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How to Choose Between a Glass Block or Acrylic Block Basement Window

Written by Mike Foti on . Posted in Basement Remodeling, Glass Block

If you’ve got old single pane metal or wood framed basement windows that are driving up your heating and cooling costs and could be targets for vandals you’re not alone. Improving your basement, man cave or rec room with glass block windows or acrylic block windows may be the answer to your problems. To guide your decision between these two choices watch the video and read the article below to learn the answers to 7 frequently asked questions (FAQ’s) to help you through this project.

 

Choosing between a glass block or acrylic block basement window

 

FAQ 1 – Which product is priced lower? In most cases the glass block windows will be more cost effective than acrylic blocks – but read on because there are good reasons to use both systems.

 

FAQ 2 – Are different window sizes available to fit any size masonry or framed rough opening? – Both acrylic and glass block windows are available in standard and custom sizes to fit any opening. In replacement projects acrylic windows can be “cut to size” to make a tight fit. With glass blocks the block sizes and joint sizes between the blocks can be changed to accommodate each specific opening.

 

FAQ 3 – Which product is more energy efficient? – Both glass and acrylic block windows are at least 10X more energy efficient than existing single pane wood or metal windows (so a replacement with each of these products will show a significant return on investment). The acrylic block windows are approximately 15% more efficient than their glass block counterparts.

 

FAQ 4 – Are their ventilation options available or are these windows only available in fixed units? – Fully operable acrylic block windows are available in casement (crank out) and hopper (has a door that opens in) styles with window sashes that provide complete ventilation. Glass block windows can incorporate vinyl hopper air vents and dryer vents units which are either siliconed or mortared into the glass block assembly.

 

FAQ 5 – Can these windows be used in hurricane and fire rated applications? – There are glass block windows which meet Florida Dade County Hurricane specifications and there are 60 and 90 minute fire rated glass blocks which can be used when there are tight lot lines between homes or apartment buildings.

 

FAQ 6 – Can these windows be used for a basement egress situation?  – Acrylic block casement windows greater than 6 feet can meet the egress code for an opening that can be used as an escape in the case of an emergency. In most areas of the country basement egress windows will be required if you’re adding finished space or a bedroom in a basement.

 

FAQ 7 – What decorative options are available in the blocks?  – Both glass blocks and acrylic blocks come in different patterns which provide varied amount of privacy with both clear and frosted textures. Glass blocks have the additional benefit of being available in 108 standard colored and frosted designs.

 

Do you have any experience with either glass blocks or acrylic block basement window projects? If so – which system did you choose? How did the project work out? If you need any information on these windows please comment below.

 

 

 

To learn more about glass block shower wall installation or get help with your design by visiting Columbus Glass Block (877-668-5888) , Cleveland Glass Block (216-531-6363), Mid America Glass Block (513-742-5900) of Cincinnati or Dayton, Cleveland Design and Remodeling or Columbus Design and Remodeling.

 

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Mike Foti

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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