What is Glass Block?

Over the last few weeks, we’ve talking about single, double and triple hung windows, double hung windows, the U-factor, and the R-value.  Continuing in the same vein, today, we’ll talk about glass block windows.

What is glass block?

Glass block windows are a unique option for homeowners in that they offer benefits such as security, design, and privacy that more traditional windows can’t provide.  These are literally blocks of glass that require installation that is more similar to masonry than window installation; they cannot be opened and are permanently closed.   They are available as custom made for whatever size window opening that you may need, or as prefabricated pieces in vinyl frames.  They are typically used in bathrooms or basements, but can be installed anywhere.

Energy Efficient

Glass block windows are equivalent to double pane windows as insulation.  They have little to no air infiltration as they are sealed with mortar and caulk, and as they admit natural light, there is less need for the usage of artificial light during the day.

Security and Privacy

Because of the way glass block windows are designed, they are the perfect solution for areas of your house where you want natural light but do not want people to be able to see into that part of your house.  Ideal for bathrooms, glass block windows are available in many designs that can be made to fit perfectly with your preferred décor.  You can also choose to replace a few of the blocks with a ventilation opening that will help bring in fresh air from outside or expel moisture.

Homeowners generally loved glass block windows as a security precaution in more vulnerable areas such as windows in the basement.  Glass block windows are usually about 3 inches thick and are difficult to remove because of the way in which they are installed.

Where to install glass block

Besides basement and bathroom windows, glass block can also be used as:

  • Showers
  • Water features such as ponds, pools, and water fountains
  • Kitchen islands
  • Walls
  • Deck privacy walls

Have you used glass block in your custom home design?  Where and how did you use it?  Drop us a comment below, we’d love to hear from you.