Blog Posts from Northstar Granite Tops

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Revamp that outdated kitchen with new granite kitchen countertops!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.

Caring for Your New Kitchen Countertops

| | Kitchen Countertops, Tips

kitchen countertops twin cities northstar granite topsGetting new kitchen countertops at your Twin Cities home is exciting. Chances are, you got them because you had your kitchen renovated, and you are probably enjoying your newly remodeled space. Granite is one of the most popular stones used for countertops, so we thought we would take the time to discuss how to properly care for them. After all, with the right type of care and maintenance, your new granite kitchen countertops could last you a lifetime.
  • About once a day or so, make sure you wipe your kitchen countertops down with some warm water and a soft white cloth. You can use a mild cleaner on it if you want, but make sure it is non-abrasive, bleach-free, ammonia-free and non-acidic. But, for the most part, you will not need any type of cleaning product for your countertops. Water and a soft cloth will do.
  • While granite is stain resistant, that does not mean it is impossible to stain. We recommend that you mop up liquids as soon as possible when you spill anything on your new kitchen countertops.
  • Make sure everyone in your home knows the rules about your new granite kitchen countertops: no one is allowed to sit on them, no one is allowed to do art projects that use glue or paint or other harsh chemicals and no one is allowed to place extremely heavy objects on them. Granite is an incredibly strong stone. It is one of the strongest stones in the world by far. But those are still some precautions you should take to ensure your granite kitchen countertops last for as long as possible.
  • When you place any hot objects on your granite kitchen countertops like sauce pans or other items straight out of the oven, use hot pads or trivets underneath. Granite kitchen countertops are heat resistant, but this does not mean they will not burn if hot items are left on them for too long.
  • If you are ever worried that your kitchen countertops need to be resealed, drop some water on them. If the water beads up, your counters are fine. If the water is absorbed, then you should look into having them resealed.
Are you interested in learning more about kitchen countertops in the Twin Cities? Call Northstar Granite at 320-963-8677 or you can contact us to get a Free Estimate.

Four Myths about Granite Bathroom Vanity Countertops

| | Granite

northstar granite tops bathroom vanity countertops minnetonkaGranite is one of the most popular stone choices for countertops. Durable, unique and easy to care for, it is an excellent option for families and homes of all shapes and sizes. Through the years, we have heard many misconceptions about granite, so we wanted to lay some of those myths to rest. Here are some of the ones we hear the most as well as the reasons we think granite is a great choice for bathroom vanity countertops in Minnetonka.

Myth 1: Granite is far too expensive for bathroom vanity countertops.

Fact: Granite is affordable for most budgets. A lot of the cost depends on the specific slab that you select. If you want to learn more about the granite we can supply for bathroom vanity countertops, give us a call and we can even give you a free estimate so you know how much to budget for.

Myth 2: Granite is really difficult to care for, and it will need to be resealed every year.

Fact: Granite is incredibly easy to care for, which is why it is such a good choice for bathroom vanity countertops. All you have to do is wipe it down on a daily basis, make sure nothing that is hot (like a curling iron) sits on it for too long and make sure spills are mopped up as soon as possible after they happen. The granite will be sealed as part of our fabrication process and, depending on the type of granite you pick out, you might not ever need to worry about having it sealed again.

Myth 3: Installing new granite bathroom vanity countertops takes too long.

Fact: Installing granite bathroom vanity countertops only takes a few hours. Yes, the fabrication process can take a few weeks, but the actual installation process (when we are in your home and putting the countertops in) will only take a couple of hours at most, depending on the scope of your project.

Myth 4: Granite will not last for long.

Fact: Thanks to the way granite is formed, it is incredibly durable and long-lasting. Your new granite bathroom vanity countertops could last for several decades, if not longer! It will be almost impossible to scratch, chip and crack it too.

Are you interested in getting more information about bathroom vanity countertops for your Minnetonka home? Call Northstar Granite Tops at 320-963-8677, or you can contact us to Request a Free Quote.