Friday, June 29, 2012

Granite Countertop Cleaning

Granite countertops are extremely durable, and you'll have a tough time finding something in your home that will do serious damage to them. Why do you think the Egyptians and Romans built with tough types of stone? The same idea behind structures that have survived thousands of years is present in the granite you have as a countertop. So when it comes to cleaning, your granite counters can get by with a bit of water and a soft cloth.

However, if you want to go above and beyond for your granite counters, you can.

If you want to use what you already have around the house, you can clean your granite countertops with a mix of water and neutral dishwashing liquid. Simply wipe your counters with a soft white cloth soaked in this mixture, and then dry with another soft cloth. You can also go to most home improvement stores and pick up a dedicated stone or granite cleaning solution.

Interested in learning more about how to clean and care for your Minnesota granite countertops, or are you ready to have new counters installed in your home? Call Universal Stone today at (952) 746-4690.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Sealing a Granite Countertop

While most granite countertops come installed with a sealant in place, it's often recommended that you re-seal your counter every 6 to 12 months. You may be wondering; why should you have to seal it in the first place? After all, granite is durable and resistant to almost everything, right? Granite countertops can stand up to scratches, heat, and most liquids -- however, since the surface is porous in nature, liquids can seep into the stone and stain the counter. This is what makes sealing your counter an important step.

When applying your sealant, you should do so with a white rag or brush. Work in small areas (of approximately 5 square feet) and, when the seal is applied, give it  4-5 minutes to absorb into the stone. When you've finished one coat, wait 24 hours, and then apply a second coat. This should keep your countertop sealed and protected for 6-12 months.

If your Minnesota granite countertops are under constant, heavy use, you may want to re-seal them in shorter intervals. This will ensure that your counters are as protected as possible, which helps them last well into the future. When you have a sealant on your granite top, you can safely clean the counter with a soft cloth, and, if you want, a special stone-specific cleaning solution.

Want to have a granite countertop installed in your Minnesota home? Make a call to Universal Stone today at (952) 746-4690. You can also complete our online form to receive a free granite countertop quote.

Friday, June 22, 2012

SF Gate Talks Up Granite Countertops

An article on, the online home of the San Francisco Chronicle newspaper, takes a look at home remodeling; particularly upgrades that can add value to the home. The usual suspects are present, such as exterior remodeling, as well as bathroom renovations, room additions, and improvements that make your home more green. One really stuck out, though, and that was granite countertops.

According to SFGate, "Small upgrades like granite counter tops, stainless steel appliances and updated bathrooms make a home more appealing to buyers and stand out in the real estate market." This is entirely true. Thanks to home remodeling shows on cable networks like HGTV, and magazines like Better Homes & Gardens, homeowners have never been more focused on living in a home with granite countertops than they are now. A home with granite countertops can receive consideration over a home without, especially when the buyer is dead set on having such counters in their home. When you already have them present, you're saving a potential buyer a lot of time and money, and you could be rewarded for your efforts with an increased home value.

Ready to add Minnesota granite countertops to your own home? Get a free quote today, or call Universal Stone at (952) 746-4690.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Basic Cleaning Tips for Granite Countertops

While Minnesota granite countertops can be quite resilient in terms of the elements they can weather and the abuse they can take, it's still a good idea to keep your counter in good shape with regular cleanings. By taking steps to do the proper maintenance, you can help your counter last for decades.

First, you should purchase a good microfiber cloth if you don't already have one. This is a good material to use on your granite counter. Next, use that cloth to dust off the surface to prepare for cleaning. You're now ready to dive in to the actual cleaning process.

Use water to wipe down your granite counter at least once per week. You can also use a special type of cleaner that is specifically made for stone surfaces. If you have a stain that is oil-based that you can't get out, use something called a poultice to pull the stain from the counter. This may require you to re-polish the stained area.

Interested in having a granite countertop installed in your Minnesota home? Get in touch with Universal Stone today at (952) 746-4690.