Posted by: glassblockblogger | January 24, 2017

A Different Way To Do Glass Block Showers

As far as most people are concerned, if you wanted a glass block shower for your bathroom remodel it would have to be built block-by-block on site. Well, we in the industry feel not enough people know another way to git-er-done. The secret is out: glass block showers can now be ordered as a “pre-assembled  kit” that has everything you’d need. The ease of a glass block shower kit can make the first time “rookie” DIY-er feel like an experienced veteran. I’ll go more in depth explaining exactly what comes in a pre-assembled shower kit below and how it can benefit you.


First, the benefits of a glass block shower vs your typical shower include style. Who likes bland applications anyway? Glass block showers are very easy to clean, much more durable than your typical glass shower and offer different styles such as walk-in showers. You can have a glass block shower installed in smaller bathrooms where a regular shower may not fit too well, thanks to the curved and angular glass blocks available. If privacy is a concern, there are glass blocks tailored for both those who are adamant about maximum privacy or enjoy the happy medium between privacy and light transmission.


Second, choosing to go with a prefabricated glass block shower kit cuts the longevity of the project. The shower wall is made at the warehouse into sections that are then shipped with all necessary accessories and a shower base (optional) for you to then build like a real life Lego project. For example, if you had a 64″x 96″ space you wanted to fill in with a shower wall using a prefabricated glass block shower kit, you would receive 3 “sections” each measuring 64″x 32″ that you would then stack on top of one another and seal into place.


Using a glass block shower kit can also leave you without a rather serious problem. Since a good number of glass block showers using reinforcing wire for stability, if this isn’t done right you’ll be left with something nobody wants to see: rust. With a glass block shower kit there is no reinforcing wire present but instead a system called the “protect all” installation system. This system uses vinyl spacers stacked vertically and horizontally between the blocks as well as anchors on the end to attach at the wall. Whether the glass block part of your shower has curved walls or straight walls, the protect all installation system guarantees a solid and doable job.

Shower Bases

Shower bases are available and can be custom made for your shower layout to fit your bathroom design. There are 3 main shower bases available: ready for tile, acrylic and solid surface. The “ready for tile” shower base is made from 100% waterproof polystyrene that assures no mold or mildew buildup. If your shower drain location may worry you regarding this base, no worries; these can be custom-made and the drain location can be placed wherever you need it to be. Ready for tile shower bases can also be custom-made to be curb-less and leave the possibility of adding a bench or corner seat addition.


The acrylic shower base is a simpler product than the “ready for tile” base. The acrylic base is only one piece and only comes in 2 different sizes: 72″x 51″ and 60″x 34″, limiting it’s application. However, these can be made to have a bench or corner seat.

The solid surface shower base is made with aluminum trihydrate crystals with specially formulated resins that add flexibility and strength. These can be custom-made for any type of design – curved, straight or angle walls to fit your bathroom remodel plans. For the people who have to be mindful of the handicapped, the solid surface base curbs can be tailored to meet those needs. The curbs can be custom made as a low-profile curb, as a built-in ramp (wheelchair accessible), and full-height curb.

Although the solid surface is at a disadvantage in terms of price when compared to the other alternatives, it has advantages over the other alternatives such as being a single unit to make installation that much easier, being grout free, and not requiring any finishing material.

Feel free to give us a call if you want some more information on glass blocks or to discuss your bathroom project and how our products can help you. We’re excited to help anyone with their glass block projects. Don’t hesitate to call 973-777-8989 or email me at I’ll be more than happy to assist you in any way. Be sure to check out our website at for some inspiration and ideas.

Posted by: glassblockblogger | January 11, 2017

Wallington High School In Wallington, NJ Gets An Upgrade

In the Summer of 2016, Wallington High School located in Wallington, NJ was undergoing some renovations. The small Bergen County town had planned on doing some useful and much needed upgrades/renovations to the Jr/Sr High School. The school district’s architect on the job, Blase Weimer of The Architects Alliance, had given us a call about some glass block windows for part of the renovation project, specifically a stairway they were redoing. Not only did they want more light inside, but they didn’t want to sacrifice security or safety; it is a school after all. We told them not to worry and that we could (and did) fabricate for them 12 glass block windows to be easily installed on the jobsite when the time came.

As you can see, the glass block panels we prefabricated for them use the PC Vue glass blocks and were assembled with mortar. Most of the time the glass blocks people want to sue are somewhat distorted to add some privacy. The amount of light getting in is at a maximum when using the Vue glass blocks as opposed to the much more common Decora/Wavy style. These glass block panels were built frameless as opposed to using a white vinyl frame so the contractors on the job could seal them with a frame of their own as you can see above. Not only do the glass block panels let the most light in while being secure, they are also much more energy efficient when compared to regular single-pane windows that are typically used in schools.



School officials put this renovation project in works a few years back with the objectives being to replace the original roof which was deemed to have “outlived its usefulness” by Weimer, get new windows, fix masonry leaks in the foundation, safety upgrades and some re-painting. The renovation project is completed now and we were happy to be a part of it. The glass block windows we made came out excellent and the jobsite contractors did a wonderful job installing them.

Feel free to give us a call if you want some more information on glass blocks or to discuss your project and how our product can help you. Don’t hesitate to call 973-777-8989 or email me at I’ll be more than happy to assist you in any way. Be sure to check out our website at for some inspiration and ideas.

Posted by: glassblockblogger | December 22, 2016

What To Do If Your Plans/Specs Call For Vistabrik

In light of Pittsburgh Corning’s closing, there have been many changes in the glass block industry. Among the many glass block styles that are no longer made, there are also a number of glass blocks themselves no longer made. There are alternatives available from other manufacturers to keep homeowners and contractors from completely freaking out when a plan/specs calls for the use of Vistabrik, a solid glass block make by PC. On the other hand, for the glass blocks that aren’t available even from other manufacturers it often leaves people asking “What am I supposed to do now?”. Pittsburgh Corning’s Vistabrik solid glass block was a major part of the commercial glass block industry. It’s popularity stemmed from its high fire-rating and its durability all while being completely transparent for light transmission. There have been many instances over the past few months where I’ve had to help people figure out what to do when their project calls for Vistabrik. In this article I’ll go over some fire-rated glass block alternatives and a solid glass brick alternative to use in place of Vistabrik.

Fire Rated Glass Block Windows

Fire Rated Glass Block Windows Using Decora Thickset Glass Blocks

If you’re familiar with glass blocks you know what the Decora pattern looks like. The first and most important difference between Vistabrik and Decora glass blocks is this: Vistabriks are solid glass blocks while the Decora and every other pattern are hollow glass blocks. Even if you’re unfamiliar with glass blocks you’ve probably seen the Decora pattern somewhere since it’s the most popular style. Decora Thickset glass blocks (the fire-rated version of glass blocks) have fire-ratings of 60 and a 90 minutes. The 60 minute fire rating meets the requirement of most fire-rating applications, where the 90 minute fire-rating is more for a zero lot-line application. If you’re in need of a closer substitute to the solid glass block, then there is also Vue glass blocks.

Fire Rated Glass Block in a zero-lot line application

Fire Rated Glass Block In A Zero-Lot Line Application

These specific “Thickset” glass blocks have thicker faces than normal glass blocks to give them their fire-ratings. Vue Thickset glass blocks also come in 60 and 90 minute fire-rated. The difference between Vue and Decora is simply the pattern. The Decora glass block is slightly wavy and slightly distorted where the Vue glass blocks are completely transparent, like the Vistabrik solid glass blocks. The Thickset glass blocks are viable fire-rated substitutes for solid glass blocks that are no longer made.

If your project calls for Vistabriks but not for a fire-rated application, then there may be a another product for you. A solid glass block that is made by Seves is called a Vetropieno. These are smaller than other glass blocks and shaped most like a real brick. They come in 4 colors: Clear, Blue, Amber and Black and come in two sizes: square (4.5″x 4.5″x 2″) and rectangle (4.5″x 9″x 2″). These Vetropieno glass bricks can be used just about anywhere and are the perfect substitution for a plan that specified Vistabrik for its brick shape.

Often, switching between Vistabrik and these Thickset blocks above is barely a problem and we wish help those who feel their project is dead in the water. Feel free to give us a call if you want some more information or to discuss your project and how thee alternatives can help you. Don’t hesitate to call 973-777-8989 or email me at I’ll be more than happy to assist you in any way. Be sure to check out our website at for some inspiration and ideas.


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