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The Home Depot

Glass Block Installation Guide

Pro Referral > Home Guides > Door & Window > Glass Block Installation Guide
Glass Block Installation Guide

Many people enjoy the beautiful additions of glass blocks to bathrooms and basements. In a bathroom, glass blocks can really bring in beautiful light while still providing privacy. In a basement, they can light up the room and keep privacy. Even in a kitchen, glass blocks can be a really classy way to open up the room. They can also be used as a skylight and will make amazing reflections on the floor.


Glass blocks are great because they can maintain privacy while still functioning as a window. If you are new to installing windows or glass blocks specifically, this guide will be very helpful for you. We have outlined key steps when dealing with glass blocks and how to make them look like they were professionally installed.

  1. 1.Remove Your Old Frame Where the Blocks Will Go

    Many people enjoy the beautiful additions of glass blocks to bathrooms and basements. In a bathroom, glass blocks can really bring in beautiful light while still providing privacy.

    This will most likely be the hardest part of the whole installation process. After you have successfully chosen what type of glass blocks you would like to install, you need to make room for them. The hardest type of frame to remove is the metal/concrete cast ones. Those types of frames are extremely hard to deal with and should really only be taken out by a professional. Try and get all the pre installation demo work done in one day, and then leave the actual installation for later. When you are able to get the frame out, sweep everything up and dust around the edges so that you have a clear slate to work with.

  2. 2.Get Tons of Shims

    Shims, for any first time installers out there, are basically wooden spacers that can help to set your panels of glass blocks (or any type of window you are installing). Place about two shims in between the glass to help the blocks stay in place. Use some type of concrete/sand mix for best results. Within about two hours you should be able to move all the shims and immediately fill all the gaps with mortar. Be sure to blend it in to make it look neat and finished.

  3. 3.Don’t Put Any Mortar At the Top of the Window

    This is an important tip. Putting mortar at the top creates unneeded downward pressure and has the potential to actually crack the window itself. You can use normal caulk to help fill the top instead and it will be much more efficient.

  4. 4.Remember to Wear Gloves When Working With Mortar

    This is a step that some first-time installers may not be aware of. Mortar (like all other cement products) can easily burn your skin. For safety precautions and your health, always be sure to wear appropriate gloves and long sleeves if possible.


    Installing glass block window panels can be a very beautiful way to update your home and add a private window as well. If you want an easy way to get rid of the shades covering the normal window in your bathroom, glass blocks are the way to go. You can still benefit from all the sunlight while maintaining an optimal sense of privacy at the same time. Natural lighting is great for improving moods and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Window blocks are used when the desired look is wanted but there is no ventilation needs. Installing a window block for the first time can actually be a bit fun if you read all the precautions right (again, be careful with mortar). You can pick out your own glass blocks and make a really cool design!

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