Home Improvement Project: Working with Glass Block

Planning a home renovation can be overwhelming, deciding on materials to use in that renovation can be daunting.

The need for light and privacy while still being visually appealing can be a major challenge.  However, glass block provides a multipurpose design element, providing light while also maintaining privacy.


Glass Block at Home

Designer Peter Lawton explains that “glass block is a chameleon because it can be used in both traditional and contemporary designs.”  It can be used for many features including a shower stall or a window in the bathroom.  Using glass block in both areas provides the mandatory privacy for a bathroom area, yet still lets in adequate light.

Glass block windows are an ideal material for windows in areas where homes are placed closer together.



Glass block tends to be a bit more on the adventurous side.  However, with its versatility and vast selection of styles, patterns, and colors it can be an excellent choice for its lighting and privacy features, as well as a fantastic choice for its design element. 


Building Limitations

Cutting glass block is not recommended.  Instead there are a variety of sizes and shapes that can be selected to complete a design.  In addition to the traditional square block there are corner and curved pieces used to finish edges. 

Glass block is not constructed to be load-bearing.  When planning a countertop or island it is recommended that a structural support be installed to hold the weight of the counter and then the block can be installed around the support.


Glass Block Bonus Features

In addition to the variety of colors, shapes, and sizes there are also glass blocks that are fire resistant, bullet resistant, sound resistant, provide thermal insulation, and provide light control and diffusion.

There are also glass blocks that can be used as pavers for flooring, in addition to glass tiles for roofing.



These different types of glass block provide a more elegant and functional alternative to traditional materials typically used in these jobs.


Plan the Install

Many people think they can install a glass block shower or wall in a day.  However, installation of only about three or four blocks stacked can be done at a time.  The blocks must set before placing more blocks on top,

When installing the wall in a shower or other area where it will deal with water it is recommended that the wall area be tiled, and the glass block be set on a solid base of tile or up against a tile wall.  This is so that if the joint fails or water gets behind a seam the wall or floor will not be ruined.

If you are working with a standard shower area or window size there are not pre-made kits available for shower openings as well as glass block window kits.  Making installation a breeze.



Glass block can provide your home renovation with a unique feature that is versatile and visually appealing.  It is not as scary as it seems and can provide you with some excellent features that you can’t get with other building materials.  For more information on using glass block visit our website or give us a call.