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Best wear and tear materials for vacation remodel

Hi Guys,

I’m remodeling a cabin for vacation rental. I want to know what hard surface materials, appliances, etc. you recommend for long term wear and tear. What to stay away from? Any tips would be great. In one of my cabins, I put oil rubbed bronze and it’s staining terribly. Can’t get the stains out. Come to find out, oil rubbed bronze can be a problem.

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Oh yeah, I wouldn’t use that anywhere with hard water. I like to stick with stuff that’s classic not too trendy. Especially in something like a cabin that I imagine is not modern style. I’d like more info on a cabin’s location and what you are going for in terms of look and guest first.

Have you tried white vinegar to clean the oil rubbed bronze? That’s how I keep our faucet looking like new.

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Brushed finishes like stainless steel can be refinished or touched up, in some cases/areas even with spray paint and look okay. Chrome is tougher once it gets messed up. I like granite over other surfaces for a natural look. Anything that can be filled, sanded, painted can be repaired. But I really like metal for table legs, chair legs because of it’s durability. I like tile floors and in a cold climate I’d love heated floors but in some cabins wood would be better.

One of the things I found with this finish is that as it gets worn, it’s copper underneath. In some ways that can look okay, in other, like door knobs, it just looks worn.

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I got middle of the road of everything. Don’t chose marble anywhere. It gets stained and chips easy, especially in the kitchen. Granite is ok, but it will be dated in a few years.
Remember Murphy’s laws: if anything can be damaged it will.

Best decision I ever made—tile floors that look like hard wood. Great durability. yes cold in winter but area rugs do the job. It can take the sand & water that renters track in from the beach. I foolishly put the nice padded laminate from Costco in my other condo. After 5 years, it needs replacement due to water damage & sand scuffs.

Like @adrienne12, it is all bargain priced/sale item middle of the road. Craigslist & Habitat Re-store are my favorites. I can’t get the a rental price to offset the premium cost and eventually everything becomes dated.

I considered a removing my scratched old fiberglass tub and installing a tile shower. I don’t think it can withstand renters & beach mildew. I think I’m dropping back to considering a traditional shower insert. Again—middle of the road.


I’ve got six cottages built by my parents in the 50’s and many things are still original but I’ve done some minor renovations -and- given that the countertops are not that large and were handbuilt using pine boards with linoleum as surface, making them too modern would be difficult so I’ve done a couple in Formica which has worked out decently. Yes, it’s not fancy but neither are my places and being a slightly softer surface than stone, has kept some things from breaking, I believe. I’ve heard on a local radio handyman show that all the natural stone countertops seem to have issues in one way or another. I believe that Corian might be a good compromise as it can be easily sanded down to eliminate some damage.
My appliances are limited to white painted due to the smaller size units needed. Having trouble with rust on fridges but it’s only a summer rental with no AC and humid sometimes so…

do you use Damp Rid? I am obsessive about it.

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DampRid is useless when cottage windows and some doors are left open 24/7 for ventilation!

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That was exactly the scenario I lived in; blocks off the beach, always saltwater humid, no a/c - when I first got started on them. I started keeping them in all wardrobes and cabinets after all of my beautiful white lace blouses that made me feel like Prince (lol) got wrecked with black mildew stains. (Though it admittedly would be no help to the appliances.)

Granite for countertops will probably outlast you! I’ve been desperate to change my speckled, dated countertops for ages but after 18 years it still has no signs of wear or damage. I think that looking current is important in an Airbnb so I think I’d choose a reasonable quality formica that wouldn’t be too expensive to change down the line.

For appliances I would say white because you can easily touch up spots with a white appliance pen. As for a counter top I love granite but would suggest formica so if guests do chip it, it’s affordable to replace and it’s pretty much impossible to stain it. However, make sure to provide a cutting board so they don’t scratch the formica.

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