Litokol Starlike epoxy grout is a popular product widely used for construction and repair. This mixture has many positive characteristics, a rich palette of colors and shades. Most of all, it is suitable for sealing joints between tile and glass plates, as well as for facing with natural stone.
Features, pros and cons
The material is an epoxy-based mixture consisting of two components, one of which is a combination of resins, modifying additives and filler in the form of different fractions of silicon, the second is a catalyst for hardening. The working and operational properties of the material allow it to be used for external and internal cladding.
The main advantages of the product are:
- low abrasion;
- resistance to subzero temperatures (up to -20 degrees);
- operation of the trowel is possible at high temperatures (up to +100 degrees);
- immunity to mechanical stress, in particular to compression and bending;
- absence of defects (empty cavities and cracks) after polymerization;
- UV protection;
- various colors, the ability to give a metallic effect (gold, bronze, silver);
- increased water tightness;
- resistance to acids, alkalis, fuels and lubricants, solvents.
The use of Litokol Starlike epoxy grout prevents fading and yellowing caused by direct sunlight, and also provides easy cleaning and washing of coatings.
Another positive quality of the mixture is its dirt-repellent property. If splashes or spilled liquids such as wine, coffee, tea, berry juices get on it, the dirt does not eat into the surface and can be quickly washed off with water. However, since spots can appear on porous and easily absorbent surfaces, first small areas are putty before grouting. In this situation, you cannot use colors that contrast with each other.
During hardening, the material is practically not subject to shrinkage, which is especially valuable if tile without an edge is used.
Unfortunately, the material has disadvantages too. This applies to the following points:
- epoxy grout can form ugly stains on the plane of the tile;
- due to the increased elasticity, it is difficult to even the mixture after applying it and this can only be done with a special sponge;
- improper actions can lead to increased consumption of the mixture.
All these points can be caused only by the inexperience of the master conducting the work, so the independent use of the material is not always relevant. In addition, the grout mixture is purchased along with the means for removal, so its cost can be quite high. Such a common drawback as the rough surface that occurs during the polymerization of Litokol Starlike mixtures is devoid of only Starlike Color Crystal grout, since it contains fine-grained components that provide smoothness after hardening, which cannot be said about other products.
The manufacturing company offers several types of material, each of which has its own distinctive qualities and features.
- Starlike Defender is an antibacterial ceramic grout . Outwardly resembles a paste of thick consistency. Designed for seams from 1 to 15 mm. This is an acid-resistant two-component composition for different types of tiles, which is highly resistant to ultraviolet. This material has good adhesion, does not emit toxic fumes, provides a uniform color of the lining, destroys virtually all bacterial microorganisms.
- Starlike C. 350 Crystal. The product is a colorless mixture with the effect of "chameleon", it is intended for transparent substrates, glass compositions from decorative smalt. The advantage of grouting is to accept the color of the laid tile and change its own shade. Used for joints with a width of 2 mm and a thickness of not more than 3 mm. It looks especially impressive on illuminated planes.
- Litochrome Starlike - the mixture is two-component, it is used for external and internal coating, ideal for the bathroom, pool, vertical surfaces of kitchen worktops and cabinets. It is a functional and durable material for tile joints. Special additives in the product make it possible to achieve an interesting optical effect. Especially the mixture is relevant for mosaic fragments and tiles, is available in different colors (up to 103 shades).
- Starlike Color Crystal - a translucent trowel created to grout any kind of glass mosaic, is able to take the necessary shade within the boundaries of the common color. The color of the seams changes when lighting, which allows you to create original external effects. The mixture can be used not only for glass panels, but also for other decorative elements. Due to the fine fraction, it forms a smooth surface, has zero moisture absorption, can be used in cases where high hygiene of coatings is required, joints of 2 mm in size are allowed.
- Epoxystuk X90 - this product fills joints of 3-10 mm for external and internal installation of cladding, suitable for floors and walls. Optimal for any type of tile. The two-component composition contains epoxy resins, as well as additives for particle size distribution of quartz, which gives it high adhesive properties. The mixture quickly hardens, and excess paste can easily be washed off with plain water.
In addition to tiles, the material is also used for laying slabs made of natural stone.
The area of use of this product is quite large - swimming pools, window sills made of granite and marble, kitchens, bathrooms, industrial and other rooms where special strength and wear resistance are required due to aggressive environmental influences.
Currently, the manufacturer Litokol Starlike has released an innovative product - grout based on an aqueous dispersion of polyurethane resins , which can also be used for glass mosaics with joint sizes 1-6 mm. Such a composition is already ready for use, does not contain aggressive and corrosive components, when filling joints, the mixture does not remain on the surfaces, thanks to a quartz sand filler.
When using different materials, the application method may differ in the same way as the thickness of the seam.
Preparatory work is reduced to cleaning the joints from dust, residual mortar and glue. If installation work has been carried out recently, it is important to wait until the adhesive has completely dried. Gaps for filling should be free by two-thirds.
If you decide to use the material yourself, then preparing the mixture and further work is preferably carried out according to the instructions:
- the hardener is poured into the paste, while simultaneously trying to clean the bottom and the edges of the container with a spatula; for this, use a steel tool;
- mix the solution with a construction mixer or drill;
- the resulting mixture must be used within one hour;
- under the tile, the composition is applied with a spatula with teeth corresponding to the size and thickness of the tile, the fragments are laid with considerable pressure;
- the tile gaps are filled with a rubber spatula and they remove the excess solution;
- if it is necessary to process a large area, it is more reasonable to use an electric brush with a rubberized nozzle;
- cleaning from excess grouting is carried out quickly, while the mixture maintains elasticity.
When working with Litokol Starlike grout, the temperature should be taken into account, the amplitude from +12 to +30 degrees is considered optimal, the solution should not be diluted with solvent or water. This product is not used if the surface may come into contact with oleic acids.
The manufacturer also warns that both components of the grout can cause health problems, so during the work process it is necessary to use special means to protect the eyes, face and hands.
Reviews about this material are rather contradictory, however, in most cases they are positive: impeccable moisture insulation, strength and durability of the joints are noted. These are really high-quality products and, when used skillfully, they are ideal for various rooms and types of decoration.
Below is a video on how to properly grout seams with Litokol Starlike grout.