The Substrate is the material used under the stone slab when a thicker look is desired.
When the slab is mitred to the desired thickness it requires a filler or supporting material, to fill the void between the slab and the cabinets. Or simply to just give the slab something to sit on.
Why we use MDF sealed with enamel pigmented sealer.
WE DONT JUST FOLLOW WHAT OTHERS DO! We look for the best technique first.
10 years ago, we looked at different methods and techniques of fitting substrates to mitred stone benchtops. First we looked at the fabrication manuals that the major brands supply. We found that in all of the major brands of ES (Engineered Stone) none had a warranted or preferred technique for substrates. However they all point out that the stone must be glued down with a flexible adhesive. They also ask that there is a gap between the stone edge and the substrate.
We looked at the way the old fashion stone masons were doing it. They were simply using scrap pieces of stone and gluing it with stone glue. NOT FLEXIBLE. This way is ok when working with granite, as the allowance for expansion and contraction is not required. However using stone scraps glued with stone glue would not comply with the fabrication manuals from the worlds leading brands.
We then decided to look at other surfaces that also required the same techniques to comply to warranty parameters. This research lead us to a benchtop products manufactured by the likes of DuPont, LG and Samsung. While their products were not engineered stone, they also required the same techniques. We chose to adapt their form of substrate application as they have been tried and tested for decades.
We also seal the MDF with a enamel sealer. This means that in the event of a water leak the substrate will out last the MDF or particle board that your kitchen or vanity cabinets are made of. Also it enables us to mechanically fix the sinks in with brackets and screw the tops to the cabinets rather than glue them. While adapting this technique not only required a substantial investment in CNC machinery, it also adds an extra cost to every benchtop we produce, as we don't just use stone scraps. However given the level of automation through CNC machines we can save costs through efficiency. We also believe that doing it the best way possible, and providing a warranted product is most important.