How to Update Glass Block Window in 6 Easy Steps

Glass block windows are a popular choice for their aesthetic appeal, privacy, and durability.

However, like any other home feature, they may require updating or replacing over time.

Whether you are looking to enhance the visual appeal or improve energy efficiency, this article will provide you with step-by-step instructions on how to update glass block window in a proper manner.

How to Update Glass Block Window

From choosing the right materials to removing and installing the blocks, we’ll guide you through the process, helping you transform your outdated window into a stylish and practical addition to your home.

How to Update Glass Block Window?

In this guide, we will provide you with step-by-step instructions on how to update your glass block window, from choosing the right materials to removing and installing the blocks.

Assessing the current window

Before beginning the update process, inspect the current glass block window for any damage or wear. Look for cracks, leaks, or signs of deterioration.

Assessing the current window

If there are structural issues or if the window is beyond repair, consider a full replacement instead of an update. Determine the changes or enhancements you want to make, such as adding ventilation, improving insulation, or changing the design.

Planning the update

Once you have assessed the window, it’s essential to plan the update thoroughly. Here’s what you need to do:

Choosing the materials and tools required

Research and select the appropriate materials for your glass block window update. Consider the size and style of the blocks, as well as any additional features such as ventilation vents or aluminum framing.

Ensure you have the necessary tools, including a measuring tape, level, drill, screws, and a trowel for applying mortar.

Deciding on the style and design

Decide on the style and design of the updated glass block window. Will you maintain the current pattern or opt for something different? Consider whether you want clear or frosted blocks, as well as any decorative accents, such as colored or textured glass blocks.

Take measurements of the window opening to determine the number of blocks needed and any additional framing required.

Removing the old glass block window

To update the glass block window, you’ll first need to remove the existing blocks. Follow these steps carefully:

Preparing the workspace

Clear the area around the window to create a safe and clean workspace. Lay down drop cloths to catch any debris or broken glass. Wear safety goggles and gloves to protect yourself during the removal process.

Safely removing the blocks

Start by removing any exterior trim or caulking around the window frame. Use a cold chisel and hammer to carefully break the mortar joints between the blocks. Start from the top corner and work your way down.

Take your time to avoid damaging the surrounding blocks. Once the mortar is loose, gently remove the blocks one by one.

Installing the new glass block window

Now that you have removed the old glass block window, it’s time to install the updated version. Follow these steps to ensure a successful installation:

Preparing the site for installation

Clean the window opening thoroughly and remove any remaining debris or mortar. Check the frame for any damage and make any necessary repairs. Measure and mark the opening to indicate the desired size of the new glass block window.

Placing and securing the blocks

Apply a layer of mortar to the bottom and sides of the window opening using a trowel. Carefully place the first block in position, pressing it firmly into the mortar.

Level the block using a spirit level and adjust as needed. Repeat the process for the remaining blocks, maintaining a consistent mortar joint size.

Sealing and finishing the window

Once all the blocks are in place and the mortar is dry, fill in the gaps between the blocks with more mortar. Smooth the mortar joints using a trowel, ensuring a neat and even finish. If desired, install any additional features, such as ventilation vents or framing.

In conclusion, updating a glass block window is a manageable task that can enhance the aesthetics and functionality of your home.

By carefully selecting materials, planning the update, and following the proper removal and installation procedures, you can successfully update your glass block window, breathing new life into your space.

Glass Block Window Decorating Ideas

Glass block windows are not only functional but also provide a unique aesthetic appeal to any space. While they offer privacy and natural light, glass block windows can also be enhanced through creative and stylish decorating ideas.

Glass Block Window Decorating Ideas

Whether you want to add a touch of elegance or infuse some color, here are some detailed decorating ideas to elevate your glass block windows:

Window Film

Applying window film is an excellent way to add privacy and enhance the appearance of your glass block windows. Consider frosted or etched window film, available in various patterns and designs, to create a beautiful and stylish effect.

This option allows you to maintain the natural light while adding a touch of elegance and sophistication to your windows. Additionally, window film is easy to apply and can be removed without leaving any residue.

Stained Glass

If you want to infuse color and a sense of artistry into your glass block windows, consider installing stained glass inserts. Stained glass panels can be custom-made to fit your window dimensions, offering a stunning and unique design element.

The colorful patterns and textures of stained glass will not only add visual interest but also create a captivating play of light and color within your space. This is an excellent option for those who appreciate the beauty and intricacy of stained glass art.

Window Decals and Stickers

Window decals and stickers provide an easy and affordable way to personalize your glass block windows. Choose from a wide range of designs, including nature-inspired motifs, geometric patterns, or even custom prints.

Window decals and stickers are versatile and can be easily applied and removed without damaging the glass blocks. They allow you to change the look of your windows whenever you desire, making it a fun and temporary decorating solution.

LED Lighting

Adding LED lighting behind or around your glass block windows can create a mesmerizing effect. The soft glow of LED lights can illuminate the blocks, highlighting their unique texture and creating a dramatic ambiance in the room.

Consider using color-changing LED strips to add a vibrant and dynamic touch. Install the lights strategically to create a soft and subtle glow that enhances the visual appeal of your glass block windows both during the day and at night.

 Window Planters

Another way to decorate your glass block windows is by incorporating window planters. Install small shelves or brackets directly onto the window frame and place potted plants or fresh flowers to bring some natural beauty into the space.

 Window Planters

This not only adds a pop of color but also softens the look of the glass blocks. Choose plants that thrive in the available light conditions, and be mindful of watering requirements and potential water damage to the windows.

Art Installations

Transform your glass block windows into a captivating art installation by placing sculptural pieces behind them. Consider installing a backlit sculpture or hanging a beautiful tapestry or artwork against the window.

This creates a stunning focal point and adds depth and dimension to the glass blocks. Experiment with different forms of art and objects to bring your personal style and creativity into the mix.

In conclusion, decorating glass block windows allows you to enhance their visual appeal and add a personal touch to your space.

Whether through window film, stained glass, decals, LED lighting, window planters, or art installations, there are plenty of creative options to explore.

Choose a decorating idea that complements your overall design aesthetic and brings joy and intrigue to your glass block windows.

frequently asked question (FAQs)

Can you replace individual blocks in a glass block window?

Yes, individual blocks can be replaced in a glass block window. However, it requires careful removal of the damaged block and the surrounding mortar. Once the old block is removed, a new block can be installed using fresh mortar to secure it in place. It is important to match the size, style, and pattern of the existing blocks for a seamless replacement.

How much is a piece of glass block?

The cost of a single glass block can vary depending on factors such as size, style, and quality. On average, a standard 8×8 inch glass block can range from $10 to $20 per piece. Specialized glass blocks with additional features, such as those with ventilation vents or decorative patterns, may be more expensive. It is recommended to check with local suppliers or retailers to get accurate pricing information.

What is the labor cost to install glass block windows?

The labor cost for installing glass block windows can vary based on factors such as the size and complexity of the installation, the location, and the contractor’s rates. On average, the labor cost can range from $50 to $100 per hour. It is advisable to obtain quotes from multiple contractors to get a better idea of the labor costs specific to your project.

How much should glass block windows cost?

The cost of glass block windows depends on various factors such as the number and size of the blocks, additional features like ventilation or framing, and the complexity of the installation. On average, glass block windows can cost between $300 to $800 per window. However, this is a general range, and the cost can significantly vary depending on the specific requirements of the project, so it is recommended to get quotes from different suppliers and contractors for accurate pricing.


Updating glass block windows is a great way to refresh the look and functionality of your space. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can transform your glass block windows into stylish and modern features.

Whether you choose to apply window film for privacy, install stained glass inserts for a pop of color, or incorporate LED lighting for a captivating effect, there are numerous options to suit your personal taste and style.

With a little creativity and effort, you can elevate your glass block windows and enhance the overall aesthetic of your home or office. Take the leap and give your glass block windows the update they deserve!

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