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Glass Blocks

Glass blocks are non-loadbearing masonry units which are made by molding two sections of glass and bonding them together. The interior of the block is hermetically sealed in order to prevent condensation. Most such blocks allow light to pass through, but they are often designed to distort the view to ensure privacy. Some blocks, however, are relatively transparent, and special blocks have been designed to direct light upward or downward for certain building requirements. Bulletproof blocks have also been developed.

The recommended sizes for glass blocks, always square, are 6 inches, 8 inches, and 12 inches, each with a recommended 1/4-inch mortar joint. Round-ended blocks are also available to cap the sides or tops of block walls. Other sizes and shapes are also available. The mortar-bearing surfaces of the glass blocks have been roughened to accept mortar. An expansion strip is required between the glass block and adjacent material, and liberal use of joint reinforcement is recommended for glass block walls. Partition walls that use rounded-end blocks must have support on three sides of the panel. Metal or plastic spacers shaped like a plus sign are used in some instances to ensure accurate spacing between the glass blocks. These blocks can be used to create curving walls, with the minimum radius depending on the size of the unit being used (Tenenbaum, 1990, pp. 45-46).

Block walls can be used in the entry way, bedroom, kitchen, bathroom, and indeed in any room of the house where a partition or designed wall is desired. Glass blocks are sold today as a means of providing a positive seal to keep out the dust and the dirt, a means of reducing cleaning and housekeeping requirements. These walls are also practical to reduce street noises and to muffle room-to-room noises. These block walls also provide insulating efficiency equal to double-pane thermal windows. This is done without drafts. One result of this is a red...

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Glass Blocks. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 01:56, December 02, 2020, from