I'm buying some used grade school chalkboards to use as counter tops in our kitchen. I know this is done, as there are plenty of photos online, but the actual info as to how to install is scarce.
Is there any standard process for installing thin stone products as a counter top? What I've found out (and would appreciate having verified) is:
- slate is fairly soft and we can cut it with a radial saw with a diamond blade (and a shop vac, natch)
- we can smooth out blemishes with a hand sander
- can be sealed with mineral and tung oils.
And I assume: - I need a wood substrate (MDF?) - possible topped with something like hardibacker - thinset slate on top of that.
- do I gain much with hardibacker + thinset vs. just adding more MDF and construction adhesive?
- is there a good technique for laying the slate down on top of the counters without snapping them in half as they are tipped down? (These aren't HUGE sheets...will mostly be 2'x4' sections--maybe not a big worry?)
- any clever ideas for edge finishing? I was thinking maybe strips of stainless steel.