Nearly all real estate professionals will tell you that the kitchen (followed by the master bedroom or suite) will make or break every sale you make – and a good number of rental agreements as well. However, they are less likely to agree on what the kitchen should look like, especially when it comes to the counter tops. Here are some of the top picks for counter tops, accompanied by opinions from some of the highest-volume and most successful real estate investors, rehabbers, and builders in the country.



“I use granite in all of my houses, rentals and retail sales, usually Saint Cecilia or light Saint Cecilia. It’s important to renters and buyers to have something that feels like home, something that feels like a part of the American Dream.”

– Bruce McNeilage, Kinloch Partners LLC

  • $40-$60 per square foot (slab)
  • $5-$15 per square foot (tile)
  • Total: $2,000-$4,500 on installation and materials for a granite countertop (on average) Source:


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  • Resistant to normal wear and tear
  • Heat resistant
  • Wide array of colors and patterns

  • May absorb spills and stain if not properly sealed
  • Relatively expensive



“If rent is above $1,500/month, we will usually install granite countertops. If rent falls below that threshold, we will install Formica countertops that look like granite.”

– Sean Tagge, Memphis Investment Properties

  • $7-$30 per square foot
  • Total: $1,575 for materials and installation (average) Source:


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  • Vast array of colors and patterns
  • Can be constructed to include a backsplash
  • Lightweight, which may reduce need to install additional support inside existing cabinetry
  • Relatively inexpensive

  • Not as durable as stone options
  • Not heat resistant or scratch resistant
  • Difficult or impossible to repair wear-and-tear
  • Less marketable



“The only types of countertops I use are high-end granite and quartz. I love quartz because it has the same strength, durability, and stain resistance as granite, but it looks a lot more like marble with thicker veining. This gives you a lot of options for design, and you can market your property with a higher-end stone.”

– Rebecca Mager, The Element Homes


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  • Durable and stain resistant
  • Does not need to be sealed
  • Antimicrobial
  • Design-friendly and highly marketable
  • Learn more about how Quartz is made here



  • More expensive than granite and some acrylics
  • Sudden changes in temperature may cause cracking
  • Not outdoor-approved


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