Blog Posts from Northstar Granite Tops

Mythbusters for Granite

| | Granite

Granite is a natural and beautiful material that is used for flooring, countertops and more in homes all across America. It is often chosen for its durability as much for its aesthetics. However, despite its wide usage there are some who don’t appreciate granite as being as practical as it is pretty. In fact, if you  were to bring up the discussion of granite countertops or flooring in a group, chances are you would hear several people wax eloquent about “the trouble with granite”.

So, we thought we would take some time to dispel some of the common myths regarding using granite in one’s home.

Granite Mythbusting

  1. Minnesota‘s top natural resource is granite. It seems that when one lives in Minnesota, there is a granite quarry or installer –or several – in nearly every town. After all, we seem to have quite an abundance of this beautiful natural stone! In fact, St. Cloud, Minnesota has even been nicknamed, Granite City. However, Barre, Vermont is actually the self-described granite capital of the world due to the huge amounts of granite discovered at Millstone Hill after the War of 1812. Oh, and by the way, Minnesota’s top natural resource is actually iron ore. (MN Department of Natural Resources)
  2. Granite countertops will stain easily. Granite countertops are resistant to stains, but spills should be wiped up quickly.  Liquids like oil can cause a stain, if left to soak into stone; a poultice can be used to draw the stain from the granite.
  3. The beautiful finish that granite is known for disappears with time. Granite does not lose its shine, but marble, actually does. Granite is also scratch, chip and crack resistant, making it perfect for busy families.
  4. You have to use a hot pad or trivet in order to place hot pans on granite countertops.  The mere formation of granite, is accomplished by heat, therefore, it can withstand having hot pans set on it without fear of damaging the surface of the granite.
  5. Granite’s pores are home to bacteria. Bacteria are everywhere, whether you have marble, laminate or granite.  The only way to keep a bacteria free countertop –regardless of the surface – is by washing your countertop with anti-bacterial soap.
  6. Granite countertops are expensive. Although it is a higher end product than using laminate, keep in mind you get what you pay for – most laminate has a lifespan of 15 years, granite can last for decades.

Granite is a natural resource that Minnesota is blessed to have in abundance. It is a beautiful and practical countertop choice that can delight your senses for years to come. So, don’t be persuaded by the myths about granite, choose a stone that will always make you smile!

Are you interested in installing granite countertops in your Minnesota home? Give us a call today at 320-963-8677 or request a free quote online.

Thanksgiving Dinner with Granite Countertops & Tabletops

| | Granite

Did you heed our advice in a recent blog and have granite countertops installed before Thanksgiving? Lucky you! You get to show off your new countertops and tabletop to all your friends and family as they gather around for Thanksgiving dinner. In this blog, we’re going to cover some benefits new granite countertop owners will experience this Thanksgiving.

Beautiful Countertops & Tabletops

Granite countertops are a beautiful option. Your friends and family are sure to be impressed as they sit down at the dinner table for Thanksgiving dinner. We hope you get a lot of compliments! Granite countertops and table tops can look good in any Twin Cities home. So, if your relatives and friends love your new countertops, let them know about your experience with Northstar Granite Tops.

Easy Clean Up

Since you just had your granite countertops installed, the sealant will still be fresh. This means a very easy clean up after dinner. Any spills or sticky spots can be wiped up with ease. This marks the first year that you can spend less time cleaning up the kitchen! You’ll be able to sit down, relax and enjoy the time you have with your family and friends. There’s no bigger benefit than getting the opportunity to spend more time with loved ones.

Durability Over Time

You chose a very durable countertop and tabletop material. Your family members will be seeing the same tabletop for years and years to come. Each year they will be able to expect an equally beautiful sight. Most likely, the granite countertops will outlast your stay at the home. Once you install granite, it’s probably the last time you will have to replace the countertops.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours from the entire Northstar Granite family.

Would you like to install granite countertop and table tops in your Twin Cities home? Start the process today by calling 320-963-8677 or request a free quote online.

Does Granite Emit Radon?

| | Granite

Granite – It has been a favorite for home countertops and flooring for centuries, gracing homes of the elite as well as the average homeowner with its beauty and elegance. However, in more recent years there have been rumors and allegations that this gorgeous stone could also be harmful to one’s health.

The Rumor: Granite emits Radon. This was determined based on the science that granite countertops contain radium, a radioactive gas that can cause cancer.

The Reality: While it is true that granite contains radium, it does not contain enough of the chemical to cause health issues. The reports that lead to the radiation and granite concerns were due to a story about a Three-Mile Kitchen Island. However, it should be noted that all natural products, especially sand, minerals and stone contain measurable trace amounts of some radioactive elements. The list of products this affects includes all concrete products, clay bricks, most non-plastic plates and dishes, eye glasses, mirrors, phosphate fertilizers used for gardening, the soil (even non-fertilized) itself and literally thousands of other items.

However, the keywords in the statement above are “trace” and “measurable”. Every day people use items that contain the trace amounts of radon. The comparison has been made that if the amount of radon in a granite countertop were represented by a single lit birthday candle that while there would be heat emitted from the candle it would not be enough to warm the entire room. Sure, you can feel the heat of the candle, but that lit candle is not going to lower your energy costs!

Yes, granite has some trace amounts of radon. This is because it is mined from the earth, where radium and other naturally occurring radioactive materials are not uncommon. According to the EPA, the safety limit for radon emissions is 4 picocuries per liter of air. But, the EPA also points out that granite has a lower risk of producing radon than other natural stones, due to the fact that granite is a non-porous material so only miniscule amounts of radon can be emitted. In addition, because most homes are well ventilated, any radon that may be released into the air is typically diluted.

The Response: If you are concerned about possible radon emissions in your home, you can test for it by purchasing an activated charcoal surface test. These can be found on many websites as well as at hardware stores and other retail outlets. You will not find a radon testing kit designed specifically for radiation in granite countertops, but these basic kits will provide peace of mind, should you be concerned. But keep in mind, the EPA has no real proof that granite countertops increase indoor radon levels.

Granite countertops have been used in homes and office for years, they are beautiful, elegant and long-lasting making them a great choice for any decorating style. If you would like to learn more about how granite countertops can be used in your space, give Northstar Granite Tops a call. We would love to help you choose the granite for your next design project.

Contact us today by calling 320-963-8677 or contact us online.

Treat Yourself to Granite Countertops

| | Granite

The holidays will be here before you know it. Soon it will be time to go out and start buying gifts for everyone on your list. But what about you? Don’t you think you deserve a special gift too?

Northstar Granite Tops, one of the leading granite countertop installers in the Edina area, can help you find the perfect gift for yourself! With all of the cooking, cleaning and other activities that will be going on in your kitchen, it’s important to have countertops that are durable, pleasing to the eye and that match your kitchen’s decor. Your guests will be ooh-ing and aah-ing over your new kitchen in no time at all, and your Edina neighbors will be asking you where you got such lovely countertops. Plus, the fact that they are easily maintained and resistant to mold and bacteria mean your countertops will be around for you and your family to enjoy for years to come.

Our employees are trained to not only craft the best stone countertops possible, but they are also trained to help you find the best kind of countertop to suit your needs. Are you thinking quartz or limestone? Granite or marble? Or are you undecided and want an expert opinion? Let Northstar Granite Tops help you pick out the best gift you can give yourself this year: the gift that will keep on giving and will add a special “je ne sais quoi” to your kitchen. Happy holidays to you!

So while you’re out doing your holiday shopping, you can stop by our showroom and see what we have to offer. Or if you prefer to do all of your shopping online, you can visit our website and request a quote. Let Northstar Granite Tops help you find that special something just for you.

Granite Countertops: 5 Points to Contemplate

| | Granite

One of the biggest trends today in the world of kitchen design is the use of granite countertops. After all, they can be purchased in nearly every color, have an abundance of edges to choose from so they will completely match your style and they add value to your home. Consider the following:

  1. If you love to cook and thus spend a fair amount of time in the kitchen, you will want to choose slab granite countertops since it has fewer seams and can be cut to fit the exact dimensions of your counter space.
  2. What type of sink do you plan to use? While granite countertops can have any type of sink installed, it is recommended one choose an undermount sink as this makes it easier to clean up around the sink. It should be noted, that when an undermount sink is installed properly (ask a professional!) then there is no fear of leaking or the sink separating from the granite.
  3. Are granite countertops a good choice in homes with small children? Sure, granite countertops can be used in a home with small children. However, special care should be given in choosing the type of edge, as some edges are sharper, while others are more easily chipped. In a home with young children, it is best to choose granite countertop edges in the bullnose style.
  4. Unless you are a professional granite fabricator, it’s not recommended you install them yourself. A fabricator has the tools and knowledge of years of experience to ensure that your slab, modular or tile granite countertops look beautiful.
  5. What are the benefits of granite countertops? Aside from the aesthetics of granite countertops, other advantages of granite countertops include: durability, they can withstand heat, resistant to stains once it has been sealed, bacterial contamination is not a problem and it is easy to clean.

Granite countertops are one of the most versatile and practical kitchen surfaces on the market today.

Our fabricators are knowledgeable and would love to help you design the kitchen of your dreams. Contact us today at 320-963-8677 or Click Here to Request a Free Quote.