Recently I’ve been forced to switch over grout because of Bostik’s formula change in the QuartzLock2 grout. Just a little history… Bostik bought out Star Quartz (which both companies manufactured the same grout) awhile back but still manufactures QL2 which is available through Daltile.
The previous formula which was most superior over the first version of QuartzLock was a 7 day cure time for shower installations. Many tile setters complained about that, however, depending on the scope of the project was not typically a big deal when waiting on heavy glass installation or blending the process in throughout a full bathroom remodeling project.
Any confusion? Bringing us up to speed:
- Bostik = Tru Color Grout and Dimension grout for glass.
- StarQuartz = QuartzLock2 and Star Glass grout for glass.
- Now it’s just Bostik but they still distribute QuartzLock2
- Changed formula from 7 day to 3 day cure.
I’ll move on with some install tips before I get into my thoughts of the new product and compared to the old one…. Urethane grout can be tricky to work with because it does set up fairly quick like an epoxy based grout or other brands with the same concept – Custom Fusion grout would probably be the closest comparison. You have to mix the product well but not too much that would introduce excessive amounts of air into the substance. Also while grouting, it’s good to keep the lid on the bucket for the same reason. Urethane rises so you have to continually mix the product throughout the grouting session which is not that big of a deal. If you store it with the bucket upside down then the urethane will “rise to the bottom” of the bucket which makes mixing a breeze…
- Grout a small area at a time.
- Wash the grout thoroughly before doing your final passes.
- Use luke warm water in your bucket or grout washing station.
- Ring your sponges as dry as possible. (too much water will affect the curing)
- If you get urethane haze on the tile you can use a white doodle bug scrub pad to work it loose and re-wash or use a product called Blaze to remove the hazing.
HERE IS SOME INFORMATION RIGHT FROM BOSTIK’S SITE:
QuartzLock 2™ Grout is a pre-mixed, ready-to-use urethane and colored quartz-based grout for ceramic, porcelain, glass and natural stone tiles on floors and walls. QuartzLock 2 Grout requires no sealing and is resistant to typical food stains and most household chemical products.
- Pre-mixed, ready to use
- Excellent chemical, stain and mildew resistance
- Semi-flexible, low shrinkage and high crack resistance
- No color fading, streaking or shading – Even when wet!
- Fast and easy clean-up when compared to epoxy and cement grouts
- Excess product can be saved and used later UV stable colors (non-yellowing)
- Self-sealing – no sealing required
- Non-sag formula great for vertical surfaces
- Dust-free mixing
- Fast, easy installation – installs up to 50% faster than other grouts
- Superior to cement grout
- Contributes to USGBC LEED Credits: MR 4.1 & 4.2 (Recycled Content) and EQ 4.1 (Low-Emitting Materials)
Using the new formula seemed to be pretty much the same but I did find two things that seemed odd. One of the buckets had a few grout pebbles mixed in with the product. This probably happened just because it’s a faster setting mixture but I only saw that one time so far out of 10 or so buckets used.
The other thing that struck me was that hazing will definitely occur on a matte finish porcelain tile which I have not had an issue with before. The only way around that hump is to use a Grout Release chemical on the tile so the haze does not stay. It will lift all the urethane right off the tile. It’s not that big of a deal but I do like to keep all of my install procedures the same and can obviously worry that Grout Release may be mixing in with the grout and causing unknown issues but most all companies that make it have tested it thousands of times with all types of tile and grout. Like any tile or grout, you’d better be taking a scrap piece and doing a test to make sure there’s no issues.
All other properties of this product are great. It’s the same working time which is good… I was actually worried that I would have to work faster because of the rapid setting properties but there’s no difference. It cures the same, mixes the same and as long as you follow all their instructions to a “T” you will have no problems. One improvement that I found was pretty cool too… don’t know if this was intended or not but when you mix the product with a paddle, the urethane gels better as a whole. There is less mixing throughout a grouting session… heck, I used it one day then opened up the bucket 24 hours later and everything was perfectly in tact without urethane separation. I still did a quick whip up with a margin trowel just to be sure but it seemed completely fine!
Overall, I give 5 out of 5 Stars on the new formula. It’s still showing all its superior qualities, work-ability and a better cure time, as well. The only different thing is to be making sure your testing it on your tiles before installation which is something that should be done anyway and I’ll actually put a message in to the administrators of this site to let Bostik know of this review as I will too because great manufacturers and tile setters alike can only get better with sharing information and becoming better as a whole.