Are you looking for the ideal way to let light in while still retaining privacy? Is there an area where a half wall or partition would be great, but traditional drywall seems obtrusive? Building a glass block wall in those areas might be just the thing. A perfect DIY project that can be either a small accent or a bold architectural feature, glass block walls work in many different spaces.
This is probably the most traditional use for glass block walls, especially in shower stalls and washrooms. Custom shower enclosures can be built easily with glass blocks, providing lots of privacy and plenty of light within a typically dark area.
Look for glass blocks that have a textured finish or pattern throughout the block to provide even more privacy. Consider building an entire wall in your bathroom out of this, on the interior or exterior. Turn a smaller powder room or shower stall into a bright, open space with glass block walls.
For Creating a Room Within a Room
In open concept homes you may still want to separate areas for distinct uses or decor styles. Glass block walls can help you do that without eliminating any of the open feeling and providing shadows. Half walls work well to partition between a formal dining and the eat-in kitchen or between the family room and your home office space. Get better flow and organization with walls and screens made from glass blocks.
Tips For the DIY Crowd
Measurement is the key when building walls with glass blocks. You don't want to cut the pieces, so you'll need to account for full widths as well as the joint space. Most glass blocks come in 8" widths and have a 1/2" to 1" joint space. So your wall length and height needs to be evenly divisible by 8 1/2 or 9". Measure and plan this out well before any blocks become permanently attached.
Traditional glass blocks are fixed with mortar and should be done by a qualified mason with experience laying this type of material. But the DIY market hasn't left homeowners out in the cold on this one. There are plenty of different products that make installation easier and quicker.
Look for glass block kits that use regular silicone caulking over plastic spacers to hold your glass wall in place. You may never know the difference between the traditional style and these walls will go up fast. You might also run across some products that only look like glass walls but are actually plastic cubes that click together. Some glass block products use metal framework to hold them in place and still others are pre-made glass block walls that can be installed similar to a window in a 2x4 wood frame.
Follow the specific instructions for the product of your choice. And remember to check the measurements.
Generally glass block walls have an R-value of around 2.0, making them about the same as insulated windows and entirely suitable for exterior walls. Install a wall or section in the garage to let in natural light or use glass blocks in your shed or around a hot tub. The possibilities are nearly endless and this product is versatile and easy to work with.
Wherever your wall goes up, enjoy the unique combination of brightness and privacy that building a glass block wall creates.Posted by: TrustedPros