Here is a good article: http://popularmechanics.com/popmech/homei/9801HIHIBM.html
I think the most important things are to: A. Make 100% certain that you have NO loose spots in the laminate. Tap the entire surface with your finger or maybe a small rubber mallet and listen for a loose spot. These will sound differently than the field. and B. Scuff up the surface with 80 grit to insure good adhesion.
I would use epoxy grout. If you use regular grout then you should use gray because whatever color you use it will end up gray.
I would use a wood edge or better yet you can purchase right angle tiles that are made to go on a counter edge. The pipe thing sounds like it would be tough to pull off and that it would end up dull, tarnished and stained.