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.


Posted by: glassblockblogger | November 23, 2016

The Glass Block Possibilities Using Seves Glass Blocks

With the closing of Pittsburgh Corning earlier this year, a lot of the glass block industry was changed. The ripple effects of their exit from the industry are still being felt, but it isn’t the end of glass blocks. Seves Glass Block, a division of The Seves Group, a well-known company that manufactures glass and composite insulators for electrical systems, as well as glass block, has been the go-to in the glass block industry all over Europe. The Seves Group is based out of Italy and their market reaches all the way to the Western hemisphere. Seves Glass Block offers many different colored glass blocks, 3-D glass blocks, trapezoidal glass blocks and more. Their glass block products have been used all across the world which can be seen in the videos on our YouTube channel.

Seves Glass Block offers many different types of glass blocks, not only in different styles but also different little tweaks among styles. For example, they offer what is called “satin” that can be on one or both faces of the blocks. Their selection of color blocks come in both a wavy style and a completely see-through style simply named Clearview. The different combinations of glass blocks that is offered by Seves is something that is unmatched. An international trade show for construction materials and building solutions called Construtec took place in Madrid, Spain in October 2016. Seves Glass Block had a beautiful exhibit that highlighted much of what they offer used in different ways. In the next video below you can see the video highlight 3-D glass blocks, their solid glass bricks called Vetropienos, trapezoidal glass blocks, the Clearview in both color and non-color, the wavy style in both color and non-color, color glass blocks with the satin finish, circular glass blocks and much more. It’s really a cool video with lots of glass block uses in just a few minutes and limited space!

Please shoot us an email to learn more about these glass blocks and different products they offer or if you want some e-brochures with more in depth info. Don’t hesitate to reach out via email or phone with any questions, concerns or design advice you may want. Please send email inquiries to or call 973-777-8989 and we’ll be happy to assist you.

Posted by: glassblockblogger | November 1, 2016

Transforming This Long Island Apartment One Glass Block At A Time (Part 1)

When you have an older style apartment and want to keep it that way through remodeling, it can be difficult to find what you’re looking for without sacrificing from the overall design theme. Some people call past styles “outdated” or “boring”, but when used correctly in the perfect design theme those words are simply stated – incorrect. In this particular instance we have a couple, we’ll call them Jill and Bill, who have exactly this: an idea to maintain the older look of their soon-to-be “new and improved” studio apartment. Jill and Bill called us looking for that hard to find glass block style and needless to say they’ve found just what they were looking for! Read on to see how Eastern Glass Block will help transform Jill and Bill’s idea from conceptual to physical.

Jill and Bill live in Florida and Long Island. They move back and forth between the two states and had decided to transform their Long Island apartment into two studio-style apartments. Bill has a passion for antiques and was adamant at the idea of using glass blocks as the key to the division of the apartment. As it stands now, there is a small hallway in the middle of the apartment under an old-style skylight that is all original.

This hallway (shown below) is where the glass block is going to be located. It will act as a privacy wall to separate”Apartment A” from “Apartment B”. Just in case you were thinking “What about the main door?”, well there is already two doors, one for each apartment.


Jill and Bill had the idea to use a glass block wall in the middle of this hallway, which is directly under a skylight (below). The windows in this apartment are located on the East and West sides so light comes in all day long, one of the reasons for wanting glass block in the middle. What Bill had a concern about was the privacy offered by a glass block wall. When I arrived at the apartment and showed Jill and Bill the sample of glass block we wanted to use they couldn’t be happier. Unlike the glass blocks they’ve seen in many windows and showers, they needed one a little more opaque, a little more private and we had just the thing. Once they knew the glass block wall would allow maximum light, be secure and private there was nothing else for us to do…yet.


Eastern Glass Block is slated to complete this job in February 2017 and this story is to be continued…

* Don’t forget to check back this February for Part 2! *

If you have any ideas on how to use glass blocks in your design theme, do not hesitate to call us at 973-777-8989 (local) or 800-635-1226 (nationwide). Feel free to email us at for general inquiries or for expert advice on glass blocks and their potential to assist you. Visit out website at and don’t forget to check us out on Houzz and Pinterest!

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