Posted by: glassblockblogger | November 5, 2015

All You Need To Know About Installing Glass Block

We frequently get asked how we install our glass block products into both interior and exterior openings. The answer isn’t a “one size fits all” type of answer. There is more than one way to install glass blocks and each way is determined by the size and space of the opening, our designers/installers and of course the customer. Some installation methods might work best in one situation, like installing a basement window, while the same method might not work as well for lets say a glass block shower. This article will help you learn about our different installation methods and products we use to complete each installation we help the customer do or we do ourselves.


The most common way to install glass block is by using mortar. We use a specific mortar mix designed for glass block use that is similar to actual brick laying. There are two ways to install glass blocks using mortar: the mortar I system and the mortar II system.

Mortar I: The mortar I system utilizes Pittsburgh Corning perimeter channels on all four sides of the opening. This method is designed to be used with Pittsburgh Corning Series Glass Block, mainly for panels of 25 sq. ft. or less.

Mortar II: The mortar II system does not utilize Pittsburgh Corning perimeter channels, but instead utilizes expansion strips, panel reinforcing and panel anchors. This method is designed to be used with Pittsburgh Corning Premiere Series (4″ thick) and Thinline Series (3″ thick) glass block. This installation system are for interior and exterior panels that are bigger than 25 sq. ft. and may be framed on two to four sides.

Both methods require our universal mortar spacers and our premixed glass block mortar to make a clean, traditional grid-like pattern holding the project together. Our premixed mortar comes in 50lb bags that only require you to add water and mix together. There are detailed brochures available on our literature downloads page on our website that show step-by-step instructions for all of you DIY-ers out there who want to have a little fun with the project. For everyone else, we got you covered. Our installers have been doing installations daily for over 25 years!

Mortar installations are most commonly seen in exterior windows, basement windows, showers, partitions and glass block bars.

Glass Block Bar Glass Block Partition


Silicone installation methods are most commonly requested when the all glass look is preferred. Mortar installation obviously requires visible joints such as you would see in brick-laying whereas with the silicone there is nothing to see. A benefit of using our structural glazing sealant is that it is a lot easier to put your glass block project together because there are less steps in the process. However, as mentioned before, it is sometimes better to use mortar in some applications and silicone in others. The two main silicone systems are the ProVantage I system and the ProVantage II system.

ProVantage I: The ProVantage I installation system is best utilized when dealing with Pittsburgh Corning Premiere Series (4″ thick) glass blocks. In this system, that glass block panels are installed in perimeter channel. The use of vertical and horizontal spacers are also needed.

ProVantage II: The ProVantage II installation system is used when installing straight and 90 degree angled walls. This method utilizes panel anchors which are secure the glass block panel to the wall and expansion strips. There is also a great brochure explaining in detail the installation process and every other detail you would need if installing on your own.

Glass block basement window with silicone Glass block window with silicone

If you are asking yourself “Well which one is better?”, you’ll be struggling to come up with a simple answer. To help clear up that commonly asked question, here is this. For any glass block project that is being hit by water constantly, like a shower, mortar is recommended because water can creep in between silicone joints if improperly installed. For something like a Hurricane-Resistant glass block panel, then silicone is used. Why? Simple. Silicone would offer the panel a slight give when it comes to withstanding the high-force winds. Silicone allows the panel to “bend” with the winds instead of just staying upright absorbing it all as mortar does. Glass blocks done with either process can be pre-assembled or built on site and both processes can also be assembled with or without a frame.

Has this helped you decide which process is right for you? Let us know! We would be more than happy to help you with a project. If you would like to learn more about mortar and silicone installation, or any other glass block products, call us at 800-635-1226 or email us at We have over 26 years of experience in the industry and our knowledge will attest to that. We look forward to hearing from you!

Posted by: glassblockblogger | October 19, 2015

Why Color Glass Blocks Can Be The Perfect Addition

Most people who inquire about our glass blocks do so in a rather conservative matter. Sure, glass block themselves are far from conservative, but color glass blocks take it a step further in terms of boldness. Most customers come in wanting the same thing out of glass blocks: limited visibility in terms of privacy, good lighting, sleek designs and something that “pops”. These are all good things and we are happy that our glass blocks offer them, but for the customers who come in and inquire about our color glass blocks, we get a little more excited.

Color Glass Block Window

Color glass blocks still give you the privacy factor, the lighting and most definitely something that “pops”, but it also gives you a whole different area of design that isn’t available with our non-color glass blocks. These colored blocks can be the perfect addition for your bathroom, living room, walkway or even as its own freestanding partition. Imagine being able to match the interior decor to your colored glass blocks. That would be one way to get some positive reactions and praise from your guests. Color glass blocks can also give you a year round, and free, supply of colored light that would brighten a room beautifully. If you may be thinking colored glass blocks are not as strong as regular glass blocks, then you are mistaken. These blocks are just as structurally sound as every other glass block, with the exception of our Vistabrik glass bricks, and can be used in any place a non-colored glass block can be.

Feel like having a glass block bar match the color of the room? Done. Blue Glass Block Bar

Color Glass Block PartitionWant to create a glass block partition to blend in with the kitchen? Done.

Want a giant window shedding colored light all over the place? Done!

If you are looking for a colored product a little different than our traditional 8″ x 8″ blocks, then let me tell you about our colored glass bricks. These color bricks come in rectangular which measure 9″ x 4.5″ x 2″ and square which measures 4.5″ x 4.5″ x 2″ and come in four colors: Clear, Royal Blue, Dark Amber and Nordique. These color bricks are more traditionally used in the accent type of application such as walkways, desks, tables or furniture in a restaurant.

The possibilities you can create with color glass block products are endless. They can become the perfect addition and really add an extra “wow factor” to your home. Our color glass blocks are sure to have a lasting impression on both you and those who see your masterpiece so do not be afraid to get a little crazy when it comes to glass blocks and color.

If you have any questions on color glass blocks do not hesitate contact us or comment below. We would love to hear your opinions! To learn more about Color Glass Blocks and how you can use them in your home, please visit our website at Call us at 800-635-1226 or email us at We have over 26 years of experience and we will be happy to help you in designing or material supply!

Harsh weather storms will test the best basement window, but which window is the best to stand up to flooding?

basement window

Glass Block is a great choice for basement windows, or any window that may be susceptible to flooding. Glass Block Basement Windows have the characteristics of a solid concrete block wall. You can now choose to have ventilation in the window as well with a window vent. Along with Hurricane Sandy two years ago, storms routinely hit the eastern seaboard multiple times throughout the year. If you have been watching the news or been online recently, we might be in for another storm hitting us this weekend. We constantly see houses in the news that have been flooded from the basement up, destroyed from water damage and sometimes even lifted out of the foundation and gone for good. We are not proposing that glass block windows are a cure-all for all of these possibilities, but we are however saying that glass block windows can in fact help fight flooding.

Vented Glass Block Basement Window

Glass block windows, with or without vents, act like a concrete wall due to their build and are as waterproof as a brick wall, unlike standard glass basement windows. In the case of storms, rain water builds up by the inches and there is nothing anyone can do to prevent it completely besides wait it out while hoping that water stays out of your home. We have seen and heard areas collecting 3″ of rain, 4″, 5″ and even upwards of 6″ of rain. There isn’t much a homeowner can do to prepare for this amount of built up rain water. However, having glass block basement windows can and will ease your mind during a storm like the one’s we have endured and might endure this weekend now by acting as a solid, waterproof barrier. You can do yourselves a great service and call us to talk about how our product can help you in times like these with all these houses getting damaged or lost. We can and will come to you and install glass block windows rapidly to protect you from further or possible rain damage your house could succumb to.

There is no joy in seeing all these people suffer from rain damage during storms, whether it be a house or vehicle, but there is joy in knowing we can and will help you prepare your house and yourself from further rain damage that accompany rain storms of this degree.

While glass block basement windows provide protection against water penetration, they also provide a high level of security against burglary and save costs on air conditioning and heating.

An example is the LightWise tornado and hurricane resistant window from Pittsburgh Corning. This window meets the requirements for FEMA 361″Design and Construction Guidelines for Community Safe Rooms” and FEMA 320 “Taking Shelter From the Storm: Building a Safe Room For Your Home or Small Business”.

The LightWise® Low E Energy Efficient Vinyl Window meets Ventilated glass block window from Eastern Glass BlockENERGY STAR requirements across the United States. The patented design uses SOLARBAN® 70 to reduce the flow of radiant energy through the block.  And since it meets ENERGY STAR requirements, you can be assured that your interior will be more comfortable and will require less energy to heat and cool your home, which is good for the environment as well as your wallet.

Installation is easier than expected. Glass Block windows, such as those from Eastern Glass Block, are available pre-assembled. You can choose standard or custom sizes, with or without ventilation.

Flooding, tornadoes and hurricanes are an ongoing threat. As we remodel our current home or consider building a new home, we have to take extreme weather possibilities into consideration. However, we want to create a beautiful and energy efficient home for our family.

Call us at 800-635-1226 or email us at for a Free Estimate; We will answer day or night. We have over 26 years of experience designing and installing commercial and residential Glass Block nationwide. We would love to share our experience with you.

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