Blog Posts from Northstar Granite Tops

Spring Cleaning Checklist: Keeping Your Granite Slabs Sparkling and Stain-Free

| | Granite, Tips

As spring rolls around, it’s the perfect time to embark on a thorough cleaning spree, refreshing our homes after the long winter months. Among the various surfaces that require attention, granite slabs stand out as both durable and elegant choices for countertops, floors and other areas. To maintain their beauty and functionality, it’s essential to incorporate proper cleaning and maintenance practices into your spring cleaning routine. At Northstar Granite Tops, we are proud to be the experts in granite slabs in Minneapolis and the surrounding Twin Cities area! Our decades of expertise have allowed us to compile a list of tips to help you clean your granite slabs this spring and all year round.

rainbow granite slabs turned into countertops

1. Gather Your Supplies: Before diving into the cleaning process, gather all the necessary supplies. You’ll need a mild dish soap, warm water, a soft microfiber cloth or sponge, a neutral pH granite cleaner, a sealant (if necessary) and a dry cloth for drying.

2. Daily Cleaning Routine: Establish a daily cleaning routine to prevent dirt, grime and spills from accumulating on your granite slabs. Wipe down the surface with a damp cloth or sponge and a mild dish soap solution. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners, as they can damage the granite’s surface.

3. Weekly Maintenance: Set aside time each week for more thorough cleaning and maintenance. Use a granite cleaner specifically formulated for natural stone surfaces to remove any stubborn stains or residues. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully and ensure proper ventilation while cleaning.

4. Addressing Stains: For tougher stains such as wine, coffee or oil spills, create a paste by mixing baking soda with a small amount of water. Apply the paste to the stained area and let it sit for several hours or overnight. Then, gently scrub the area with a soft brush or sponge and rinse thoroughly with water.

5. Sealing Granite Slabs: Depending on the type of granite and its level of porosity, it may require periodic sealing to maintain its resistance to stains and moisture. Check the manufacturer’s recommendations or consult with a professional to determine the appropriate sealing schedule for your granite slabs.

6. Preventing Damage: While you can place hot things on granite, you may want to avoid placing extremely hot pots or pans directly on the granite surface, as extreme heat can sometimes cause thermal shock and potentially damage the stone. Use coasters or trivets under extremely hot items to protect the granite from heat-related issues.

7. Regular Inspections: Periodically inspect your granite slabs for any signs of damage or wear. Look for chips, cracks or dull spots that may indicate the need for repair or restoration. Addressing these issues promptly can prevent further damage and prolong the lifespan of your granite surfaces.

By incorporating these tips into your spring cleaning routine, you can ensure that your granite slabs remain pristine and beautiful for years to come. For more information about granite slabs in Minneapolis or the surrounding Twin Cities area, call Northstar Granite Tops at 320-963-8677 or request a free quote!

10 Benefits of Installing Natural Stone Countertops in Your Home

| | Granite, Kitchen Countertops, Marble Countertops, Tips

Natural stone countertops have become increasingly popular in home design for a variety of reasons. Beyond their aesthetic appeal, they offer numerous benefits that make them a worthwhile investment for homeowners. At Northstar Granite Tops, we are proud to fabricate and install natural stone countertops in Plymouth and the surrounding Twin Cities area!

granite natural stone countertops

If you’re considering upgrading your kitchen or bathroom countertops, here are the top 10 benefits of choosing natural stone:

1. Timeless Elegance: One of the most significant advantages of natural stone countertops is their timeless elegance. Whether you opt for granite, marble, limestone, travertine, onyx or soapstone, each type of natural stone carries a unique beauty that adds a touch of sophistication to any space.

2. Durability: Natural stone is incredibly durable and can withstand the wear and tear of daily use in the kitchen or bathroom. When properly sealed and maintained, stone countertops can last for decades, making them a long-term investment in your home.

3. Heat Resistance: Unlike synthetic materials, natural stone countertops are highly heat-resistant, making them ideal for kitchen environments where hot pots, pans and dishes are frequently placed directly onto the surface without fear of damage.

4. Variety of Options: Natural stone offers a wide range of options in terms of colors, patterns and textures, allowing homeowners to find the perfect match for their design preferences and existing décor. Whether you prefer the bold veining of marble or the speckled patterns of granite, there’s a natural stone countertop to suit every style.

5. Increased Home Value: Installing natural stone countertops can significantly increase the value of your home. Potential buyers are often willing to pay a premium for homes with high-quality, luxurious finishes like granite or marble countertops, making them a wise investment for resale purposes.

6. Ease of Maintenance: While natural stone countertops do require regular sealing to maintain their beauty and durability, they are relatively easy to clean and maintain on a day-to-day basis. With proper care, they will continue to look stunning for years to come.

7. Hygienic Surface: Natural stone countertops offer a hygienic surface that is resistant to bacteria and other pathogens, making them an excellent choice for kitchens and bathrooms where cleanliness is essential.

8. Versatility: Natural stone countertops are incredibly versatile and can be used in a variety of applications beyond just kitchen and bathroom countertops. From fireplace surrounds to outdoor kitchens, the possibilities are endless.

9. Environmentally Friendly: Many types of natural stone are sourced sustainably from quarries around the world, making them an environmentally friendly choice for eco-conscious homeowners.

10. Customization Options: With natural stone countertops, you have the option to customize the size, shape and edge profile to suit your specific needs and preferences, allowing for a truly personalized touch in your home.

For more information about natural stone countertops in Plymouth or the surrounding Twin Cities area, call Northstar Granite Tops at 320-963-8677 or request a free quote!

Common Misconceptions About Quartz Bathroom Counters

| | Bathroom Vanities, Quartz, Tips

Quartz bathroom counters have become increasingly popular in recent years, thanks to their durability, aesthetic appeal and low maintenance. However, despite their rising popularity, there are still several misconceptions surrounding quartz countertops that may sway potential buyers in the wrong direction. As experts in quartz bathroom counters in Bloomington, Northstar Granite has compiled a list of some of the most common misconceptions to set the record straight about quartz.

calacatta laza quartz bathroom counters

Myth 1: Quartz Countertops are Expensive

One prevalent misconception is that quartz countertops are prohibitively expensive. While it’s true that quartz is not the cheapest option on the market, it offers excellent value for money. Unlike natural stones like marble or granite, quartz is engineered, allowing for greater control over costs. Additionally, its longevity and resistance to damage make it a cost-effective choice in the long run.

Myth 2: Quartz Countertops Look Artificial

Some people believe that quartz countertops have a synthetic and unnatural appearance. However, advancements in manufacturing technology have enabled the production of quartz with incredibly realistic patterns that mimic the look of natural stone. With a wide range of colors and designs available, quartz can effortlessly complement various bathroom styles, from contemporary to classic.

Myth 3: Quartz is Not Heat Resistant

There’s a misconception that quartz countertops cannot withstand high temperatures. In reality, quartz is engineered to be highly heat-resistant, making it suitable for use in kitchens and bathrooms. While it’s still advisable to use trivets or hot pads to protect the surface from extreme heat, quartz can generally handle day-to-day activities without any issues.

Myth 4: Quartz Requires Sealing Like Natural Stone

Unlike natural stone countertops such as granite or marble, quartz is a non-porous material. This means it does not require regular sealing to prevent stains and bacteria absorption. The lack of porosity also makes quartz highly resistant to mold, mildew and other microbial growth, making it an ideal choice for the moisture-rich environment of bathrooms.

Myth 5: Quartz is Prone to Scratching

Some people mistakenly believe that quartz is susceptible to scratches. Quartz is a highly durable material that is resistant to scratches and chips. While it’s not completely scratch-proof, avoiding abrasive cleaners will help maintain the countertop’s pristine appearance over time.

Understanding the reality behind these common misconceptions is crucial for anyone considering quartz bathroom countertops. By debunking these myths, homeowners can make informed decisions and appreciate the many benefits that quartz brings to their bathroom spaces – from its aesthetic versatility to its durability and low-maintenance nature.

For more information about quartz bathroom counters in Bloomington or the surrounding Twin Cities area, call Northstar Granite Tops at 320-963-8677 or request a free quote!

Safety of Fireplace Surrounds: Tips and Best Practices

| | Tips

A fireplace can be the heart of your home, creating a warm and inviting atmosphere. However, ensuring the safety of your fireplace surround is of paramount importance. As experts in natural stone fireplace surrounds throughout the Twin Cities area, Northstar Granite has compiled a list of safety tips and best practices to help you enjoy the cozy ambience of your fireplace without compromising your family’s safety.

Dover White Marble Fireplace Surrounds

Choosing the Right Materials

One of the fundamental elements of a safe fireplace surround is the choice of materials. Choose fire-resistant materials, such as natural stones like granite, quartz or marble, which can withstand the high temperatures generated by a roaring fire. These materials not only enhance the aesthetics of your fireplace but also provide an added layer of safety.

Clearance Distances

Clearance distances are crucial in maintaining fireplace safety. These are the minimum safe distances that must be maintained between your fireplace and any combustible materials. The specific clearance distances may vary depending on the type of fireplace you have and local building codes. It’s vital to consult your fireplace manual or a professional to ensure you adhere to these guidelines. Fireplace surrounds can help elevate the look of your fireplace while ensuring that flammable materials are not used to decorate the exterior.

Child and Pet Safety

For families with children and pets, additional safety measures are necessary. Install safety gates to keep curious little ones and pets away from the fireplace. Educate household members about the potential dangers of the fireplace and teach them safe practices around it. Children and pets should be taught not to get too close to the fireplace. A fireplace surround can help establish boundaries for how close is too close.

Local Regulations and Permits

Before installing or modifying your fireplace surround, check your local building codes and acquire any required permits. Compliance with these regulations ensures that your fireplace is safe and legal, providing peace of mind.

A fireplace can pull a room together, and natural stone fireplace surrounds can enhance the aesthetics of it while encouraging safe practices. Prioritizing safety with the help of fireplace surrounds not only protects your loved ones but also preserves the longevity of your fireplace and the integrity of your home. So, let the fire crackle and the warmth envelop you, knowing that you’ve taken every precaution for a safe and delightful experience.

For more information about natural stone fireplaces surrounds throughout Twin Cities, call Northstar Granite Tops at 320-963-8677 or request a free quote!

7 Creative Uses for Granite (that aren’t kitchen counters)

| | Granite

Are you looking for creative ways to incorporate granite into your home design? If granite fits into your aesthetic, but you already have kitchen counters that you love – there are still plenty of ways to fit granite into your home. When you are ready to choose granite for your Maple Grove home, stop by Northstar Granite Tops!

In the meantime, here are just 7 ideas for how to creatively use granite in your home. Let us know what ideas you have in mind and we can help you find the perfect granite slab for your next project!

slab of granite in grey hues

1. Statement Wall Art

Craft a unique piece of wall art with smaller granite tiles or pieces! The natural variations in color and texture will create an eye-catching focal point in any room. Plus, you can still choose colors and patterns that fit your aesthetic and complement any room it is in.

2. Custom Furniture

Design one-of-a-kind furniture pieces like side tables, coffee tables, or even benches by incorporating polished granite surfaces. The juxtaposition of wood or metal with the elegant stone can add a touch of luxury to your living spaces.

3. Garden Pathways

Create a stunning garden pathway using granite pavers. Their durability and weather resistance make them a practical and visually appealing option for enhancing your outdoor space.

4. Fireplace Surrounds

Give your fireplace a sophisticated upgrade by using granite as the surround material. Its heat resistance and natural beauty will add a touch of elegance to your living room or outdoor entertainment area.

5. Bathroom Vanities

Extend the luxury of granite into your bathroom by using it for vanity countertops and sinks. The stone’s resistance to water and moisture ensures longevity and a spa-like atmosphere.

6. Outdoor Kitchens

Build an outdoor kitchen with a granite countertop to create a durable and stylish cooking space. Granite’s durability and heat resistance make it perfect for withstanding outdoor conditions.

7. Personalized Coasters

Create personalized coasters by cutting smaller pieces of granite and adding felt or rubber pads to the bottom. These unique coasters will protect surfaces while adding a touch of natural elegance to your home decor.

What creative choices do you have in mind for your granite? At Northstar Granite Tops we work with quartz, granite, marble, and a wide range of other natural stones as well. For granite and more throughout Maple Grove, call Northstar Granite Tops at 320-963-8677 or request a free quote!