At a recent lecture on energy efficiency in the home, I learned about the benefits of glass block. I have always liked the look of glass block windows and thought they would be a great replacement for my basement windows, but I was just not ready to rip out the old ones while they were still “working”. That was until I borrowed a friend’s thermal camera for a day. After seeing how much heat I was losing through the single pane windows in my basement, I was ready to switch to glass blocks.
For those unfamiliar, glass blocks are hollow blocks made of glass (you just can’t get a simpler explanation than that). While they can be used in any room of the home, they are most commonly used in basements, bathrooms, or garages.
After receiving three bids (always get at least three), I decided to go with All-Star Masonry (competitive quote & seemed the most competent). While I originally thought that Josh from All-Star would show up with a truck full of glass blocks and install them with mortar the same as brick, the blocks came as solid windows pieces. Apparently, this is most often done at the factory as they go through a process that adds additional strength to the block structure. All said and done, Josh was finished with the project in a weekend and I am very please with the results.
Below are three great benefits to installing glass blocks in your home:
Energy Conservation: The thermal resistance (R-value) you have for your current windows will vary by the number of panes. While many people have double panes on main floors, the basement windows will usually only have singles. The thermal resistance of glass blocks are double that of traditional single pane glass thereby lowering your heating costs.
Light Transmission & Privacy: Transmitting up to 80% of available light available light in both directions, glass block provides a great range of light and privacy, depending on the pattern and transparency of the unit used. It is also scratch resistant, without any yellowing, clouding, or weathering.
Security: Glass blocks resist fire, sound and impact. Glass block basement windows also enhance security. Besides being significantly more difficult to break compared to conventional glass, many blocks would have to be broken for anyone to crawl through.
Real Estate Professional
St. Louis Real Estate