Glass Block Windows
Last updated on 01/29/2022
Did you know that glass block windows are back on trend?
Not too long ago glass block windows were a very dated window choice, and not many people were incorporating them into their homes.
In the last few years, however, glass block windows have had a resurgence in popularity. Instead of being dated and dour, they are once again becoming a fresh and interesting window choice that brings a vintage flair.
Besides this, glass block windows also have a variety of practical benefits.
Are you wondering what are glass brick windows and whether you should install them?
Continue reading to find out everything you need to know about glass block windows.
What Are Glass Block Windows?
Glass block windows also sometimes go by the name of glass bricks. They are usually larger than regular bricks, are composed of very thick glass, and have hollow interiors.
They are almost a cross between masonry and windows, offering the impenetrability of a wall, while still allowing lots of natural light through.
Glass block windows were first invented in the later 1800s, and gained popularity in the early 1900s. Back then it was a modern, practical, and low-cost material.
After fading from popularity for a few decades, glass block windows enjoyed a resurgence in the 80s. After this, they fell from grace once more, only to make another comeback.
Types of Glass Block Windows
Glass block windows come in a few different main designs. One of the most common is the "wavy" design that has a slightly undulating surface.
These glass blocks are ideal if you want to use glass block in the shower, as they are harder to see through while still letting in lots of natural light.
Other suitable options for a glass block bathroom window are ice glass blocks and diamond glass blocks, which both offer maximum privacy. Ice glass block windows are slightly frosted on the outside. Diamond glass blocks are smooth on the outside but have a pattern on the interior of the blocks.
If privacy is not a concern, and you want to let in as much natural light as possible, you can also opt for a completely clear glass block window installation.
For instance, clear glass block basement windows are a great solution for letting natural light into a basement that has a strip of wall above ground.
Besides these variations, you can also get glass blocks in different colors, such as light blue, or a vintage-style brown or yellow.
Pros and Cons of Glass Block Windows
Glass block windows have a number of advantages that can make them a practical and attractive choice. However, there are also a few drawbacks that you should keep in mind before having a glass block window installation done.
One of the primary benefits of glass block windows is their ability to let in lots of natural light, while still acting as a wall and offering a certain level of privacy.
Because of this, you can have a glass block installation in an area where you wouldn't typically put a window. You can create entire walls out of glass blocks, or use them in dividing walls to let light flow through the interior of your home.
Another advantage of glass block windows is their enhanced insulation properties. Because they are cemented in place with mortar, they don't contribute towards drafts as windows do. Their thickness and hollowness also make them one of the sturdiest double-glazed options you can choose.
Speaking of sturdiness, glass block windows are incredibly heavy and solid and are highly secure against forced entry. Unless an intruder is equipped with a wrecking ball and crane, it will be pretty much impossible for them to force an entry through a glass block window installation.
Besides guarding against forced entry, glass block windows are also flood resistant. Unlike windows which usually can't hold a seal against standing water, glass block windows are entirely waterproof. This makes them ideal for use in basement areas that are at risk from floodwaters.
Lastly, glass block windows also can also be a unique, retro design element. If you're tired of builder-grade options, minimal modern looks, or overused trends, glass block windows could be the perfect unexpected element to incorporate into your home.
One potential con to glass block windows is that they can't open. If you have too many non-opening windows in your home, this can result in poor ventilation. Therefore, it's always best to use glass block windows in conjunction with opening window styles like casement windows.
You can even choose to have an opening window put into your glass block installation, giving you the best of both worlds.
Another potential drawback to glass block windows is that they might not always offer quite the level of privacy you want. Most glass block windows are hard to see through. Even if you stand right up against them, one usually can't see more than indistinct shapes on the other side.
However, depending on where you live, you still might not feel comfortable with this in an area like a bathroom that faces onto a busy street.
Lastly, glass block windows are heavy, which means they need proper foundation support beneath them.
Glass Block Window Costs
Glass block window installations usually costs between $400 and $1,000.
When installing glass block windows, you can choose to have a contractor install individual blocks, or you can purchase pre-built glass block windows. This is usually the cheaper route, as the labor costs for installation are usually lower than for custom glass block windows.
Do You Want to Get Exact Prices for a Glass Block Window Installation?
Glass block windows are both an interesting and practical design element. You can use glass blocks in various ways, from installing a glass block bathroom window to putting them into your basement walls or using them for interior dividing walls.
Are you thinking of getting a glass block window installation done in your home, and want to know the exact cost? Fill out the form at the top of the page to access and compare three quotes in 60 seconds.