Blog Posts from Northstar Granite Tops

Test Your Knowledge: How Much Do You Know About Granite?

| | Granite

Are you ready, Bloomington? This time around, Northstar Granite Top’s hosting “Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader: Granite Edition.” There are many reasons why granite is the superior choice for all your kitchen, bathroom and home office remodeling needs. Some of those reasons may be stored way back in the recesses of your memory, with the rest of what you learned in fifth grade. But today, we’re putting your granite knowledge to the test. Let’s see if we can jog your memory. No cheating! Read along and see how many of the questions you can answer!

Q: How was granite utilized in Ancient Egypt?
A: Granite was used in Ancient Egypt as a building material.
Granite has been around for thousands of years! It was used in Ancient Egypt to build temples, tombs, sarcophagi, shrines – you name it! But, most famously, granite was used to help build the pyramids that are still around today. How’s THAT for durable?

Q: Where does granite fall on Mohs Scale of Hardness?
A: Trick question! (We’ll accept the answer: somewhere between 6 and 7.)
We have to keep you on your toes! Mohs Scale of Hardness is used to compare the hardness of minerals, not rocks. It is a scale, from 1 to 10, detailing which minerals are easily scratched. Diamonds are a 10 on Mohs Scale of Hardness, just to give you an idea. Granite is primarily made up of quartz (Mohs 7) and feldspar (Mohs 6). This composition makes it tougher than the average bear.

Q: What is the world’s largest stone structure?
A: The Washington Monument located in Washington, D.C.
The Washington Monument was completed in 1884 to pay tribute to our first president, George Washington. It is comprised of granite, marble and gneiss. The Washington Monument pays tribute to a remarkable man and it is an important structure in our nation’s history. Talk about eye catching!

How did you do? Let us know by commenting on our Facebook Page or sending us a Tweet!

If you live near Bloomington, granite can be the perfect natural stone choice for your home remodeling needs. Call us today at 320-963-8677 or Request an Estimate to get started on your granite project!

Granite Countertops: Sealing Your Stone

| | Granite, Tips

Granite is highly durable and not very susceptible to damage or staining. Your countertops undergo constant use, so it’s important to reseal them to ensure they retain their original condition. Luckily, it’s very easy to seal your stone.

For homeowners in all of our service areas, including Minneapolis, Edina and Chaska, granite countertops add something special to their home. Keeping them in stellar shape does require a bit of effort, but thankfully, the sealing process is very simple to do.

Sealing Granite Countertops

  • Before you begin sealing, remove all items from your counters, as this will make the process much easier.
  • Remember to regularly seal your granite countertops, as this will safeguard your counters against stains and other types of damage. If you find water isn’t beading on top of the stone but is sinking into it, then it’s time to seal your countertops. Many home improvement stores sell various types of sealers.
  • When you buy a granite countertop sealer, remember to buy one that is not abrasive. An abrasive product could leave behind damages, like scratches, stains, etc.
  • It’s best to reseal your granite countertops every one to four years.
  • If you’re wondering whether it’s time to reseal your countertops, a great way to tell is to take hot tap water (about 1/8 cup), and put it on your countertops to the left or right of your sink. If you notice a darker spot on the counters, then the water is being absorbed into the counters and they should be resealed ASAP.

Are you having trouble keeping your granite countertops in the best condition? Give us a call now at 320-963-8677 to learn more!

Quartz Countertops Minnetonka

| | Quartz

Close your eyes and imagine with us. You’re standing in your kitchen, only something is different. You’ve had that dream kitchen remodeling project done. What’s different? Are there new floors, cabinets or appliances? How about new countertops? OK, you can open your eyes now. Believe us when we tell you it’s possible to have those beautiful countertops installed in your kitchen. It’s no daydream our Minnetonka quartz countertop installers are ready and eager to tackle new projects.

Engineered Quartz

The quartz installed in homes today is actually what’s called engineered quartz. You may be wondering what makes quartz engineered. Did it get a degree or something? It is still about 93% natural, ground up quartz. The other 7% is made up of a polymer resin, which makes for a super hard, low maintenance countertop. It still retains all its natural beauty, but has been mastered into the ultimate countertop material. With quartz, you get the best of both worlds. On one hand, you have the beauty of a natural stone, while on the other hand, you have the durability of a man-made product.

Growing Popularity

Engineered quartz is gaining popularity in the United States as a viable countertop solution. It started growing in popularity in Europe over the past couple of decades. Engineered quartz can be an upscale, yet affordable option American families may enjoy. As your local Minnetonka quartz countertop provider, we can attest to the popularity and reliability of this countertop option.

Get quartz countertops installed in your home by calling 320-963-8677 today or Request a Free Quote.

Kitchen Countertops: Quartz vs. Granite

| | Granite, Kitchen Countertops, Quartz

Kitchen Countertops: Quartz vs. Granite

So, you’re going to upgrade your kitchen countertops. If you’ve started your research, you’ve probably come to a crossroads: granite or quartz (more accurately, engineered quartz)? To find the answer, you’ve come to the right place! We are kitchen countertop experts and in this blog we’ll review some of the characteristics that make each choice unique. It’s a kitchen countertop competition!

All-Natural

Round one: It’s between granite and quartz for your kitchen countertops. Who’s the tree-hugger?

  • Granite: It’s formed deep in the earth’s crust, by natural forces. Granite is the result of magma cooling between rocks, and compacting under immense pressure and heat. It is exhumed, polished, cut and delivered to your home. check_mark_green
  • Quartz: It does form naturally, however the quartz that would be installed in your home is an engineered stone. This means that it is made up of crushed quartz, and has epoxy resins added to bind the quartz together.

Maintenance

Round two: Between granite and quartz, which one would spend more time getting ready for a date?

  • Granite: Due to granite’s composition, it has small spaces between minerals that need to be periodically maintained.  This means resealing your granite countertops every 1-4 years depending on how frequently you use your counters.  If you frequently dine out, you may only need to reseal once every 4 years. Granite is a durable material that is very  scratch and chip resistant.
  • Quartz: Due to the way quartz is engineered, it is virtually maintenance-free. The epoxy resins fill the voids between the quartz crystals making the countertops nonporous, and never in need of sealing. Quartz is every bit as scratch and chip resistant as granite. check_mark_green

Beauty

Round three: Mirror, mirror on the wall, is granite or quartz the fairest natural stone of them all?

  • Granite: It comes in almost any color you can think of, sure to match any home’s décor! Granite’s natural, mineral make-up is intriguing to the eye. check_mark_green
  • Quartz: It is available in an assortment of fun patterns! Quartz gives you the opportunity to be bold and make a statement with your new kitchen countertops. check_mark_green

We have a tie! At the end of the day, it’s up to you and your personal preferences. You have to decide for yourself which kitchen countertop material is best for your home and lifestyle. We, at Northstar Granite Tops, are thrilled to help guide you through this exciting time in your life. We have experts eager to answer your questions and help you make a decision about the perfect kitchen countertops for you!

Do you live in the Minneapolis/ St Paul metro area? If so, then call us to get started at 320-963-8677 or Click Here to Receive a Free Quote!

Kitchen Counters for Minnetonka Residents

| | Kitchen Countertops

Are you looking to upgrade the kitchen counters in your Minnetonka home? If you’re still looking at Formica from 1971, let a professional Minnetonka kitchen counters expert leave you with the following advice: Natural stone countertops are the perfect way to breathe new life into your kitchen counters. We, at Northstar Granite Tops, have a wide selection of stone types including granite, marble and more!

Durable Kitchen Counters

Natural stone makes the perfect kitchen countertops because it is durable, as it’s formed in nature, by natural forces. Most stone is compressed and compacted by extreme heat and pressure. Your regular day-to-day usage of your kitchen counters will not result in any visible wear and tear. Natural stone countertops, installed correctly by a professional Minnetonka kitchen counters installer, will last for many years. These types of kitchen counters are perfect for families with children, or those who need a durable countertop due to frequent use.

Easy Maintenance

Kitchen counters are probably one of the most commonly used surfaces in your home. You probably prepare meals there, store appliances on top of them and maybe even do the morning crossword there. All this usage, however, means cleaning them often. The good news with natural stone is it’s easy to clean. Due to its composition, it is extremely resistant to mold or bacteria, making it the perfect solution for a countertop that comes in contact with food. You can trust your family’s health with these types of kitchen counters.  Natural stone may need to be resealed during its lifetime, but beyond that, regular cleaning is no more than using soap and water. Have a discussion with a local kitchen counters installer to have these installed in your home.

Upgrade your kitchen counters today by calling 320-963-8677 or receive a free quote by filling out our Online Form.