Blog Posts from Northstar Granite Tops

Put New Countertops on those Bathroom Vanities

| | Bathroom Vanities, Tips

Let’s be honest, if you are redoing the bathroom you need to get a new countertop for those bathroom vanities! If you are renovating the home and the bathroom is part of the plan, or you just need some sort of change in life, why not spice up your bathroom a little bit by going with a new color palette? If you paint anew, surely you can’t just keep that vanity untouched or unchanged! If you are in the market for new countertops on your bathroom vanity in the Maple Grove or nearby home, bring in the experts found at Northstar Granite Tops.

The bevy of choices in bathroom vanity types are amongst a few different natural stone options. For the purposes of this publication, we will debate the pros and cons of granite and marble.

Granite
Most people prefer granite for those bathroom vanities. Granite is known for being durable and resistant to stain sources that fall under the category of “bathroom”. There is an endless array of color schemes and patterns that make it an ideal option for matching a bathroom vanity with whatever color scheme you hope to implement in your bathroom.

Pros:
-Endless options. Patterns and hues that fit any room or decor.

-Scratch and heat resistant, subtle scrapes from the toe-nail clippers or a scolding from the curling iron will not damage the surface. Regular sealing will keep things looking as they should.

-Aversion to humidity means those steamy showers will not affect the surface.

-Granite being granite, the second hardest stone on earth, it will last a lifetime, if not longer.

-Resale value is added to your home by going with granite for your bathroom vanities.

Cons:
-The potential for damage to occur if not handled properly, makes it wholly necessary for these slabs as bathroom vanities to be carried out by skilled technicians. No do-it-yourself with natural stone countertop installation.

Marble
Elegant and classic, marble is no longer for just the elites. With time has come ease in production and therefore affordability. Marble being a hard, crystalline form of limestone, the streaks of color marble is known for make it a beautiful choice to go along with a room in the home whose main flows happen to involve water.

Pros:
-Long lasting, marble is resistant to chipping and denting that falls within the normal realms of bathroom activities.

-Options exist as far as general surface appearance. You can choose a shiny polish or a drier looking matte finish.

 Cons:
-Marble being porous, as bathroom vanity countertops they are a bit more susceptible to staining, scratching and etching from acidic substances that occur in the bathroom. To prevent staining, semi-frequent sealing is a good idea with these.

Do you want some new bathroom vanities in Maple Grove or local towns? Call Northstar Granite Tops at 320-963-8677 or contact us and Request a Free Quote.

Clean and Maintain Your Quartz Countertops

| | Quartz

Quartz countertops, amongst the very most popular in natural stone countertop types on the market, are not difficult to keep clean and/or free of blemish. These counters are very resilient when it comes to stains but they do require efficient cleaning every now and then. A shiny type of natural stone, cleaning your quartz countertops will bring out their zest and pop. To correctly clean your quartz countertops you will want to be wary of what type of cleaning agent you use. If you have quartz countertops in your Bloomington area home, follow these suggestions provided by Northstar Granite Tops to keep them looking their best:

Dust & Dirt

Remove this sort of particulate debris by using a cloth or a wet sponge. Should you want to raise your quartz countertops cleaning game to the next level, assemble a mixture of very gentle or mild liquid detergent with some hot water. Wipe thoroughly, throw some power into the effort. Once complete, rinse your quartz countertops to remove any residual cleaning agents that may linger upon the surface.

Hard objects

Objects like food, gum, mayonnaise and nail polish—items that have hardened and adhered to the surface—can be eliminated via putty knife or some similar item that will not scratch or cut the surface. After you have successfully removed the hardened item, use a damp cloth to wipe any remnants left behind. You may also opt to use a no-scratch Scotch-Brite pad (or similar brand) to get rid of hardened objects.

Spills & Streaks

Most of us will clean up a spill as soon as it occurs. This is an effective policy to implement in the effort to maintain and otherwise keep clean your quartz countertops. Use a wet cloth to remove the spill—regardless of the liquid spilt—and then pad the area with a dry cloth to remove excess moisture. Get rid of any existing streaks by washing the area with water followed by a soft cloth drying. If you wish to go the extra mile, a more thorough removal can be administered with a solution of water and white vinegar.

If you would like more information on quartz countertops for your Bloomington home, call Northstar Granite Tops at 320-963-8677, or you can contact us to set up your Free Estimate.

The Benefits of Granite Kitchen Countertops

| | Granite, Kitchen Countertops

Revamp that outdated kitchen with new granite kitchen countertops! Northstar Granite Tops is a fabricator and installer of granite kitchen countertops for Edina area homeowners. Specialists in granite (it is in our name), we can give that kitchen, bar or island (or all) a new and improved contemporary yet classic look with new granite kitchen countertops. We fabricate and install quarried granite that we cut into slabs that are shaped to fit the set-up of your existing cabinetry (and other items upon which they will rest).

When you are remodeling your kitchen, you might have a hard time deciding what kind of stone to use for your countertops. There are several different options on the market these days, and one of the most popular is granite. We install granite kitchen countertops in Edina, so we know a few reasons these are a good fit for just about any home.

Care

Granite countertops are easy to maintain. Resealing is required over time—other than that—clean up any spills or messes as soon as they happen, as you would any other type of surface. Be sure to implement pot holders beneath hot items such as dishes or pans—if your intent is it to have them rest on your granite kitchen countertop for some time. Use mild, non-abrasive cleaners and soft cloths to keep them clean.

Durability

Properly cared for and maintained, your granite countertops will last you many decades. The second hardest stone on Earth, granite is an investment that will stand the tests of time. They can take a beating and come out none the worse for wear!

Looks

Not a single slab of granite looks like any other. It is impossible to find two that match exactly. A guaranteed unique look will keep your counters distinct from any owned by colleagues, family and friends. It is as though you have your very own piece of prehistory fabricated and installed to fit your home!

Value

No matter how long you plan to live in your home, granite countertops will not depreciate in value. Granite countertops can increase your home’s value by as much as 25%. They can be an investment in the future of your home.

Are you interested in learning more about granite kitchen countertops in Edina and neighboring areas? Call Northstar Granite Tops at 320-963-8677 or you can contact us to get a Free Estimate.

Before They Were Marble Countertops

| | Marble Countertops

One of the most popular stones to be placed within the modern home is marble, these emerging most commonly in the form of marble countertops, usually in the bathroom. Marble has an exciting history in science and in décor. We will examine both, travelling back in time to make you a veritable expert on all things marble.

Marble, a non-foliated metamorphic rock is composed of recrystallized carbonate minerals (calcite and dolomite most frequently) is a form of metamorphosed limestone. Throughout the ages it has been plundered for use in sculpture and as a building material.

White marble comes as a result of the metamorphism of a limestone or dolomite rock. The swirls and veins of multi-hued marbles are due to mineral contaminants (clay, silt, sand, iron oxides, or chert) that were in attendance as grains or layers within the limestone or dolomite. Green marbles are the end product of large amounts of magnesium in the limestone or dolomite. Moved and reformed over eons by pressure and heat, we have a wide array marble.

The word marble comes from the Greek, loosely translating to “shining rock” or “crystalline stone”. Marble was the choice for Greek and Roman sculptors and architects, so much so that it has become a cultural symbol of tradition and refined taste. The wide variety and patterns of color make it a favorite decorative material.

Renowned for its pure beauty, white marble has been a top choice for sculptures since ancient eras. White marble is very soft and therefore malleable, boasts relative uniformity, and stays intact under stress . A low refraction rate, light penetrate through the surface and scatters out, creating its effervescence, making sculpted pieces look “alive”.

Marble has been widely used in construction as well. Construction marble tends to be composed of calcite, dolomite or serpentine (green marble type)—all of which can be polished. These types of marbles are usually of crystalline calcitic rock varieties and are particularly useful as building stone.

Typically specified for use in baths and as fireplace surrounds due to its relative softness, marble is not suitable for kitchens as it does scratch and chip easier than granite, quartz and other stone types.  The patina marble develops over time gives it an old or ancient world kind of feel.

Are you interested in learning more about marble countertops in Plymouth and neighboring areas? Call Northstar Granite Tops at 320-963-8677 or you can contact us to get a Free Estimate.

The Science and History of Quartz, Quartz in Your Kitchen

| | Quartz

If you are seeking quartz countertops in Maple Grove, you should consider Northstar Granite Tops, seasoned veterans in the rock and mineral countertop game. One of the countertop types Northstar specializes in is quartz. “Man-made” for countertop purposes (quartz is ground and mixed with pigments, polymers and resins), quartz is a very common and interesting mineral, highly abundant on (and in) the Earth. We will be providing some history and science on quartz and how it ended up as a kitchen countertop material. The popularity of quartz countertops in Maple Grove is undeniable for various reasons. We will get in to some of those as well.

Quartz is the second most abundant mineral found within the Earth’s continental crust (layer of granitic, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks which form the continents and the areas of shallow seabed close to their shores), right behind feldspar. Crystalline in structure, it is a silicon-oxygen tetrahedral (SiO4 anionic group, or a silicon atom with four surrounding oxygen atoms arranged to define the corners of a tetrahedron). Many varieties of quartz exist and the most popular usages of the mineral throughout the ages have been in jewelry and hardstone carvings.

Hardstone carvings in quartz have found their way into Maple Grove kitchens in the form of quartz countertops. Quartz countertops are easy to care for and simply need to be wiped down with a damp cloth daily, spills being removed as they occur. Quartz countertops are bacteria, burn, chip, crack, heat and stain resistant. They are not recommended for outdoor use, but will compliment any indoor décor and make for a great countertop. Northstar Granite, a mainstay in the Maple Grove countertop industry, provides quartz countertops of 93%, the rest of the materials consisting of a mix of dyes, glass and resin materials that create a consistent, uniform pattern throughout the slab.

Our team will always do our very best to meet or exceed all of your expectations. Call us so we can tell you more about the quartz countertops we can fabricate and install for you or if you would you like to learn more about kitchen countertops in general in the Maple Grove area. Call Northstar Granite Tops at 320-963-8677 or you can Contact Us to get a free estimate.