StarQuartz QuartzLock 2 Review

 
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Old 11-11-2009, 11:23 PM   #1
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StarQuartz QuartzLock 2 Review


I have been an advocate of QuartzLock this year. This week I had a chance to use the new formula, QuartzLock2.

Well, I have to say, they made good, better. It still is smooth like butter. Very easy to spread. Using an epoxy float, very easy to get in the joints and smooth excess off tile surface. Clean up, as it has been, is a breeze! I spread over a 4-6 sq ft section and then sponge off. No need to scrub, just a gentle few wipes. Since there's no cement or pigments, the clean up water doesn't get nasty too fast. You can easily clean 100-150 sq ft without changing over the bucket. You may get more but keeping it under 150 sq ft, there's no need for an additional cleaning pass.

Did I mention, no adding liquid to mix? Just pop the top, give the settled grout a good stir (no additives) and you're on your way. Need to stop? No problem. Just make sure you have cleaned any installed grout and cover the bucket (clean your float off too!). Back to grouting 30 minutes later? Just pop the top, quick stir and you're back grouting. Color match is perfect because the grout is pre-mixed.

Now there have been reports of the curing time. I don't get it. I forgot to clean on float off during a break, came back about 30 mins later and it was hardened already. I tried using a stiff-bristle brush and won't come off. Using water and my margin trowel, I tried to scrape it off, still no. I ended up having to sand it off! Also, I accidentally missed a small section on cleaning. When I finally noticed it about 2 hours later, not even a scotch-brite pad would totally remove it! Folks, this is only 2 hours later!

Finally, the wet location issue. I typically have at least a week between grouting a shower and its completion. Most shower doors need to be templated or at least need to be ordered after the tile is installed. I have no problem (in almost every case) waiting the recommended 7 days after grouting to introduce water. I feel the grout is good enough to warrant the wait.

As for any issues, there's a couple. First, as I have mentioned, if you don't clean up this stuff, it just about becomes permanent with whatever it's on. I have already ruined a nice epoxy float because I didn't clean it up in time. Removing dried grout from a tile surface can be a challenge too. Porcelain, you have a chance. Natural stone, you've got issues! Secondly, the liquid within the grout will separate and rise when the bucket sits. If you don't mix it very well upon first using it, by the time you get to the bottom of the bucket, the grout will be drier than the it was on the top and your workable time with it will be lessened (not to mention, harder to work with). Of course, mix it properly and no issues! Subsequent mixing during the same day doesn't need to be so thorough.

Overall, if you get a chance to try it, I say go for it. Just need to remember it doesn't install like traditional grout. Clean after 4-6 sq ft and you're good to go!

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Old 11-12-2009, 07:30 AM   #2
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Re: StarQuartz QuartzLock 2 Review


Thanks for the review Angus. Have you used Lati's Spectra-Lock very much? It is my grout of choice at the moment but it is expensive and time sensitive once mixed. How would you compare the two?

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Old 11-12-2009, 06:12 PM   #3
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Re: StarQuartz QuartzLock 2 Review


Quote:
Originally Posted by PrecisionFloors View Post
Thanks for the review Angus. Have you used Lati's Spectra-Lock very much? It is my grout of choice at the moment but it is expensive and time sensitive once mixed. How would you compare the two?

Ditto, Thanks Angus!

I too use Spectralock on every job. I would be open to trying this new quartzlock, but, the closest supplier to me is a 3 hour round-trip drive

Plus, up here in Canada, I think the Quartzlock is more expensive than spectralock which I can get with a 5 minute drive.

I have never had an issue with Spectralock - looks like I'm gonna stick with it for now!

Keep floating Angus!!
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Old 11-12-2009, 06:18 PM   #4
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Re: StarQuartz QuartzLock 2 Review


Quote:
Originally Posted by PrecisionFloors View Post
Thanks for the review Angus. Have you used Lati's Spectra-Lock very much? It is my grout of choice at the moment but it is expensive and time sensitive once mixed. How would you compare the two?
It's hard to say how they actually compare head to head. If you go off their stats, they seem to be pretty even.

Epoxy is catalyst-cured where as urethane is air-cured. Because of this, ANSI 118.3 standards are not all comparable with urethane. However, urethane passes or exceeds all 118.3 standards applicable. To me, that puts QuartzLock and SpectraLOCK in the same category.
Linear shrinkage = .06%
Water absorption = <1%

Since the 118.3 compression test is not applicable for urethane, the TCNA performed their own test between the two. SpectraLOCK is rated at 3500 psi while QuartzLock achieved 4000 psi.

From how I understand the properties of epoxy, when it cures it becomes very hard, almost brittle. Urethane is different. It has semi-elastic properties which will not allow it to shatter, unlike cementious or epoxy grout.

While both are highly stain resistant, in a head to head test (TCNA), urethane was actually more stain resistant with certain products. Equal elsewhere.

So, I believe the advantages of urethane are:
-no allergic reactions possible
-even more stain resistant
-better compression strength
-more color consistency (no mixing so no user error possible)
-easier to apply (just my personal opinion after using both grouts)
-cheaper
-easier clean up (just 1 cleaning pass water w/orange cleaner 5gal/1oz ratio)
-much greater workable time (4 hours). You can stop, close the lid and return within up to three years later with the same bucket of grout. This leads to less waste which technically helps with the cheaper cost too.

disadvantages:
-availability
-long term durability
-air-cured needs 7 days dry time before introducing water (wet locations).

This is not the case with a dry location installation.
Tack free = 8 hours
Light foot traffic = 24 hours
Heavy foot traffic = 48 hours
Stain resistant = 3 days

StarQuartz is just about to release a new product called StarGlass. This grout is designed to be used with glass and metal tile. I have yet to see all of the available colors but from the samples I have received, I like the variety. It gives the designer/tile installer more option for some unique installations.
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Old 11-12-2009, 08:10 PM   #5
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Re: StarQuartz QuartzLock 2 Review


The greater working time and cheaper cost might lead me to try it out, except in a shower. I don't like that 7 day wait deal. Grouting is the very last thing I do and I can't see making a h.o. wait another week to use the masterpiece I just created

In all honesty, I have absolutely no problems with the ease of spread or cleanup on Specktralock....its actually easier to use in most cases than regular old cement grout (once you learn a system). I have yet to have an issue with color matching either, even dark pigments, months later, in a shower .

The only downside to it is cost. When it costs 15 times cement based grout, I don't care what the benefits are, it's a hard sell most of the time. I personally think Laticrete is shooting themselves in the foot by trying to maintain such a high profit margin on it. The cost alone has stopped it from taking over the grout market imo. If it were more affordable there wouldn't BE a market for cement grout.
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Old 11-13-2009, 11:03 AM   #6
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Re: StarQuartz QuartzLock 2 Review


I hear ya. I know those that are happy with SpectraLOCK really have no desire to change. And it's not like I'm trying to be a salesperson for QuartzLock.

Now that I've went over the generic advantage/disadvantage thing, why I'm choosing urethane over epoxy is:

NO MIXING!
I prefer the semi-elastic properties over epoxy
I prefer the clean up
I believe the color choices are superior
My availability is wonderful
Cost!
StarGlass opens a whole new color palette and increases my design possibilities
The company themselves have been AWESOME. From sales to availability questions to tech issues, I've received incredible support.

I know premixed anything when it comes to tile is usually a bad thing. I just wanted to give everyone my thoughts about urethane based grout so if you get the opportunity sometime to try it, you will. It may not be for everyone but for my company, we are promoting it exclusively.

Cheers!
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Old 11-13-2009, 11:40 PM   #7
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Re: StarQuartz QuartzLock 2 Review


Angus, I'm dying to know - what do you pay for starquartz vs. spectralock?

I am paying about $68.00 CDN for a full unit of spectralock. When I talked to the starquartz rep he said their 9 lb bucket would be about $100.00

Do these prices compare??
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Old 11-14-2009, 03:04 PM   #8
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Re: StarQuartz QuartzLock 2 Review


Here's a little secret for you guys in southern Canada that want to try Star Quartz, but don't tell anyone. OK?

Go to any Home Depot and buy a bucket of the Snapstone grout. Colors are limited but hey........
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Old 11-14-2009, 10:43 PM   #9
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Re: StarQuartz QuartzLock 2 Review


Just thinking out loud here....I wonder if it is also the same as the Congoleum DuraCeramic grout, which is a urethane if I'm not mistaken??
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Old 11-15-2009, 12:52 AM   #10
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Re: StarQuartz QuartzLock 2 Review


Quote:
Originally Posted by PrecisionFloors View Post
Just thinking out loud here....I wonder if it is also the same as the Congoleum DuraCeramic grout, which is a urethane if I'm not mistaken??
I believe DuraCeramic grout is acrylic, not urethane.
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Old 11-15-2009, 09:06 AM   #11
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Re: StarQuartz QuartzLock 2 Review


Quote:
I wonder if it is also the same as the Congoleum DuraCeramic grout...
Nope, different product.
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Old 11-15-2009, 12:53 PM   #12
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Re: StarQuartz QuartzLock 2 Review


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I believe DuraCeramic grout is acrylic, not urethane.
As soon as I read it, I remembered You are correct, acrylic.
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Old 11-16-2009, 03:55 PM   #13
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Re: StarQuartz QuartzLock 2 Review


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Originally Posted by Bud Cline View Post
Here's a little secret for you guys in southern Canada that want to try Star Quartz, but don't tell anyone. OK?

Go to any Home Depot and buy a bucket of the Snapstone grout. Colors are limited but hey........

Bud, thanks for the tip,...just one problem....

I friggin hate going to or buying anything at HD!!!
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Old 11-16-2009, 04:34 PM   #14
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Re: StarQuartz QuartzLock 2 Review


Quote:
Bud, thanks for the tip,...just one problem....

I friggin hate going to or buying anything at HD!!!
No one has to talk to anyone. Just sneak in, go to the flooring department, pickup a tub of Snapstone grout and head for the cashier. Don't look like you don't know what you are doing and those morons won't even approach you.
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Old 11-16-2009, 05:11 PM   #15
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Re: StarQuartz QuartzLock 2 Review


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No one has to talk to anyone. Just sneak in, go to the flooring department, pickup a tub of Snapstone grout and head for the cashier. Don't look like you don't know what you are doing and those morons won't even approach you.
Yeah but then you miss out on the ability to hang out in said flooring dept. I guarantee within 10 minutes you will spot an opportunity to make an ass out of a supposed flooring professional

It is a great stress reliever
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Old 11-16-2009, 10:33 PM   #16
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Re: StarQuartz QuartzLock 2 Review


Quote:
Yeah but then you miss out on the ability to hang out in said flooring dept. I guarantee within 10 minutes you will spot an opportunity to make an ass out of a supposed flooring professional

It is a great stress reliever
Yow-well - I have to give you that one!
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Old 11-16-2009, 10:37 PM   #17
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Re: StarQuartz QuartzLock 2 Review


Yep. My partner called me over the weekend. He was buying some screws at HD. Walked by the flooring dept & said he saw a guy in a contractor uniform...READING A BOOK ON HOW TO TILE while trying to choose materials.
Hey, maybe he was an HVAC guy trying to tile his own home but hell if that visual isn't a good chuckle!
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Old 11-16-2009, 10:51 PM   #18
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Re: StarQuartz QuartzLock 2 Review


The Home Depot calls their tiling book; "Tiling 1-2-3".

I wonder why in the hell they never wrote Tiling 4-5-6.













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Old 11-16-2009, 10:59 PM   #19
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Re: StarQuartz QuartzLock 2 Review


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The Home Depot calls their tiling book; "Tiling 1-2-3".

I wonder why in the hell they never wrote Tiling 4-5-6.
Come on Bud, paint and tile...everyone can do them... They're easy
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Old 11-16-2009, 11:36 PM   #20
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Re: StarQuartz QuartzLock 2 Review


YUP!!!

Easy as 1-2-3.





Been using black grout all day, so I'm really in a foul mood.

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