I hate particleboard countertops. It seems like we find them in almost every flip house that we walk into, and every time it means that we’re going to have to go shopping for new kitchen countertops. Now, I have no problem shopping for materials for our flip houses, and I actually love the opportunity to find something cool for our countertops, but I realize that a lot of new house flippers who are just getting started may not feel quite the same way.
Those particleboard counters with the faux-Formica laminate tops that you see in so many homes were installed strictly because they’re cheap and allowed the builder to make a little bit more money without spending as much of his budget. However, with more and more builders and homeowners opting for better materials, you really can’t get away with that old trick anymore. And, personally, I wouldn’t want to. Those countertops aren’t heat resistant. They look cheap. And they’re susceptible to damage, too.
I know, I know, you’re sitting there thinking, “Okay, Christina, we get it. You don’t like them. So what do we do?” Well, you have a few really great choices.
Granite is one of my favorite materials to use for countertops. It has a lot of variation and a really cool, natural look. Plus, when it’s sealed right, it’s heat resistant and really durable. And if you find the right slab, you can get it for as little as $50 per square foot.
Quartz is another one I love to use on our flips. This material is made of resin with quartz chips, and it’s usually tinted to give it different effects. Quartz resin countertops can look like granite or marble, and they have all those cool flecks of sparkly quartz in them. They typically run between $40 and $100 per square foot, depending on the slab.
The only issue with quartz is that it doesn’t have the natural variations in color and texture that granite has, so the wrong slab could look really fake and manufactured. That’s usually not a problem for me, though, since I try to do all of my shopping for these kinds of materials in person so that I can lay my eyes on what I’m buying before I get it.
Depending on the style and design of your kitchen, a tile counter can be a really fun addition. Tile can be very durable and heat resistant, and it’s easy to replace a single tile if it gets damaged, a selling point for your buyers. You do have to worry about stains seeping into the grout with tile, though, so you’ll need to make sure that it’s properly sealed to make cleanup easier on your buyers. The best thing about tile? It can cost as little as $10 per square foot to install!
Stainless steel has a cool, industrial feel to it that makes any kitchen look like a professional chef’s workspace. I love using it with wood that has a natural, dark stain and matching steel fixtures and appliances. It’s also really durable, easy to clean, and makes a great impression on buyers, but it does cost a little bit more than some other options with typical prices at $65–100 per square foot.
There you go—your guide to kitchen countertops so you never make the mistake of putting in those terrible laminate particleboard counters. Use any of these materials, and you’ll immediately grab your buyers’ attention and make them love your flip house even more.