The Finishing Touch on Your Glass Block Project

It is no secret that glass block is a dynamic, adaptable building material used to create everything from desks to partition walls to pet kennels. With hundreds of patterns, shapes, and finishes available to designers and architects, the possibilities are virtually endless when working with glass block. The idea of a glass block accent wall can be an exciting home or office improvement project, but it begs the question - how do you finish the end of the glass block wall so that it looks appealing? 

Building professionals know that finishing touches are an essential element of any project. From flooring and window frames to lighting fixtures and paint, finishes give a home or building its defining life and character. By definition, a glass block finishing block has a rounded bullnose surface to create the finished look at the end or on top of any wall. Before the invention of endblocks, glass block accent walls were sometimes capped with ceramic tiles to match the motif. Many people still choose to use ceramic caps or tiles to match their design instead of using endblock to finish the design. The variety of endblocks available allows for a fully finished glass block wall design.  

Whether installing glass block windows or glass brick partition walls, finishes provide the final touch to any project. Glass caps are an innovative solution designed specifically to fit over straight, curved, and 45 or 90-degree angle glass blocks. There are a variety of glass block options available to provide the final touches to any glass block project.  

 glass blocks for walls

Endblock

Endblock is a glass block that is designed with finishes in mind. An endblock is designed to give a more finished, cohesive look to glass block structures such as partition walls or shower enclosures. These glass block finishes are ideal to complete any free-standing accent wall. Glass block makes the ideal accent wall as there are hundreds of glass block shapes, glass block colors, and styles available now. A variety of endblock shapes and colored glass blocks are available to meet the needs of any project.  

 

Linear Endblock
Linear endblock is designed with a round, finished edge that is ideal for jamb top conditions. These blocks allow you to finish any glass block wall ideas that will incorporate a large amount of natural light with the elegance of a finished look.  

 

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Cortina Endblock

 

 

Curved Endblock
A curved endblock has a rounded shape that can create a complete finished edge when used with a linear endblock. Similar to Pittsburgh Corning Glass Block Encurve, these curved endblocks have soft edges to round out any glass block projects incorporated into a design. Partition walls constructed using these curved endblocks are perfect to allow light to pass through one area while bringing the aspect of privacy to another. These end glass blocks are made for highly customized projects and are perfectly fitted end pieces.  

 

Ardesia Ter Curvo

 

 

Corner Endblock
A newer endblock option, cut corner block, is created with a 90-degree angle to maintain the continuity of the glass block surface. A corner endblock is ideal for creating walls with right-angled floor plans. Glass block corner blocks are available in a "Sharp" or "Radius" design. The 90-degree Radius corner block has a rounded glass face, whereas the Sharp corner block resembles a wall's edge.  

 

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Nubio Cut Corner

 

 

Glass Caps

Glass caps are small glass tiles that are used on the tops and sides of the tops and sides of glass block to provide a cohesive, all-glass look and feel. The glass caps can be used on the exposed edges of any creation, including partition walls and shower stalls. Caps can be fabricated into almost any shape and in a wide range of colors to match any design. These solid surface, marble, or granite caps are known for their flexibility and ability to stand up to water when used in glass block shower wall designs.  

 

Framing

When creating glass block windows, various options are available for framing. Prefabricated windows may already come in a frame of some kind to be seamlessly installed into new construction. Other times, glass block is used to fill in an existing window. There may already be a preexisting framework in the structure to place each block in to build a window on site.  According to doityourself.com, common window framing options include wood, aluminum, and vinyl.

  • Wood:  Wooden window frames are considered the most classic style, but require the most maintenance throughout their lifetime. Many contractors know that installing a glass block window in a wooden frame can be difficult since the mortar does not adhere to the wood easily. If not installed properly by a glass block professional, the wooden frame can make the window unstable, leaky, or even drafty. With an endless variety of wood and stain colors available, they are highly customizable and versatile.
  • Aluminum:  Aluminum window frames are lightweight, durable, and robust. They do not absorb water, making them resistant to rust and rot. Standard aluminum window frames work well in warm climate areas. These frames are also traditionally less expensive than wood, but more expensive than vinyl.  
  • Vinyl: Low maintenance and durable, vinyl window frames are available in a variety of sizes and styles. Typically, glass block windows framed by vinyl are a popular choice for bathroom windows, kitchen glass block windows, new construction garages, and commercial spaces.  Due to the integral nailing fins, installing these windows is a breeze in new construction or other additions.

glass-block-window-ideas 

GBA Architectural Products + Services

GBA Architectural Products + Services represents many of the world’s most important architectural glass block manufacturers. We are suppliers of structural glass, glass block, and LightWise glass block systems for hurricane, fire, blast, and even tornado resistance. In addition, GBA also furnishes and installs Composite Concrete Vault Lights, Structural Glass Floor Systems, Glass Block Floor Panels, and Cast Iron Pavement Lights. Our dedicated installation crew of glass block professionals will prefabricate your design and seamlessly install our products to create dramatic design elements into your project. We have been installing glass block and walkable glass floor systems for over 35 years all across America. The professionals at GBA are prepared to collaborate with restoring these essential historical features and can duplicate original designs with the best, most durable, and highly functional vault glass panels.

Visit the GBA Architectural Products + Services website to learn more about the favorable contribution glass products are making to the world of architecture. Whether you are a contractor looking for a ready-to-go glass stair kit, a designer looking to create that "wow" feature, or a homeowner looking to live luxuriously, we are ready to work with you. Request product information on the GBA website by filling out the online form.

Contact GBA Architectural Products + Services for more information about glass architectural products.

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Tags: Interior Finishes, Design, Glass Block