All About Glass Block Windows | Use of Glass Block Window | Types of Glass Blocks Windows

All About Glass Block Windows

Introduction of Glass Block Windows

Glass block windows came into fashion in the early 1900s as a durable and insulating alternative to natural light entering factories.

This window is preferred for bathroom walls and windows, as it allows light to enter but does not allow for clear viewing.

This window can be made durable against bullets and fire.

Glass block windows are thick, cloudy, and have a slightly reflective appearance, making it difficult to see clearly through.

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What Is Glass Block Window?

What Is Glass Block Window

Glass block windows are generally useful as a privacy solution in home design. It is very important to have privacy in the bathroom so this window is more preferred there.

The cloudy or icy nature of the glass blocks is enough to block the view. Yes, it is true that these glasses are not completely opaque like curtains so curtains are necessary to keep the full outline, skin color, and other personal details visible. But curtains block light so glass block windows are the best option to meet both privacy and lighting requirements.

Also Read: All About Hopper Window | What Is Hoper Window | Hopper Window Installing Procedure

Use of Glass Block Window

Use of Glass Block Window

Glass block windows are available in many types so they are used in different places to maintain privacy and get light. Privacy is more important than ventilation in many parts of the home.

This window works very well instead. For example, glass block vent window replacement, installing glass block basement windows, installing glass block in the shower, etc.

Also, Read: Replacing Glass Block Window with Regular Window

Glass Block Window Installation Cost

Glass Block Window Installation Cost

A small basement window made of glass blocks can cost at least $175. The estimated cost of a glass block is $15 and special blocks such as frosted or colored blocks can cost up to about $50.

The glass block windows’ cost depends on the type of glass and local labor. It usually costs about $400 to $1100 to install a glass block window.

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Types of Glass Blocks Windows

Types of Glass Blocks Windows

Here are the different types of decorative glass blocks that can be used to make modern glass block windows.

1. Wavy Glass Block Windows

Wavy Glass Block Windows

This is the most practical type for home windows and is commonly used for basement windows. This type allows light to flow as well as provides privacy.

2. Clarity Glass Blocks Windows

Clarity Glass Blocks Windows

This type does not provide privacy, such glass blocks in home windows are commonly used for kitchen windows. This transparent glass can be used in places where privacy is not important.

3. Ice Glass Block Windows

Ice Glass Block Windows

These are commonly used as toilet windows. This is the type with a frosted pattern that is also considered benign. This type does not have visibility.

4. Diamond Glass Blocks Windows

Diamond Glass Blocks Windows

This type is found in contrast to floating and ice glass blocks. The reason diamond glass blocks are clean for contact is because this pattern is inside the blocks.

Also Read: All About Lantern Windows | Lantern Glass and Lantern Material | Types of Lantern Windows

Glass Block Window Replacement

Glass Block Window Replacement

An old window in a home where both privacy and privacy are required and where it needs to be replaced, both needs can be met by replacing it with a glass block window. Glass block windows are the best choice for spaces like a basement or bathroom.

Replacing glass block windows can provide the necessary benefits to the home. Custom glass block windows and decorative glass block windows are provided by different companies.

so you can get your favorite block window. For example, block windows for the basement, replace bathroom windows with glass blocks, etc.

Also, Read: Are Cracked Tiles a Sign of Foundation Problems

Glass Block Window Installation

Glass Block Window Installation

To Install Glass Block Window (Clearly Secure Glass Block Windows Installation) Follow These Steps:

1. Assemble the Tools

Assemble the Tools

The following tools are required to complete the task efficiently:

  1. Measurement Tape
  2. Safety Gloves
  3. Circular
  4. Dry Vacuum Cleaner
  5. Almost Twelve
  6. Utility Knife
  7. Cedar Shims
  8. Cement and Sand
  9. Trowell
  10. Caulking Gun

2. Size the Glass Block Window and Order New Window

Size the Glass Block Window and Order New Window

Measure the current window frame with the tape to the masonry. Note where the frame ends and the masonry begins. Make sure the parameters are spot-on.

Subtract half an inch from the width and length. Order custom glass block windows from glass block window companies of any size you can find.

3. Remove the Old Frame

Remove the Old Frame

Wear safety gloves to break old windows. Use a circular saw to make the first cut in the old frame. Afterward, the entire area should be vacuumed through the storage space to safely remove all shards.

4. Tear Off the Jamb of the Old Frame

Tear Off the Jamb of the Old Frame

A pry bar is needed to rip out the old jamb. If the jamb is protected with mortar or concrete, some of it may need to be chiseled.

5. Remove Caulking

Remove Caulking

Old caulking needs to be removed from its place as the whole frame needs to be as clean and clear as possible. New caulking needs to be added for the new frame.

Place an old newspaper or cloth under the frame to collect the falling caulking. Then, use a knife to remove the chisel and remove the caulking.

6. Install Cedar Shims

Install Cedar Shims

Cedar shims are required for the uniform placement of new window panels in the space. Install them at the bottom of the frame, starting at the corners.

They should be about half an inch in width and placed at 3-inch intervals from each other. Once the first coat of mortar is set, the shim should be long enough to be removed.

7. Mix Mortar

Mix Mortar

Measure 4 parts sand and 1 part cement and mix them. Use a shovel to make a hole in the center of the sand-cement mixture.

Add a bucket full of water to the top of the pit. An appropriate amount of mortar additive or lime can be used to strengthen the mortar.

Use a trowel to add a small amount of mortar to the bottom of the frame. The layer should not be thick as it helps the shim to form the base.

8. Place the Panel Over the Shims

Place the Panel Over the Shims

Some shims may move while setting the panel. The panel should be reset when tilting or sliding the panel to the correct position.

After placing the panel, a few gaps can be seen at the bottom. Pack it using a mortar with a trowel.

9. Mortar the Sides

Mortar the Sides

Once the bottom becomes hard to touch the mortar, start applying the mortar to the sides. Once it is set, start removing all the shims one by one.

To smooth the mortar it is necessary to let it dry for at least three hours before using the striking tool.

10. Caulk the Top of the Window

Caulk the Top of the Window

Caulking at the top of the window will push down the entire panel which helps to set the panel firmly in place.

100% silicone caulking should be used to fill the entire gap at the top.

To apply the caulk, remove the cover on the inlet of the caulk gun, then insert the caulk tube inside and then screw the cover back on.

Squeeze the handle of the gun slightly to attach its plunger cap to the back of the tube.

Then, use a knife to cut the top of the tube at a 45-degree angle. Press the cut tip in one corner of the window, and start applying caulk to the bead continuously.

Custom glass block windows can be installed at any place depending on the procedure outlined above.

Such as basement block windows or glass block window in shower etc.

Also Read: All About Clerestory Windows | Clerestory Architecture | Clerestory Window Installation

Advantages of Glass Block Window

Advantages of Glass Block Window

Here, is the list of pros of glass block windows as follows.

1. Higher Energy Cost Savings

The energy efficiency gain from a glass block window is comparable to the gain from a thermal pen window. This window wall is sealed with mortar so there is no problem of air leakage. This helps in heat control function. They restrict the entry of noise and dust so the utility bill is reduced.

2. Security and Privacy

The special feature of this window is that the glass block window works to maintain privacy with maximum light provision. The glass of these windows is thicker than ordinary glass so it gives security and peace of mind to the house.

3. Enhanced Curb Appeal

These windows come with different patterned glass and different designs which help in enhancing the aesthetic appeal of the house. The house is well-liked as a partition wall and shower window. Custom window options help to complement the architectural design of the home.

4. Less Maintenance

This window does not require constant maintenance. These windows are made using solid material to stay fixed in the wall and are well sealed with mortar so they can be used for many months without any maintenance.

Also, Read: How to Fix a House That Is Settling

Disadvantages of Glass Block Window

Disadvantages of Glass Block Window

Here, is the list of cons of glass block windows as follows.

1. Do Not Allow Ventilation

Ventilation in the house is a very important feature. In addition to enjoying the fresh air for a pleasant environment, fresh air is also essential for health.

The windows need to be open when the person is sick, cleaning something with harsh chemicals, or doing home projects like painting or varnishing.

2. Expensive

Since glass block windows are heavy, the procedure for making them is expensive, so compared with the standard options, one realizes that it can be expensive for the house.

3. Installation Problem

A good fitting may be required to secure the installation and windows may need to be re-sealed frequently to prevent water from seeping in through the small space around the window.

4. Unsuitable for Hot Climates

It is not advisable to install this window in an area that gets very hot in summer. Glass blocks absorb outside heat and transfer it to the inside of the room. This costs more money and energy on air conditioning to cool the room temperature.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Best Glass Block Windows

  1. Menards Glass Block Windows
  2. Home Depot Glass Block Windows
  3. Pella Glass Block Windows

Glass Basement Windows

You can enhance your basement for security purposes by putting in glass block basement windows. No air is required in the basement. Glass blocks can be installed there as only light is required. The glass block is strong and does not break easily and does not open. Thus, there will be no problem in installing glass block window in a place like a basement.

Glass Block Installation

Care must be taken to install the glass block. If you want to do a DIY project yourself, you can buy and install custom glass blocks that are available from a good brand. Prices range from $ 400 to $ 800.

Block Window Installation Cost

The estimated average cost of installing block window is $ 900.

Replace Glass Block Window with Regular Window

Sometimes glass block windows do not meet the required requirement. It only allows light to enter but not the air. Therefore, in case of the occasional need for air, it is advisable to replace the glass block with a regular window.

Best Company for Glass Block Windows Installation

Glass Block Menards

Glass Block Vent Replacement

A glass block is a good choice for a place like a vent because light is an important part of the vent. In addition, other windows can be placed extra for air. The vent just needs to be light enough.

Replacing Basement Windows with Glass Block

This is a good idea because glass blocks are strong and do not crack for long periods of time. Even so, light is needed in the basement, not air.

Glass Block Windows Price

The estimated average price of a glass block window is $ 500.

Glass Block Windows Design Ideas for Bathrooms

Glass block windows are a popular choice for bathrooms because they provide privacy while allowing natural light to enter the space. They also offer a touch of elegance and style to the room. Here are some design ideas for incorporating glass block windows into your bathroom:

  1. Frosted or Patterned Glass Blocks: Use frosted or patterned glass blocks to enhance privacy while still allowing light to filter through. You can choose from various patterns, such as waves, bubbles, or geometric shapes, to add visual interest to the window.
  2. Accent Wall: Create an accent wall with glass block windows. Install multiple glass blocks in a row or as a larger design element, such as a curved or diagonal pattern, to make a statement in the bathroom.
  3. Shower Partition: Use glass block windows as a partition between the shower area and the rest of the bathroom. This provides separation while maintaining an open and spacious feel. You can even incorporate a door within the glass block partition for easy access.
  4. Natural Light Enhancement: If your bathroom lacks natural light, consider installing glass block windows strategically to maximize the entry of sunlight. Placing them near the shower, bathtub, or vanity can create a bright and welcoming atmosphere.
  5. Built-In Shelving: Combine functionality with aesthetics by integrating glass block windows into built-in shelving units. This not only offers privacy but also creates a unique storage solution for towels, toiletries, or decorative items.

Installation Cost of Glass Block Windows in the USA

The national average to install one glass block window is about $660. Cost is affected by many factors in addition to labor costs. These include whether the window is prefabricated or custom, window assembly method, size of the windows, number of blocks, glass material and style, and the location in your home.

Benefits of Glass Block Windows for Privacy and Aesthetics

6 Benefits of Glass Block Windows

  • Security. Glass block windows provide excellent security without blocking natural light from flowing into a building.
  • Privacy.
  • Energy Savings.
  • Versatility.
  • Severe Weather Protection.
  • Optimal Daylighting.

Top-Rated Manufacturers of Glass Block Windows in the USA

As of my last knowledge update in September 2021, there are several top-rated manufacturers of glass block windows in the USA known for their quality products. Please note that the landscape of manufacturers might have changed since then, so it’s always a good idea to do your own research and read recent reviews before making a purchase. Here are a few well-regarded manufacturers that were prominent at the time:

  1. Pittsburgh Corning: Pittsburgh Corning was one of the most well-known manufacturers of glass block products, including windows. They offered a range of designs, patterns, and sizes suitable for various applications.
  2. Mulia, Inc.: Mulia is another respected manufacturer that offers a variety of glass block products, including windows. They provide both standard and decorative glass blocks, allowing for creative design options.
  3. Seves Glass Block: Seves is a global manufacturer known for their high-quality glass block products. They offer a diverse range of sizes, patterns, and colors, providing options for different architectural and design preferences.
  4. Hy-Lite: Hy-Lite specializes in decorative glass windows, including glass block windows. They offer various patterns and designs that allow you to balance privacy and natural light in your bathroom.
  5. Weck Glass Blocks: Weck Glass Blocks is another reputable manufacturer offering a wide selection of glass block designs and patterns. Their products are often used in both residential and commercial applications.

Energy-Efficient Glass Block Windows for Insulation

When looking for energy-efficient glass block windows for insulation, it’s important to consider factors like the U-factor, solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC), and overall insulation properties. These factors determine how well the windows can keep your home insulated and reduce energy transfer. Here are some considerations and manufacturers that offer energy-efficient glass block windows:

  1. U-factor: The U-factor measures how well a window can prevent heat from escaping your home. Look for glass block windows with low U-factors, as lower values indicate better insulation.
  2. SHGC: The SHGC measures how much solar heat is allowed to pass through the window. For energy efficiency, especially in warmer climates, choose glass block windows with low SHGC values to minimize heat gain.
  3. Gas Filling: Some advanced glass block windows use inert gases like argon or krypton between the blocks to improve insulation properties.
  4. Low-E Coatings: Low-emissivity (Low-E) coatings can enhance the energy efficiency of glass block windows by reflecting heat back into the room during winter and reducing heat transfer in summer.
  5. Thermal Breaks: Some manufacturers incorporate thermal breaks in their glass block windows to reduce heat conduction through the frame.

Average Cost of Basement Glass Block Windows

These windows are a good option in bathrooms and basements, especially for ranch-style homes. Glass block windows cost $250–$3,900, depending on the glass size, type, and customization level. The national average is around $720 per window.

Labor Cost to Install Glass Block Windows

For custom glass block windows, installers must properly align all the bricks and install support and dividers between them. Thus, the total cost of labor is usually between $150 and $1,000 for a prefabricated window and $300 to $4,500 for a custom window.

Glass Block Window Details

Certainly, here are some important details to consider when it comes to glass block windows:

  1. Size and Dimensions: Determine the size of the glass block window you need based on the available space and your design preferences. Glass block windows come in various dimensions and shapes, so choose one that fits your specific requirements.
  2. Pattern and Design: Glass block windows are available in different patterns and designs, such as clear, frosted, textured, and decorative options. Select a pattern that offers the right level of privacy while complementing your bathroom’s aesthetics.
  3. Frame or Frameless: Decide whether you want a framed or frameless glass block window. Frames can be made of materials like vinyl, aluminum, or wood, providing structural support and facilitating installation.
  4. Installation Method: Glass block windows can be installed using mortar or silicone. Mortar is the traditional method, but it’s labor-intensive. Silicone offers a cleaner look and is easier to install. Choose the method that aligns with your preferences and the skills of your installer.
  5. Energy Efficiency: Look for glass block windows with low U-factor and SHGC values to ensure good energy efficiency. Insulated glass blocks or those with low-E coatings can help improve thermal performance.

Average Cost of Glass Block Windows

They’re also energy-efficient, as they’re less prone to air leaks and better at keeping out heat than many standard windows. Glass block windows can range from $250 to $3,900 depending on their size, with an average of $721 per window.

Cost to Remove Glass Block Window

Removing the entire window costs $200 to $400. If you want to keep the blocks, removal costs between $500 to $1,000 per window. It may be worth the added cost if only a few blocks are broken and need to be replaced.

Cost to Install Glass Block Basement Windows

Most homeowners pay between $410 and $1,235 per window for glass block windows, and the national average cost is about $660. Most homeowners pay between $410 and $1,235 per window to enjoy the practical and aesthetic benefits glass block windows provide. The national average cost to install glass block windows is $660.

Glass Block Uses

Glass block is used in place of conventional clear glass exterior windows at the front of the house or on bathroom windows. It is also used as an interior non-load-bearing wall alongside foyers or in bathrooms. Privacy is the top reason this material is installed.

What Are Block Windows Called?

Glass block windows are common in basements and bathrooms. These are translucent, thick blocks of glass that allow light to flood into the room, but without being able to see through them. Glass block windows are almost like masonry, and as such, they offer greater security.

Can You See Through Glass Block Windows at Night?

Nothing can be seen clearly through a glass block window. Of course, you won’t be able to see anything out of them either. But if they’re installed in your basement, you probably won’t care to look out of them anyway.

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