Structo-Lite is a product made by USG, a leading manufacturer of construction materials. It is a lightweight, perlite-aggregate, mill-mixed gypsum plaster that can be conformed to different designs.
There are many things about Structo-Lite that makes it stand out as a basecoat plaster. It offers excellent insulation and is lightweight, making application effortless.
There are many more reasons why anyone may be interested in Structo-Lite plaster. However, what if it’s unavailable at local stores near your home?
Are there any suitable Structo-Lite alternatives? Keep on reading to discover other plaster options almost identical to Structo-Lite.
1. Gypsolite Plaster
If you are looking for a plaster similar to Structo-Lite, Gypsolite is an excellent option. This product is made by Gold Bond. It’s an equally renowned brand and widely stocked in most stores.
Gypsolite is a lightweight base coat plaster, just like Structo-Lite. It also features perlite aggregate. Therefore, you won’t have a hard time preparing the mixture. You only need to add some water, and you are good to go.
Gypsolite can be applied using a trowel or machine for more efficiency. It adheres well to metal lath or gypsum.
With this Structo-Lite alternative, you are assured of a uniform finish. It’s lighter than most plasters. So it won’t add more weight to the framing. You also get better insulation with Gypsolite. It’s also fire-resistant.
One area Gypsolite outperforms Structo-Lite is that its available in smaller quantities. Therefore, if you only have a small area to work on, you don’t have to buy Structo-Lite in large quantities.
2. Plaster of Paris
Plaster of Paris is commonly referred to as gypsum plaster, and it’s an ideal alternative to Structo-Lite.
It is available in powder form, and when mixed with water, it can be applied to concrete, block, or brick. Plaster of Paris is a very popular product. You should find it in any hardware store.
Before we go much deeper into Plaster of Paris, you must know the key differences before you buy this product.
Unlike Structo-Lite, Plaster of Paris has a quicker setting time. That means you must work very fast. Otherwise, the plaster will harden when still in the bucket. This makes it not ideal for amateur plasterers.
However, you will get similar benefits from Plaster of Paris when you use it as a Structo-Lite alternative. For instance, it boasts good insulation properties.
Plaster of Paris is fire resistant, and preparation and application are pretty effortless. If you don’t mind the quick setting time of Plaster of Paris, you can use it as an alternative to Structo-Lite.
3. Red Top
In case the local stores in your area don’t have Structo-Lite, there is a good chance that they may have Red Top. The same company, USG, also makes this gypsum plaster, which has almost identical properties to Structo-Lite.
Red Top allows you to create fire and sound-resistant walls. It is extremely durable and conforms well, enabling you to create an appealing finish.
Red Top gypsum plaster can be applied using a machine or by hand. You can install it over concrete blocks, clay tile, metal lath, and other ideal surfaces.
The biggest difference between Structo-Lite and Red Top is that the latter is a neat gypsum platter. It needs aggregate to be added during preparation before it can be used.
You will have to buy perlite and sand to use alongside Red Top. Unlike Structo-Lite, that only needs water during preparation.
With Red Top, there is extra work involved. But the good news is that it’s widely available in most stores and boasts excellent properties.
4. Durabond 90
Durabond 90 is a joint compound, and you may be wondering, what is it doing on the list of Structo-Lite alternatives?
First of all, Durabond is formulated for use on gypsum panels and ceiling boards. Therefore, you are assured of excellent adhesion.
Secondly, Durabond sets up as hard as typical plaster. But it also dries very fast. For projects that you intend to complete in a hurry, Durabond 90 should help accelerate the plaster installation.
Durabond 90 and Structo-Lite have many other similarities, making it a suitable base coat material.
What I love most about Durabond 90 is that it’s widely available in many cities. You can get it from any big box store. You don’t have to pay more for deliveries or wait for it to be shipped to your area.
Another good thing about the Durabond series of products is that there is a Durabond 45 and 20. The figure at the end of the name refers to the set duration.
Durabond 90 is highly resistant to humidity. That’s good if you want to plaster walls in high-moisture areas such as kitchens and showers.
You are also assured of a strong bond that experiences minimal shrinkage. It is also very resistant to cracking.
Why is Structo-Lite Not All Available in Many Stores?
There is no denying this is one of the best gypsum plasters on the market. However, why is it difficult to come by?
The most obvious reason is that Structo-Lite is a basecoat material. Therefore, most local sellers don’t think it’s in high demand.
USG has a store locater on their website. There you can key in your zip code, and they will direct you to where you can buy their products. You have better luck finding Structo-Lite by using their store locater.
Can I Use Mortar as a Structo-Lite Alternative?
If you cannot find Structo-Lite or its alternatives, you may be tempted to use mortar as a plaster. However, most people don’t understand the difference between mortar and plaster.
Mortar is used to join blocks or bricks. Structo-Lite, on the other hand, is a plaster that creates a uniform and smooth finish on walls.
The finish created by Structo-Lite is more aesthetically pleasing than the one you can get with mortar.
The bottom line is that mortar is not a Structo-Lite alternative. The finish provided by mortar is far from pleasant.
Can I Find Structo-Lite at Home Depot?
Home Depot is undeniably the biggest DIY store. They stock almost everything you may need for construction and building.
If you haven’t been successful in finding Structo-Lite in local retail shops, you can have a look at Home Depot. There is a high chance that you will find Structo-Lite and its alternatives, such as Gypsolite. Therefore, you will have many options to compare.
Look at Lowe’s if you don’t find Structo-Lite at Home Depot. If that doesn’t work, a quick online search should direct you to sellers who have Structo-Lite in stock.
Be Careful When Asking Sales Reps for Structo-Lite Alternatives
Assuming that you have walked into a DIY store that sells construction supplies and they don’t stock Structo-Lite.
You can always ask the sales reps for alternatives. Instead of driving further out of town, there are many alternatives to Structo-Lite that can get the job done.
If you are hesitant about asking for alternatives. You can ask if they have any of the alternatives I have listed above.
Rarely will a store not have the above options because they are the most popular gypsum plasters in the market.
When seeking advice from sales reps, always take the time to do your research about the plastering product they will recommend.
Some sales reps are only after making a profit. And they may recommend an inferior product. Research is crucial before you make a purchase.