News from the Block, Innovate Building Solutions Blog
News from the Block, Innovate Building Solutions Blog
Bathroom, Kitchen, Basement Design & Remodeling Ideas for the Nicest Home or Business on the Block
Bathroom, Kitchen, Basement Design & Remodeling Ideas for the Nicest Home or Business on the Block

6 ½ Tips on how to Choose a Glass or Acrylic Block Window Installation System

Determining how to choose a glass block or acrylic block window system can be tough. Watch this video below and read these 6 1/2 tips to guide you through the process.

Tip 1 – Know your options Here are the 5 window installation systems to choose from and where they are best used:

  • Frameless mortared glass block window – best used in concrete and masonry foundations where you want a traditional masonry look.
  • Frameless silicone glass block windows best used in concrete and masonry foundations where you want an “all glass” look.
  • Frameless vinyl stack glass block window – very durable window (as a result of the vinyl stack components that are used to assemble the window) which can use either silicone or grouted joints. With it’s superior structural integrity this prefabricated window can be shipped nationwide without problems.
  • Framed glass block window – best used in wood framed openings or new construction projects.
  • Framed acrylic block window – Is lighter and easier to handle than glass blocks and is available in operable casement, slider and single hung windows.


Tip 2 – Determine if the window is for new construction or remodeling – The framed glass block window is best used in new construction or addition projects because it comes with a vinyl frame and nailing flanges that make it just as easy to install in these situations as a traditional new construction window. If you’re remodeling the other 4 window types presented in tip 1 would be better.

Tip 3 – Is the weight of the window an important consideration – The lightest window is the acrylic block window which can be a benefit if you’re replacing a 2nd story window that is difficult to access. If you’d prefer the benefits of real glass blocks, but would like a lighter units to work with in the installation process then the 2” or 3 1/8” thick glass blocks would work best (the thickest – and heaviest – glass blocks are 4” thick).

Tip 4 – Identify your ventilation needs – Glass block windows can be built with hopper style air vents to allow for some air flow in a window (whether it be in a basement, bathroom, shower, garage, living room etc.). An advantage of the acrylic block casement window is it can provide complete operability because the entire block sash can be opened.

Tip 5 – Consider if you’d like a colored, frosted or textured look – Glass blocks are available in 108 various frosted or colored options or with glass tiles fused to the units – providing a good amount of design options.

Tip 6 – Determine your budget – If you’re on a tight budget a clear glass block prefabricated frameless glass block window will be the most cost effective. The framed glass block and acrylic block windows (without any color) will be the second most expensive. The most costly window will likely be the colored and frosted designer series glass blocks.

Tip 6 ½ – Still not sure what to choose, call the experts – Sometimes the best way to choose your window system is to not choose at all – call a glass block window distributor and fabricator to lead you through the process for your particular project.

What acrylic or glass block window systems have you used? How have they worked out? If you need any information or want to provide input please comment below.

Learn more about custom glass block shower walls and 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

Comments (2)

  • My husband and I are redoing our basement windows and are looking into getting glass blocks. I had no idea that you could install the blocks in a style that would allow some air flow. I’ll have to see about doing that so that we can prevent our basement from being stuffy.

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