Architects, interior designers, homeowners and even general contractors are following the trend of installing glass block walls. For doing this, a self supporting structural glass material is used. It is mixed with a bonding material such as mortar or silicone, or an installation system such as aluminum or wood to make a trendy and functional wall. It might seem complicated, but it really isn’t. All you have to do is follow some steps to make a perfect glass block wall.
Be sure of the shape of your wall
These can be built in a lot of shapes – straight, with a radius, in a staircase style and many more. The easiest of them all is the straight wall. Curved walls take more efforts, but newer angle blocks or the Arque shaped units from Pittsburgh Corning make them easier to achieve. If the staircase style is to be achieved, the Encurve block is the right tool. Another block called Tridron block from Pittsburgh Corning even allows you to make a glass column and add lighting to it for extra effects.
2.Be sure of the size of the wall
It is important to take structure and form hand in hand. If a glass block wall doesn’t stay put in its place, then it is not good at all. There is always a need of horizontal or vertical support when the wall has inside and outside dimensions greater than 250 and 144 square feet. Usually, these dimensions are not exceeded. However, reinforcing wire or horizontal or vertical spacers should be present inside the wall for strength and support. Nowadays, aluminum grids or wooden frames are also used to put the blocks together. It is a new and stylish method which replaces the use of mortar and silicone.
3. Determine what is going above and below the wall
Glass walls can only carry their own weight. They are not otherwise structurally supportive. A wooden counter can be added on the wall for a bar, but if granite is to be used, then it should be given external support. These walls should be based on concrete floors, tile shower curbs or wooden floors with framing.
4. Consider how the wall is to be anchored
These walls are grouped together with mortar and spacers, but it would be wise to anchor them to an already existing wall for more support. Panel anchors are used for such purposes. They go through the glass wall horizontally and are screwed on the other side of the already existing wall, to make sure that the glass block wall doesn’t move. Similarly, if there is no adjoining wall to support the glass block wall, the anchors can be inserted vertically and screwed to the floor.
5. Know the style, design and pattern of the glass blocks
Instead of the plain, colourless glass bricks, more vivid and coloured glass blocks are available these days. They are artistically patterned blocks, beveled edge blocks and in all sorts of shapes and styles. There are endless designs and patterns. Different sizes are also available which can be combined in a wall to make it even more fashionable. If you are looking for privacy, then there are fiberous insers and privacy patterns available as well.
6. Consider any special needs, privacy requirements or fire ratings
Glass block roll in walls without an entry curb are an excellent example of fashion and functionality combined together for special needs. One can easily get a wheelchair through the rounded opening. This also prevents the need of frequent maintenance. There are also fire rated blocks for exterior walls for the need of light and privacy together.
7. Don’t be afraid to call the experts
You should well know your skills required to install a glass block wall. It requires a combination of masonry, carpentry, glazing or grouting expertise. If you can do it, then you can start the job right away. You can shop for the glass blocks, spacer systems, etc. But if you feel that the job is not for you, then check out for professionals who will handle the job in the right way.
For more designs and expert advice on glass block walls, visit: http://hrxcolorglass.com/