Blog Posts from Northstar Granite Tops

The Composition of Granite Countertops

| | Granite

Granite is one of the most popular countertop options due to its undeniable beauty. Forged by the earth, granite has a signature look that can’t be duplicated. Do you know what goes into making these one of a kind countertops? In this blog, we’re going to delve into the composition of granite. If you live anywhere around the Twin Cities, like Plymouth, granite countertops are a unique way to upgrade your home.

Mineral Composition

Granite is comprised primarily of two consistent minerals, quartz and feldspar. Overall, the combination of these two minerals gives granite a pale color.

  • Quartz: It is very resistant to weathering, which is why it’s so commonly found. It is a very popular choice for jewelry and carvings. It is a 7 on the Mohs scale of hardness.
  • Feldspar: It is the most abundant mineral in earth’s crust. It has many properties that make it good for making glass and ceramics. It is a 6 on Mohs scale of hardness.

Accessory Minerals

Though granite is mostly made up of quartz and feldspar, there are other accessory minerals responsible for giving granite its signature salt and pepper look. The most popular accessory minerals are biotite and hornblende, but they just scratch the surface of all the possible minerals in a slab of granite.

  • Biotite: This mineral is a member of the mica group. It is referred to as “black mica,” as opposed to “white mica,” due to its appearance.
  • Hornblende: It is a mixture of a series of minerals, not identifying with one individual mineral. It’s a general term used to refer to dark-colored, inosilicate minerals.

What This Means for You

The result of granite’s composition means for you, an eye-catching countertop choice. Due to the variety of minerals involved in making up granite, it comes in a wide range of colors. Every slab is unique because each part of the world has different accessory minerals that work their way into the granite. The saying “as hard as rock” had to come from somewhere. With all the interlocking minerals working together, granite is a strong countertop option. Overall, granite is a superior countertop choice, sure to fit into any home.

Interested in having granite countertops installed in your home? Give us a call today at 302-963-8677 or request a free quote.

Granite Countertops: The Measurement Process

| | Granite

So, you’ve done your research and you’ve made your decision. You’re going with granite for your countertops and vanities. Good choice. Now you may be wondering what’s next. After you’ve contacted Northstar Granite to begin the process, we’ll need to take measurements. We serve the entire Twin Cities, so if you live in St Paul or Bloomington, our granite countertop technicians will come to your home. In this blog, we’re going to cover some information about granite countertop measurements and some things you can do to prepare.

Measurements for Countertop Template

It is important for our team to take measurements of the space where you are having your new countertops installed.  One of our professional technicians will meet you at your home to begin the process. It is important that someone be present while our technician is there, so there can be a conversation. Make sure you allot enough time to thoroughly discuss the project while our technician is at your home. The measurements taken during this preliminary visit will be used back at our shop as a template for your new countertops.

Measurement Appointment

When one of our technicians come to your home, there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind. We strive to do a complete and thorough job in a timely fashion. Some preparatory work on your part can help us reach that goal. First, clean off your current countertops for easy measurement. You’ll need to remove any countertop appliances and other obstructions. During this session you should be prepared to discuss a few things.

  1. Sink and plumbing system
  2. Extra accommodations for a kitchen sprayer, soap dispenser, etc.
  3. Strength of the cabinets that will hold the new countertops
  4. Removal of your current countertops

Once we take measurements, we are well on our way to installing the countertops of your dreams!

Ready to start the process of installing granite countertops in your home? Call us today at 320-963-8677 or request a quote online.

Granite Countertops: Fall Installations

| | Granite, Tips

Do you still have a couple of things on your summer home improvement list? We don’t blame you! Summer has flown by and it’s almost fall. It’s hard to believe with all the hot weather we’ve been having, but the days are already getting shorter. If installing granite countertops is something still on your list, now is the perfect time to start the process. Granite countertops can make the perfect addition to any home. So, if you live anywhere around the Twin Cities, like Plymouth, granite countertops can add beauty and elegance.

Back to School

Back-to-school time is the perfect opportunity to get any leftover home improvement projects completed while the kids are away for the day. During the summer it can be more difficult to keep your children occupied while renovations are being completed. Though installing granite countertops will not cause a major disruption in your home, it is still advisable to keep children away from our technicians during the installation process, as there are sharp tools involved. Take advantage of this time and have granite countertops installed soon.

Indoor Project

During the summer, you may have tried to tackle more involved home renovations. Larger projects that require walls to be knocked down and parts of your home to be exposed to the elements are better done during the warmer months. Granite countertop installation is a painless process that will not require any major displacement of your family. Therefore, it is a project that can be completed during the cooler months. Because it’s a home remodeling project that is performed entirely inside, fall is the perfect time to move forward.

Let’s get started today on your new granite countertops. Call us at 320-963-8677 or request a free quote online.

Granite: From the quarry to your counters

| | Granite

The process of adding granite countertops to your Plymouth or Twin Cities-area home begins in the quarry and ends with the installation. It sounds like a simple process, but it’s actually much more complicated. Here’s a great video from the Discovery Channel on how granite is made:

To learn how to get granite counters in your home, call us now at 320-963-8677 or Request a Free Quote.

The History of Granite Countertops

| | Granite

Do the granite countertops in your Twin Cities-area home make you feel like a king or queen? There’s a good reason for that: granite has an air of magnificence around it, like it’s something that belongs in a palace.

Originally, granite products were reserved exclusively for royalty. However, as time went on, it became something for everyone to enjoy. In this blog, we’ll cover the history of granite countertops, from the time of Ancient Egypt to its modern-day inclusion in homes and businesses all over the world.

Ancient Egypt and Rome

Many ancient buildings and memorials were constructed from granite. You can see this in the work of Ancient Egypt, where granite can be found in many of the most famous buildings and memorials, including the Great Pyramid of Cheops and the Pharaoh’s inner chamber.

When the Romans discovered granite, they loved it for its beauty and durability. The Romans used granite for paving stones and also to construct the Pantheon. Granite was also utilized for bath houses and columns.

The Renaissance

With the advent of the Renaissance came better techniques for quarrying and fabrication. Thus, granite could be utilized for building homes, churches, palaces and more.

18th Century United Kingdom

Granite quarrying began in the United Kingdom in the late 18th Century. Before, as it was found exclusively along coastal regions, granite could be transported only to urban areas by sea. However, with the creation of steamships, the material could be easily transported and exported to other countries.

Today

With improved quarrying techniques and technology, access to granite is safer and easier. Now, granite has become the de facto choice for many homes when it comes to countertops. It’s no wonder why: it’s gorgeous, durable and readily available.

Whether you’re in Minneapolis, St Paul or Plymouth, granite countertops can add greatly to your home. Call us now at 320-963-8677 or Request a Free Quote.