced unit.  I would install laminate that looks like granite from a big box store or somewhere I could get it even cheaper.

Here's a recent kitchen remodel that Eric of nononsenselandlord.com did.

http://www.nononsenselandlord.com/2015/08/july-august-2015-rental-cash-flow/#more-2892

+1 Don't put wood or stone into a rental. 

The stone itself is cost prohibitive, in addition, granite, marble, travertine (both very soft stones) are quite porous and need to be sealed about once a year to prevent staining.  The softer stones in addition to being porous are can also scratch quite easily.  If you must have granite, I would advise to go with a stone top like Silestone or Cambria, both of which are man-made tops that have a similar look to granite, are very hard, and are not porous.  Again, cost will be a big factor here. 

Wood tops come with their own set of issues, again mostly surrounding maintenance.  These tops need to be oiled occasionally to keep from drying out, and are subject to heavy wear and tear if the tenant cuts directly on the surface.  In addition you could have a tenant decide to put a hot pan direct onto the wood top which can burn it.

Laminate is inexpensive (in terms of replacement should it need to be) and pretty durable.  There are some at Home Depot in stock and as long as you can cut to the length you need, it's a good buy.  If you don't have that option, you can special order to size and either install it yourself, or have it installed.  They have even begun producing laminates that mimic granite color & pattern.


Nickels Dimes Quarters

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 152
  • Location: Near the Middle
    • Nickels, Dimes & Quarters ~ It All Adds Up
Re: Granite or wood countertops for rental unit?
« Reply #4 on: September 20, 2015, 01:54:56 PM »
I'd go for cheap and durable as others have posted above.

And please, choose a neutral color. I recently walked through a tri-plex and one unit had hot pink laminate in the kitchen.

NDQ

pbkmaine

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8457
  • Age: 64
  • Location: The Villages, Florida
Re: Granite or wood countertops for rental unit?
« Reply #5 on: September 20, 2015, 02:16:45 PM »
They have some granite-look premade laminate tops  in Lowe's that are very inexpensive. I may get them for our house.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

valk001

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 35
Re: Granite or wood countertops for rental unit?
« Reply #6 on: September 20, 2015, 04:15:53 PM »
I will take a look at the laminate.  I decided that the flooring was going to be laminate since it is under 2$ per square foot.  I did not know they made it for the counter.  Thank you for the quick educational tip!!

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3054
  • Location: Emmaus, PA
Re: Granite or wood countertops for rental unit?
« Reply #7 on: September 21, 2015, 06:01:48 AM »
Since you said you aren't familiar with the material, this kind of thing is what people are suggesting you buy.

Papa bear

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1697
  • Location: Ohio
Re: Granite or wood countertops for rental unit?
« Reply #8 on: September 21, 2015, 06:13:55 AM »
You should take a trip to the local lowes/HD, cruise the aisles, and just look at products.  What else don't you know about? You're about to have your first house (and rental) and it looks like you need to become much much much more familiar with things to buy.   


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

GoldenStache

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 237
  • Location: Washington, DC
Re: Granite or wood countertops for rental unit?
« Reply #9 on: September 21, 2015, 07:07:21 AM »
Is your VA loan a business loan or a home loan?  Do you have to live in one of the units for set period of time? 

Just curious.  Thanks

Fishindude

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2729
Re: Granite or wood countertops for rental unit?
« Reply #10 on: September 21, 2015, 07:11:21 AM »
Any of the standard plastic laminate (Formica) tops will serve quite well and cost a whole lot less than Granite.
Expensive counter tops won't get a you a bunch more rental income.

Kitsunegari

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 478
  • Location: Quebec, CA
  • Penny wise, pound foolish
Re: Granite or wood countertops for rental unit?
« Reply #11 on: September 21, 2015, 07:54:29 AM »
I vouch for concrete. Durable, cheap, and with the specific powders you can give it a nice colour.
It requires some skills to spread it evenly tho.

Fishindude

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2729
Re: Granite or wood countertops for rental unit?
« Reply #12 on: September 21, 2015, 08:53:05 AM »
I vouch for concrete. Durable, cheap, and with the specific powders you can give it a nice colour.
It requires some skills to spread it evenly tho.


It takes a pretty skilled craftsman to do a nice job on concrete counter tops.
Unless you have these skills and plan to do the work yourself, it will cost you far more than standard laminate tops.

Kitsunegari

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 478
  • Location: Quebec, CA
  • Penny wise, pound foolish
Re: Granite or wood countertops for rental unit?
« Reply #13 on: September 21, 2015, 08:59:32 AM »
I vouch for concrete. Durable, cheap, and with the specific powders you can give it a nice colour.
It requires some skills to spread it evenly tho.


It takes a pretty skilled craftsman to do a nice job on concrete counter tops.
Unless you have these skills and plan to do the work yourself, it will cost you far more than standard laminate tops.

Indeed, my DH is a skilled carpenter and it took him a while to get it right. But once he got the hang of it, we got a nice remodelling for cheap, and we plan to do more in the bathroom.

J Boogie

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1465
Re: Granite or wood countertops for rental unit?
« Reply #14 on: September 21, 2015, 10:41:27 AM »
If you can't stomach the thought of using lamite, richlite or other paper-composite countertops look pretty sweet and should be a good amount less than granite.  I'm planning on using it for my personal residence in a few years.

http://www.remodelista.com/posts/remodeling-101-paper-composite-countertops-pros-and-cons

archben82

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 29
Re: Granite or wood countertops for rental unit?
« Reply #15 on: September 21, 2015, 11:18:43 AM »
If you want something more durable than laminate but maintenance free go with quartz.  It's manufactured from quartz particles and mixed with resin.  It looks better than granite and requires no maintenance...Cambria is one manufacturer.

adamcollin

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 153
  • Age: 30
  • Location: Texas
Re: Granite or wood countertops for rental unit?
« Reply #16 on: September 28, 2015, 04:39:50 PM »
I would recommend you to go with the granite countertop, its sturdy and requires no maintenance.

mulescent

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 114
Re: Granite or wood countertops for rental unit?
« Reply #17 on: September 28, 2015, 05:20:05 PM »
I have wood countertops in my house and I would NOT recommend them for a rental.  They require maintenance about once a month in the form of oiling.  More importantly, though, you can't let liquid sit on them and you have to IMMEDIATELY wipe up colored liquid or you get a stain.  Nice to look at but not durable.

bluestone

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 12
  • Location: United States
Re: Granite or wood countertops for rental unit?
« Reply #18 on: October 07, 2015, 02:12:22 PM »
I agree with everyone that laminate is probably the way to go. I'm redoing a kitchen after a tenant leaves next month and have been toying with large ceramic tile (24 inch) The price is comparable to laminate. That said, all of my rentals have laminate. I've bought from big box stores because they were damaged at an end I was going to cut off anyway and saved some money. I usually buy from a local distributor that is about 20 percent cheaper the HD. I've had luck buying used.

If you're looking for a different look, I might look at Ikea countertops because they don't have that 4 inch backsplash. This in of itself makes it look distinctive. I personally think their faux wood looks pretty nice.

bluestone

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 12
  • Location: United States
Re: Granite or wood countertops for rental unit?
« Reply #19 on: October 07, 2015, 04:32:16 PM »

Spork

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5747
    • Spork In The Eye
Re: Granite or wood countertops for rental unit?
« Reply #20 on: October 07, 2015, 04:47:22 PM »
I will take a look at the laminate.  I decided that the flooring was going to be laminate since it is under 2$ per square foot.  I did not know they made it for the counter.  Thank you for the quick educational tip!!

On topic: I vote for laminate counters for long lasting/inexpensive.  My parent's and inlaw's houses were built in teh 60s and the counters are still in fine shape.  ("Formica" is the well known brand name, also WilsonArt and a few others).

Slightly off topic... but I might avoid inexpensive laminate flooring... unless your plan is to put in inexpensive laminate and replace as needed.  You really get what you pay for in laminate flooring.  Snap together laminate flooring with a recycled paper core is very likely to get damaged with any water spills or pet accidents.  I had a previous home with about 2000sqft of varying types/grades of laminate.  There was a HUGE difference in the wear over time.  The first one I installed by far wore the best compared to floors I installed years later.

smoghat

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 253
Re: Granite or wood countertops for rental unit?
« Reply #21 on: October 08, 2015, 08:26:55 PM »
Laminate, but as the nononsenselandlord link points out, do what you can to put in a dishwasher if you haven't. When my wife and I were looking for apartments 20 and 10 years ago (the last two times we looked), we turned up our noses on any apartment without a dishwasher. Things have only gotten worse since then. Don't install a mini size unit if you can as they are prone to breaking.