A glass brick wall is a great add-on to any house. From the outside, It comes with a modern look that can’t be matched with any other type of tiles or materials for exterior walls tiles.
From the inside, it provides a unique design and natural light that will make your home open and inviting.
Glass bricks have recently been used by designers and architects to create stunning building exteriors, fashion brand storefront designs, and great office partitions.
For house owners, glass brick exterior walls can give an aesthetic look while improving the natural lighting of the home, making sure of its occupant’s privacy.
Installing a glass brick might seem complicated in the beginning, but with this guide, anyone can practically install a glass brick wall easily.
What is a Glass Brick?
Glass brick is an interior design or construction material made of glass that is quite translucent to pass light through but ensures privacy at the same time.
The properties of glass bricks are due to the way they are processed: two portions of glass are fused into a single block, leaving a hollow center.
Glass bricks can be any form or size, and their thickness ranges from two to three inches. Their translucence is adjustable to the desired level, by mixing some textures or colors.
These textures divide glass bricks into various shapes, such as transparent glass bricks, diamonds, quadra, and waves, each shape interacts differently with its surrounding of objects and light.
Install Glass Bricks On Exterior Walls
Installing glass bricks on exterior walls is a process that needs to be planned carefully. This helps ensure the structural integrity and longevity of the project.
Here is a short but precise guide on how to install glass bricks on exterior walls:
- Plan the area where you want to install the glass bricks while considering the light and your privacy.
- Make sure to check if the wall is dry, clean, and has a secure structure.
- Choose your preferred installation method, i.e., silicone adhesive or framework.
- If you’re using a framework, assemble and secure it according to the instructions provided by the manufacturer.
- If you’re using a silicone adhesive, apply the adhesive to the edges of glass bricks and press them firmly into place.
- Make sure the glass bricks are placed at a level and aligned well during the installation.
- Now seal the joints with a water-resistant sealant. This ensures that the base prevents water penetration.
- Give proper time for the adhesive or sealant to dry.
- After the installation, go through each tile to check if it has any wear, weathering, or damage.
- Finally, clean each glass brick separately to make sure it looks clean and new.
You can click to learn more about this article: How to install exterior tile
Tools/Materials Needed for Glass Brick Installation
- Glass bricks
- Mortar mix
- Spacer shims
- Waterproofing material
- Safety goggles
Factors to Consider Before Installing Glass Brick Walls
Installing glass brick walls will not just add natural lighting to your space but also make it look aesthetic and maintain privacy. But, there are some factors to look out for before you begin the installation process. The following are the things to keep in mind.
1. Structural Integrity
Before you begin the installation process of glass brick walls, you need to assess the structural integrity of the building to be used.
We recommend consulting a structural engineer to check and assess whether the current structure of the building can bear any extra weight of the glass bricks.
Analyzing the load-bearing capacity of the walls and the foundation will make it easier to understand and know if any changes or additional support is needed or not.
2. Location and Purpose
The second most essential thing to consider is the purpose of the glass brick wall and its location. You need to assess whether you’re going to install the wall outdoors or indoors, as this will in turn decide the materials and tools required, as well as the construction method.
Interior glass brick walls won’t need much insulation and waterproofing as compared to an outdoor glass brick wall, as the outdoor one has to withstand every different weather condition.
3. Weather Resistance and Insulation
If you’re thinking of getting an exterior glass brick wall installed, make sure it is insulated and weatherproofed. Properly insulated walls will prevent heat loss during the cold weather and also maintain a proper temperature inside the house.
In areas with extreme weather conditions, it is important to use materials that can withstand the fluctuations in the temperatures.
4. Privacy and Lighting
The next pointer is the amount of privacy and lighting required inside the house. Even though glass bricks allow light to get penetrate inside, they don’t offer transparency, maintaining your privacy.
Just check whether the amount of privacy these walls provide is enough according to your preferences and requirements.
5. Maintenance and Cleaning
Regular Maintenance and cleaning is one of the main requirements of glass brick walls. This is because they will stay transparent and aesthetically appealing if you clean them often.
Just have a cleaning routine to prevent any extra dust, grime, or dirt, as they can obscure the transparency and clarity of the walls.
Do consider the accessibility of your glass walls for cleaning and maintenance before you install them and make sure that you don’t damage the glass brick walls during the cleaning process.
6. Design and Aesthetic Appeal
Choose a pattern and design for your walls that go well with the structure and design of your already-designed home or room.
Keep the aesthetic appeal of your space in mind and choose a design that is not just visually pleasing but also serves the functional purpose of the glass brick wall. You can get the walls customized too, to create a unique design according to your requirements.
7. Cost Considerations
Assess the costs of the materials, installation, and any extra changes. Then, set a budget for yourself that includes the cost of everything such as materials, labor, or any other emergency.
Also, check the long-term maintenance costs to make sure you always have financial support for your project.
8. Installation Process and Expertise
Glass brick walls need to be installed precisely and carefully by a professional as this ensures its longevity and structural integrity. Consult a professional who has the right skills and experience to do your project successfully.
Make sure the people you hire have the specific knowledge of your requirements and can provide a high-quality installation that not just meets your requirements but the industry standards too.
9. Long-Term Durability and Sustainability
For your exterior glass brick wall installation project, your priority should be using durable and high-quality materials that are sustainable for the environment. Go for the materials with a longer life and resistance to damage.
We recommend considering sustainable practices to lessen the ecological footprint of your installation project as this will contribute to an eco-friendly environment.
Plan Your Glass Brick Wall Design
As with most home design projects, this also needs planning properly, and preparing is important for making sure you get quality and long-lasting results.
This is mainly true for any construction of glass bricks. Make sure to use glass brick wisely and not beyond the boundaries of its intended function.
To conclude, yes, glass bricks can indeed be installed on exterior walls however there are some factors to consider before you do so.
Glass bricks are famous for their aesthetic visual texture which allows 80% natural light to pass through without compromising your privacy.
They are also durable, fireproof, and feature remarkable thermal resistance. All these qualities make them the best fit for outside applications bringing you both beauty and functionality.
However, there are considerations to keep in mind. Make sure you are installing the bricks properly to ensure that the structure stands firm for a long time and can resist harsh weather conditions.
Furthermore, the choice of glass bricks with appropriate insulation properties and UV protection is essential to maintain energy efficiency and prevent fading over time.
Ultimately, when used thoughtfully and professionally, glass bricks can enhance the aesthetic and functional aspects of exterior walls resulting in a striking and innovative design.
1. How Much Glass Brick Will I Need For My Project?
When deciding how much glass brick is required to complete your work, refer to the guidelines mentioned below:
- Measure the area where the glass brick wall will be installed. Height and width are both important factors in determining how much glass brick to order.
- Calculate the area of the wall by multiplying its length by its height.
- Divide the calculated wall area by the area of the glass brick you’ve chosen.
Click to learn: A guide to understanding the costs of installing floor tiles
2. Should I Anchor A Glass Brick Wall?
Yes. A self-supporting glass brick wall must be adequately secured to the floor and at least one structurally supported wall. To fix the base layer to the floor, stainless steel flathead screws can be used, and vertical sides must be secured using a running bond adhesion compound.