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Old 03-19-2018, 02:29 PM   #1
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Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 6
Backlit band of Blue Onyx over shiplap wainscot

Planning my next bathroom remodel (master bath) (previous one, which I inquired about here, came out fantastic). Thinking about upping my design/DIY "game" somewhat with this one. I really like Blue Onyx, and like it even better when backlit. I have already decided to install a 30-36" wainscot using shiplap. Would like to run a 4-6" wide band of Blue Onyx just above that. And to top it off, I would like that Blue Onyx to be backlit. I have looked into the various backlighting products, and there are many that can be prefab to the width I need. Getting the total length (about 34 feet) is just a matter of running multiple, parallel runs of lighting from a DC power splitter box.

My question is how to attach the onyx tiles so that the backlighting is optimized. My first idea is that I need to attach the onyx to some kind of clear acrylic backer, leaving a channel in the acrylic to run the LED light tape. So for a 6" wide strip of onyx, and a 4" wide LED tape, would run two 1" wide strips of acrylic, to both make an attachment surface for the onyx, and also to form the channel in which the LED tape sits. Attaching the acrylic strips to the drywall seems easy. But how do I best attach the onyx to the acrylic? What is a good epoxy to use (must be a clear epoxy). And is 1" on the top and bottom of the onyx tile strips enough to hold them? (I figure each 6" by 12" onyx strip to be about 3 pounds).

The layout of the wainscot is roughly going to be (from floor, to top): Base board (3-4"), shiplap (24-27"), ledger strip ("1/4-1/2"), Onyx strip (4-6"), top ledger strip (1/4-1/2").

I plan to cut the onyx strips from 12x12 onyx tiles, using a wet saw. Given that onyx is fairly brittle, do I need any special tile saw blade to prevent chipping (like a blade made for glass)?

Thanks for you consideration
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