Blog Posts from Northstar Granite Tops

6 Design Ideas for Quartz Kitchen Countertops

| | Kitchen Countertops, Quartz

When choosing to update your kitchen, deciding that it needs to be done is typically the easiest part. After that you have to decide on new appliances, color schemes, who to hire, what types of cabinets, countertops and more! That’s why we’ve taken the time to put together a list of design ideas with one of our favorite materials for kitchen countertops: quartz.

Quartz kitchen countertops have plenty of benefits, most of which make it a great material for bathrooms or other rooms as well! Here at Northstar Granite Tops, we provide plenty of options for your new quartz kitchen countertops in Minneapolis!

quartz kitchen countertops minneapolis

1. Large Island

If you have a lot of unused space in your kitchen, consider adding a large island! Whether it is used for food prep, mealtime or as a makeshift work desk – a large counter can make a large, industrial feeling kitchen feel intimate and more functional. You can choose to match the color of the island to the rest of your countertops or mix it up and bring in another texture or color!

tranquility hanstone quartz minneapolis

2. Pop of Color

White quartz can look great up against a beautiful, deep blue – or any other rich color! If you think you may want to change the feel of your kitchen over the years, a white quartz countertop can allow you to repaint cupboards, install new flooring, or purchase new appliances – all while keeping your beautifully elegant quartz kitchen countertops.

quartz countertops minneapolis

3. Dark Counters, Light Cupboards

Alternatively, you could opt for a darker neutral to give your counters more depth. Pairing darker counters with lighter neutrals in your cupboards and floors can really lighten up a space and make your kitchen feel bigger! Neutrals can also provide a timeless elegance, that can be updated with simple decorations no matter the season.

minneapolis montauk hanstone quartz

4. Mostly Monochromatic

You could even choose to have your countertops and your cupboards match – this mostly white kitchen has a welcoming feel that is sure to have family and friends ready to sit at the island for a cup of tea or coffee while they stop in for a chat! With a few other neutrals tossed in, your kitchen can utilize natural flowers or fruits for an ever-changing pop of color!

granite and quartz countertops minneapolis

5. Mix of Stones

If you can’t decide between two stone options for your countertops – don’t! You can switch it up and add more dimension to your kitchen by including multiple stone choices for your counters. For example, you could use granite for your main counters and quartz for your island to pull the whole room together! Your options are endless when you choose to switch things up.

calacatta laza quartz island

6. All Neutrals

Finally, you can create a cozy and welcoming kitchen with simply all neutrals. Blacks, whites, grays and browns can be mixed and matched together to create an intimate space for cooking and creating memories.

Ready to move forward with a design using quartz kitchen countertops in Minneapolis? Contact Northstar Granite Tops today to learn more about our quartz selection. Call us at 320-963-8677 or request a free quote!

7 Benefits of Quartz Bathroom Counters

| | Quartz

Are you looking to update your bathroom? When it’s time for a bathroom renovation, you can be overwhelmed with choices. From lights to sinks to new hardware – what goes together and fits your imagery of your dream bathroom? While planning for your new bathroom, what counters you want is an important decision to make. If you make it first, you can use it to tie each of the remaining choices into. Or you can pick everything else first, and then decide on a counter as the perfect final touch. No matter which route you take, consider quartz bathroom counters for your Twin Cities home.

If you aren’t sold on using quartz for your bathroom counters, that’s ok! We’ve gone ahead and compiled a list of why a quartz countertop should be at the top of your list of considerations.

1. Strength

When it comes to determining the strength of minerals, the more reliable way is the Mohs Hardness Test. On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the strongest, every mineral has a ranking. Quartz falls in at a 7, meaning that only the few things ranked 8 or higher would be able to scratch it (for example, we’d recommend not trying to scratch it with a diamond, as diamonds receive a score of 10).

quartz bathroom counters

2. Stain Resistance

Quartz also benefits from being a non-porous material, meaning that it does not absorb liquids. This is good news as it resists stains! Even if you spill toothpaste, mouthwash or makeup on your countertop, quartz should persevere.

3. Durability

As one of the more forgiving countertops, quartz is resistant to chipping and cracking. This means that you could drop a heavy object on it and your counter will be fine! Durability is important when considering counter materials, as you want to make sure your counters last and remain undamaged.

4. Heat Resistance

One of the biggest benefits specifically within a bathroom is the heat resistant quality of quartz. If your bathroom sees frequent use of curling irons or straighteners, your counters can take damage from the heat emitted by them. While it’s still a good idea to avoid exposing your counters to extreme heat, quartz counters can withstand normal bathroom wear and tear.

5. Cleanliness

As mentioned earlier, quartz is non-porous. Not only does that protect quartz from stains, but it also introduces an antimicrobial quality! Bacteria won’t cling to the surface of quartz, so no matter how many people brush their teeth in your sink and get droplets on your counter, your quartz remains sanitary with regular cleaning.

6. Environmental Friendliness

If you’re someone who is looking to be more environmentally conscious, quartz is a good choice for you! As a frequent byproduct of other mining industries, utilizing quartz counters actually cuts down on global waste.

7. Appearance

Last but definitely not least, quartz is known for its beauty. With so many color options from white to dark gray, and designs from solid to intricate, natural patterns – quartz has an option to fit any aesthetic in any bathroom.

Have we sold you on quartz bathroom counters yet? Contact Northstar Granite Tops today to learn more about our quartz selection. Call us at 320-963-8677 or request a free quote!

The Many Reasons to Love Your Soapstone Countertops

| | Kitchen Countertops

Considering soapstone countertops? While historically, they may not be as popular as granite, soapstone countertops are quickly becoming a must-have in today’s modern kitchen. For several reasons, soapstone has something of a cult following in the interior design community. Here at Northstar Granite Tops, we are a trusted supplier of soapstone countertops for St Paul and we look forward to telling you about the many reasons we love soapstone.

soapstone countertops st Paul

Benefits of soapstone countertops.

For one, soapstone has a beautiful, natural and even rustic charm that perfectly complements the enduring Shaker style kitchen trend. They are also a great way to add contrast to lighter color cabinets and especially white cabinetry. The natural coloring of a slab of soapstone is unmatched. It has an almost rustic appearance but an elegance and richness that cannot be denied. 

Soapstone countertops are also durable. Soapstone is heat resistant, doesn’t react to acids, and is bacteria resistant, and is a great countertop for families. While soapstone is soft and can scratch, because of the natural texture and movement of the stone, these minor signs of wear don’t draw much attention.

This heat resistant quality also makes soapstone ideal for kitchens and hot pans as well as on places outside of countertops, like fireplaces. And, you can spill lemon juice, or other acidic liquids on it without a problem.

Soapstone countertops are also very versatile. With the number of shades that are available, it is possible to find soapstone that will work with a wide variety of kitchen and home styles. 

Overall, soapstone countertops are generally very low maintenance, are beautiful, durable and very hardworking. 

What is soapstone?

Soapstone is a beautiful, naturally quarried material that comes in a variety of shades between light gray and darker black, with some having green and blue undertones. The stone is metamorphic, like marble, and comes from magnesium rich mineral talc. The high talc content in the stone is what provides the “soapy” feeling, which is where the name comes from.

There are so many things to love about soapstone countertops! Are you ready to learn more about soapstone countertops? To get more information about soapstone countertops for your St Paul area home, call Northstar Granite Tops at 320-963-8677. Or you can contact us to get a Free Estimate.

Why Natural Stone Makes Such Great Fireplace Surrounds

| | Granite

When you enter a room with a natural stone fireplace you can’t help but notice its elegance and charm. A home fireplace is something that jumps out to everyone that enters a home, which means it’s an important piece to a home’s design. Natural stone, as a material, also offers many great benefits making it the top choice in fireplace surrounds for Minneapolis and surrounding area homes.

fireplace surrounds minneapolis

There are many materials that can be used for fireplace surrounds, but nothing is more appealing and long-lasting than natural stone. At Northstar Granite Tops, we have worked on and installed many natural stone fireplaces; take a look for yourself! We understand the beauty and performance that comes with a natural stone fireplace and want to share why you should consider natural stone for your new fireplace surround.

First and foremost, a natural stone fireplace surround will enhance the beauty and design of your home! Natural stone will give your fireplace a distinct look that is also warm and inviting. And if you are already using natural stone materials in your kitchen, bathroom, or anywhere throughout your home, then using natural stone for your fireplace surround will just tie it all together. It can also be customized to meet any design style you need or want. With a variety of materials to choose from, you will surely find a pattern, color or texture that will look good.

Stone is one of the most sturdy and durable materials you can use for construction purposes. This is especially true for fireplace surrounds. With a proper installation, your natural stone fireplace can last for decades. 

Natural stone fireplace surrounds also have the ability to increase the value of your home. If you are looking to sell your home in the future, this is a great project that will enhance your resale value. And since stone fireplaces last for years, you will never have to worry about another fireplace project again!

A natural stone fireplace is an attractive feature that offers your home so many benefits. These are just some of the many reasons to choose one for your home! We have been in the natural stone industry for many years. From kitchen countertops to bathroom vanities and fireplace surrounds, we are the company to trust.

Are you interested in learning more about fireplace surrounds for your Minneapolis home? Call Northstar Granite Tops at 320-963-8677 or you can contact us to get a Free Estimate.

Choosing Your Marble Countertops

| | Marble Countertops

When it comes to selecting countertops, marble remains a top choice for many homeowners. It’s no surprise that marble countertops and backsplashes are so popular—the material has been attracting fans for millennia. Marble is a natural material with great variety and creates a really lovely natural pattern, which you don’t get with a lot of artificial materials.

marble countertops twin cities

Interior designers are obsessed with marble for the whole home and, of course, for the kitchen. Marble countertops, for some time now have been seeing a rebirth of their presence in kitchens all over the country. Both in its classic white and in a variety of colors with striking streaks and unique style, marble countertops offer classic elegance and old-world charm essential for farmhouse style kitchens and other popular design trends.

Pure marble is almost entirely white though it can vary in color from white to black. Impurities such as silica, iron oxide and graphite give it its characteristic rich veining, clouding and color. Because marble forms under varying degrees of heat and pressure, it exhibits a broad range of denseness and hardness. Among marble options, white marble is the most popular and universally loved. 

However, it is essential to choose high-quality marble from a trusted source. Northstar Granite Tops is the trusted name in marble countertops for the Twin Cities and we would like to tell you a little more about it.

Marble, a non-foliated metamorphic rock is composed of recrystallized carbonate minerals (calcite and dolomite most frequently) is a form of metamorphosed limestone. Throughout the ages, it has been plundered for use in sculpture and as a building material.

Every stone slab is slightly different, so it’s ideal to select the exact pieces of stone that will be used for your countertops. At the same time, it’s important to consider how different pieces come together. Every quarry is different, but it’s possible to cut certain types of marble blocks two different ways to achieve unique veining patterns.

Besides its natural beauty, there’s a reason marble has historically been so popular for sculpture: It’s easy to work with tools. Add modern computer numerical control milling machines to the equation and almost anything’s possible for kitchen decorating. In fact, there are countless edge profiles to choose from.

Generally, marble is not suitable for kitchens because it does scratch and chip easier than granite or quartz. However, because marble develops a patina as it ages in the home, it can make beautiful “old world” looking kitchen countertops.

Are you interested in learning more about marble countertops for your Twin Cities home? Call Northstar Granite Tops at 320-963-8677 or you can contact us to get a Free Estimate.