Just like these Roman columns I was fortunate enough to visit last week glass block columns can also be designed to last a very long time. Here’s some practical design tips to guide your design, purchase and installation process for a glass block column:
• Decide where to use the columns – Glass block columns are most commonly used for lampposts, decorative lighting elements, bars, counters or as an outdoor landscape feature.
• Determine if you want to add colored or frosted glass block or lighting – If you’re looking for a design element that really pops add colored glass block or LED or fiber optic lighting to the structure. In the nighttime lighting will make your columns the focal point of a landscape or roomscape design.
• Identify if you want a curved, angled or square column – Using 45 degree angled glass block (called a Tridron), curved glass block (Arque by Pittsburgh Corning or Variant by Mulia) or a 90 degree corner block (Hedron by Pittsburgh Corning or Angle corner from Mulia) you can create virtually any column shape that you’d like.
• Figure out what column size would work best – Glass block shapes come in 8” high increments so your glass block design should be planned with this fact in mind. Most bars and counters will use 5 blocks high (40” of glass block). Incorporating a row or two of glass blocks in a decorative lamppost can provide a nice touch in the front of a property. Full interior and exterior columns can be created in virtually any height.
• How to purchase your decorative columns – The best way to purchase the decorative columns is in prefabricated wall sections using a secure installation system like vinyl stack. These sections are available through specialized glass block fabricating distributors.
• How to install the premade glass block columns – The glass block columns can be anchored on to the base or floor – or in many cases because of the weight of these units they can simply be set on the floor without anchors. Depending on the application the joints between the blocks can be finished with mortar grout or silicone.
Have you completed any projects using glass block columns? Do you need any help or insights with an upcoming project?
President of Innovate Building Solutions a nationwide supplier and regional (Cleveland and Columbus) remodeling contractors. Some of our product lines include glass counters, floors, backsplashes, glass blocks and grout free shower and tub wall panels
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