Blog Posts from Northstar Granite Tops

Getting Ready for Granite Countertop Installation

| | Granite

Granite Countertops

Having your granite countertops installed is exciting. And there are a few things that can – and should – be done before we come in and install your new counters. Here are a few tips for helping Northstar Granite Tops to make the process go as smoothly and effortlessly as possible.

Templates

We’ll need to create a template of the existing countertops, so we have a layout of how your new counters will look and fit. To do this, everything will need to be cleared off of the existing countertops. If we’re installing the countertop in your bathroom, then we may need to remove the mirrors to prevent damage. They’ll be reinstalled after installation is complete if we are able to place the mirror back in the existing clips. If not, you will need to arrange to have new clips installed and the mirror reinstalled.

If you are also getting a new sink, please purchase the sink before the template is made. We ask this so a precise undermount hole can be cut to fit your sink.

Before we arrive …

We are very careful in your home and create minimum dust, however, if you have valuable antiques or other irreplaceable items you may want to move them to another room while we are installing your tops.  If they can’t be moved we encourage you to cover them.

Changes

It is best to make no changes after we template your countertops.  At best it means a return trip and trip charge to re-template the affected area.  In some cases the countertops may have already been placed into production and cut to size. We want to avoid any inconveniences, so please be present during the measuring, template design and talk to us about your desires and specific details.

Have questions? Give us a call at (320) 963-8677 or Click Here to Contact Us.

Cleaning Quartz Countertops

| | Quartz, Tips

Quartz countertops are highly resistant to stains, but this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give them a good, thorough cleaning every so often. This will help to maintain the quartz’s shine and beauty. However, you need to properly clean the counters, and avoid using certain cleaning products. Here are some tips on cleaning quartz countertops:

Spills & Streaks

It’s important to wipe up spills as soon as they happen. Remove the spill with a wet cloth, and then pad the area with a dry cloth to remove excess moisture.

You can get rid of streaks by first washing the area with water and then drying it off with a soft cloth. A more thorough removal can be done with a solution of water and white vinegar.

Hard objects

Objects that have hardened (gum, food, nail polish, etc.) on your counters can be removed with a putty knife or another object that won’t leave behind scratches. Once the bulk of the hardened object has been removed, take a damp cloth and wipe away any marks or dirt. Another option is to use a no-scratch Scotch-Brite pad to get rid of hardened objects.

Dust & Dirt

Dust and dirt can be removed with a wet sponge or cloth. If you want to give the countertops a more thorough cleaning, then mix mild liquid detergent and hot water. Once you’ve finished, give the counters a rinse to remove any cleaning agents that might have been left behind.

Avoid

  • Aggressive cleaners (those with a high alkaline/pH level) like oven and grill cleaners, and dishwasher polishing products.
  • Putting hot pans and pots directly on your counters. Use hot pads and trivets.
  • Products containing powders or oils. Immediately rinse and pad dry your counters should they come into contact with these products.

Looking to put quartz countertops in your home? Click here to request a free quote.

Granite: Popular Myths & The Truth

| | Granite

It’s a fact any popular celebrity can attest to: when you’re on top of the world, there are people wanting to knock you down and waiting for you to fall. Since granite has become the No. 1 wanted countertops material in recent years, there are many rumors that have circulated about granite. However, let’s debunk them in today’s blog.

Myth No. 1: Granite is an absorbent substance

The truth is that if granite wasn’t able to stand against water, then construction companies wouldn’t use it in high-rise buildings. However, it is used because of its resistance to wind and rain. Plastic and other solid-surface products are more absorbent to water.

That being said, you should still seal your countertops at least once a year to prevent water spotting.

Myth No. 2: Granite is easily stained, and the stains are permanent

Another popular misconception. If you spill something on granite, and wipe it up soon after, no stain will be left behind. In 99% of cases, the liquid that soaks into the countertop will evaporate within a few minutes. Oils can cause stains if they soak into the stone, but most can be removed using a poultice or paste.

Myth No 3: A lot of maintenance is necessary to keep granite looking great

All one needs to do is routine cleaning with mild soap and water. Resealing should be done on annual basis, but this only takes around 15 minutes.

Myth No. 4: Granite is a safe harbor for bacteria.

Anything found on granite counters can be found on other types of countertops. Wash your counters with anti-bacterial soap if you have concerns about bacteria and other germs.

Myth No. 5: Granite countertops are expensive.

Compared to laminate countertops, yes, granite is more expensive. But, when viewed next to other types of high-end counters, they are usually more competitively priced.

Now that you have the facts, call us now at 320-963-8677 or Click Here for a Free Quote.

Tips on Picking Granite Countertops

| | Granite, Tips

Are you thinking of installing granite countertops? The process can be a time consuming one, but it’s well worth it to add some natural elegance to your home. When clients come to us, we offer them the following tips to get them started:

Colors
Many don’t know that granite countertops come in a variety of different colors. When it comes to picking a color, you need to choose one that matches the style and feeling of what you want to create. It will be the most dominant feature, so you want to take care in selecting a color. Take home a sample piece and see how it melds with your kitchen. You might be surprised with the results.

Backsplashes
The right kitchen backsplash design can help highlight your new counters, but the wrong one will take away from their natural luster. There are three great options for backsplashes:

  • Tile
    This is the “go to” option, with the most popular tiles being ceramic, slate or mosaic. Tile works great with granite, as it provides additional water resistance. Pick a tile that includes some of granite’s more subtle colors, and a grout color that matches the undertones.
  • Natural Stone
    There is nothing wrong with having granite on granite. It’s appropriate to use the same style for both the counters and backsplash, or to choose a coordinating slab or tiles, as this will break up the space and help create visual interest. 
  • Stainless Steel
    A more modern and sleeker option, this is a great choice for those trying to convey a contemporary feel. Stainless steel works great with colors like black, white and tan.

Pricing
The cost is a big reason why some don’t choose these type of countertops. However, these countertops are durable and long lasting, and eventually pay for themselves. If you don’t like one price, shop around and get a free estimate from each. Even if you decide for the time being against installing new counters, you’ll have a firm price when you’re ready to have them installed.

Still have questions about granite countertops in your Twin Cities home? Get in touch with Northstar Granite Tops by clicking here.

How to Choose Colors for Your Granite Countertops

| | Granite, Tips

A big benefit to installing granite countertops is you have a wide range of colors from which you can pick. Choosing these colors is one of the biggest design decisions you’ll have to make, as the chosen color will help to determine the colors and design of the kitchen or bathroom, and if you’re doing a complete overhaul of either of these rooms, this is an important decision considering associated costs.

When thinking about colors for your granite counters, there are many factors to consider:

Complementary colors

Since granite comes in such a wide color palette, you can mix and match different colors, but you want to make sure you select the right colors for your countertops. The colors should go together, and make the room much brighter.

Complementary patterns

Despite how pretty a base tone might be, a pattern can make or break a color. The pattern should complement the room as much as the color. For example, elaborate patterns mesh well with darker granite colors, and provide the room with a more elegant color.

Area complements

The color you select should mesh well with your entire room. If you’re not sure of what colors to opt for, you can seek advice. Our team will also be able to help you with color choices.

Functional colors

Brown is a warm color, great for living rooms and other relaxation areas. However, it might not be the best color for a kitchen. By the same token, reds and yellows might work great in fast food restaurants, due to the high energy associated with them, but they might not work best in your kitchen or bathroom. Don’t pick colors just based on aesthetics, but how they serve the room’s function.

Click here to see our list of granite colors.