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Setting up Glass Block – Tricks of the Tradesman

You can install glass block!

It can be not the least complicated do it oneself project out there, but it will be perhaps the most fulfilling, simply because it can be hard and it will impress anyone–specifically you! I have found the following methods about the final 8 many years although making a effective glass block installation enterprise in Palm Coast, Florida. You will not come across them on any installation information out there, simply because installers really don’t generate the guides!

Start with the fun stuff–structure the window. There are only a couple makers of glass block–Pittsburgh Corning (dispersed by Household Depot and Lowe’s, to identify a couple), Weck, and Mulia. Individually I favor Mulia–the rate place is normally decreased, the block meets the very same structure expectations (all 4 inch deep block meets the Florida hurricane codes–the hardest expectations in the region), and Mulia paints the interior edge of the block, which can make a nicer detail when the window is concluded. All 3 make similar dimensions and designs. Design and style with the opening in head–Pittsburgh Corning has a wonderful information on their web page for preparing out the project. Whichever block you pick out, you can use this web site for a preparing tool. Just be positive and system for a masonry installation–it is the most price productive, least complicated to finish, and very best seeking. Adhere to that information for a resources record: glass block, spacers, glass block mortar, panel anchors, reinforcing, and enlargement joint. Do not use channels they complicate the project with no added gain and considerably less visual charm.

Tip #one–The rough opening dimensions

You want the rough opening to be a person inch about the nominal dimension of the window. Basically place, if you want a window 6 blocks extensive by 6 blocks substantial, utilizing 8 inch block (the normal dimensions) your nominal dimension will be 6 block x eight inches = forty eight inches + one inch = 49 inches. Now that you know the normal, know the tolerance. The true dimensions of the glass block window will only be forty seven three/4 inches x forty seven three/4 inches. That 49 inch opening you are capturing for can change up to an inch, and you can nonetheless make the window match. So really don’t split hairs.

Tip #2–The bed joint

The bed joint is the foundation–it is a layer of mortar established on the window sill. If you have a real a person inch about the nominal dimensions,split it and make a 50 percent inch bed joint. You can guesstimate this, just check out the opening after the bed joint is down to insure that you have enough space for the glass block. The solution to a window that lays alone is the bed joint. Set down the mortar (manufactured the consistency of residence manufactured mashed potatoes), then dust it liberally with dry mortar. This will allow for you to stage this bed without the need of the stage sticking to it. If you start with a firm, stage bed, you will rarely have to make any changes as you go up. Applying your stage, generate a flat bed about 4 inches deep, to accommodate the depth of the block. Getting your time at this phase will conserve you time and aggravation the relaxation of the project!

Tip #three–The butter!

Spreading mortar on the edge of the glass block is affectionately acknowledged as buttering the block”. Butter the very first row as follows: The left aspect and ideal aspect of the block, butter to fill the void to about one/4″ past the lip. This leaves enough mortar to adhere to the up coming block. Most importantly, butter the bottom of the block flush to the outdoors lips. It is quite essential that this mortar remains flat, as this will bond to the bed joint and insures that the very first study course is as stage as the bed joint. If your butter is lumpy on the bottom, you will have to do the job more challenging to stage this study course. Work smarter, not more challenging! This is the only study course that will have to have butter on the bottom of the block. All through the relaxation of the window you will only butter the sides, other than for the final study course, which will be buttered on major as very well.

Tip # 4–The stage that functions like a straight edge

Whilst a 4 foot stage is utilised to keep the block stage, keep a 6 foot stage on hand to keep the block flush to the outdoors of the opening. This eradicates the will need to get worried about regardless of whether or not the glass block is tipping in or out. Basically keep the extensive stage so it bridges the opening, then faucet the glass block to the stage. Do this at the major and the bottom of the glass block, to make positive that you are plumb with the wall.

Tip #5–A fantastic grout career can make a fantastic window appear wonderful!

Conversely, a sloppy grout career can ruin a wonderful window. As soon as you have snapped off all of the spacers, take a minute and sponge down the complete window. Accomplishing a preliminary cleaning at this phase can make your last cleanup significantly simpler. Scrub any challenging spots, having to pay near notice to the corners of the block, wherever mortar likes to make up. Applying a textured grout float, spread the mortar just like tile grout, filling all joints flush to the block. The wipe down is the essential to grouting. Start by wiping down the complete window, focusing on smoothing and flattening the joints. Upcoming wipe 3 blocks at a time–any far more will just streak the mortar. Wipe 3, flip the sponge, wipe 3, rinse the sponge. Consider of the sponge like bathroom paper, and under no circumstances wipe two times with a person aspect! If you have some streaks left, really don’t get worried about them, they will dust off with a towel after the grout has dried.

Tip #6–Kudos

Invite your buddies and/or family about to present them how helpful you are. You just grew to become the professional!

Bonus tip–Shield your hands!

Mortar in general and glass block mortar in distinct is quite really hard on your skin. There are many gloves on the current market, but my beloved are disposable powdered latex health care gloves, found at any drugstore in containers of 50. Improve them once in a while, as they will get compact holes in them, but they shield your skin although letting you to feel what you are doing.


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