Thursday, May 31, 2012

Removing Scratches from a Granite Countertop

Granite is a very scratch-resistant surface, meaning it can stand up to items that would normally scratch other surfaces very well. It is not, however, impenetrable, and the right kind of material (something that is harder than even granite) can scratch your countertop. Should something like this occur, you have a few options for removing or otherwise making the scratches your counter has sustained.

One route you can take is to use a bit of steel wool and rub on the affected area. This works for light scratches that aren't as apparent to the naked eye. Deep, visible scratches can be fixed up using a sander that has a diamond pad (since diamond is harder than granite, it is effective for sanding it). If you're not comfortable doing something like this yourself, it might be a good idea to call in a specialist who regularly repairs granite countertops. A lot more work can go into fixing up some scratches; a professional may utilize tools like an electric grinder, a polisher, and more.

However you decide to approach scratch repair in the future, take comfort in the fact that you probably won't have to do it very often. Burnsville granite countertops are popular for their durability and toughness, and they can stand up to quite a bit of punishment. If you're interested in having a granite countertop installed in your home, get in touch with Universal Stone today at (952) 746-4690.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Granite Countertops as Cutting Boards

We hear this myth being perpetuated quite a bit as one of the perks to having granite countertops; the ability to toss out your cutting board and use your countertop instead.

It certainly seems like this could be the case. After all, granite is an extremely durable surface and is both scratch and heat resistant. You could chop away on your granite countertop for a years and probably not see any significant damage done to the counter itself. Still, it’s not a good idea to use the countertop for this purpose.

Why? Your knives!

Granite is an extremely hard material, and there are only a few other materials out there that are strong enough to scratch and do damage to it; harder stones, such as diamond, are capable of scratching a granite countertop. While your knife blades will probably not scratch your countertop, your countertop can scratch your knife blades and cause them to become more dull. That’s why, unless you’re a fan of regularly replacing your cutting knives with brand new sets, you should probably avoid chopping on your countertop and instead opt to use a dedicated cutting board.

If you’re looking to have a granite countertop installed in your home or commercial building, contact Universal Stone, a Burnsville granite countertops company that serves the entire Twin Cities region. You can request a free estimate by calling (952) 746-4690 today!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Types of Granite Countertop Finishes

One of the great things about selecting granite for your countertop is the amount of customization you have with the surface. Because of the way granite forms, it’s pretty much impossible for any two slabs of granite to have the same pattern, which makes your own granite slab extremely unique. And, depending on where your granite comes from in the world, the color can vary, and you’ll likely be able to find a color that suits the look you’re going for.

On top of all that, you can have your granite countertop finished in a few different ways. The finish adds to the look and feel and is the icing on the cake, of sorts, as far as granite countertop customization goes. A polished finish makes your granite countertop surface incredibly shiny, so much that it’s almost like staring at a mirror with the amount of light it reflects. A honed finish offers a more dull, non-reflective look. A leather finish gives you the smooth look of a polished finish, yet still offers a bit of texture. If you’re opting for an antique finish, you’ll get a granite countertop surface that appears brushed and non-reflective.

Regardless of the finish you choose for your countertop, you can’t go wrong with granite. It’s durability and resistance to heat and scratches make it a great choice for your kitchen or bathroom. Looking to add one to your home? Call Burnsville MN granite countertops company Universal Stone today at (952) 746-4690.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Julie Rizzo: Granite's Rock Star

A recent piece on grabbed our attention. The piece had to do with an Indiana woman named Julie Rizzo, who's been referred to as the 'rock star' of granite. She saw granite being hauled to landfills and decided to do something about it.

Five years later, she's helped to keep more than 5 million pounds of granite out of the landfills, which has been instead recycled into other items. We think this is a great idea, and if you're thinking about replacing your Burnsville MN granite countertops, think about recycling your old ones.

Part of the article:
No less than 25 percent of the granite from a countertop is treated as garbage. In fact, manufacturers pay up to $5,000 a year to have their waste hauled to a landfill.

Enter Julie Rizzo, who decided to do something about this problem. Julie saw exciting new uses, and even "green jobs." Now she is working on a new application using split waste granite to create decorative art!

Aided by a national network, she said, more than 5 million pounds of waste granite have been recycled into a plethora of profitable products.

Moreover, the St. John resident has launched a new industry in which students with "special abilities" learn to become artisans and help get products out the door. These include pavers, tiles, mosaic and stone aggregate!

Basically, Julie -- called the Recycling Rock Star by Waste Management Magazine earlier this year -- is challenging status quo. Today, she is a global leader in granite recycling. She gets hits and inquiries from all over the world from her website,

Moreover, Julie will be featured on "Do It Yourself" cable network. She and two of her network partners assembled a wall in a home filmed last month outside Washington, D.C., by this popular network.

How did this all start? Essentially, Julie was working with a granite countertop company in Chicago in 2007. She noticed a large container of scrap granite. Each week a truck would haul the garbage to landfill. She asked, "Why are you doing this?"
Read the entire article by clicking here

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Debunking Myths About Granite Countertops

Let's debunk some popular, untrue myths about granite countertops.

Myth: Granite is absorbent.
Truth: If granite wasn't impervious to water, then it wouldn't be used in high-rise buildings because of it's resistance to wind and rain. Plastic, solid-surface products are more absorbent than granite is.

Myth: Granite stains easily, and these stains are permanent.
Truth: If spilled liquid is wiped up in a few minutes, there will be no stain left behind. In most cases, liquid that soaks into the counter will evaporate within a few minutes. Oils can cause stains if they soak into the stone, but most can be removed using a poultice or paste.

Myth: Granite requires a lot of maintenance.
Truth: All one needs to do is routine cleaning with mild soap and water. Resealing should be done on annual basis, but this only takes around 15 minutes.

Myth: Granite is a safe harbor for bacteria.
Truth: Anything found on granite counters can be found on other types of countertops. Wash your counters with anti-bacterial soap if you have concerns about bacteria and other germs.

Myth: Granite countertops are expensive.
Compared to laminate countertops, yes, granite is more expensive. But, when viewed next to other types of high-end counters, they are usually more competitively priced.

Looking for Burnsville MN granite counters? Then visit our website at .