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How To Build a Glass Block Wall

Updated on May 1, 2011

Installing a glass block wall inside the home or around a patio creates a sense of privacy while still allowing natural light to enter. Glass block walls are available in many sizes, colors, and styles allowing you to express your own design vision. Using glass blocks to create a wall inside the home does not close in the room as do other building materials. Plan your wall size with the size of the glass blocks in mind because the blocks cannot be cut or trimmed.

  1. Measure the height and length of the proposed wall. Multiply the length by the height and divide the product by the size of the glass brick to determine how many bricks you will need. If you get a quotient with a fraction, recalculate the wall size so the blocks fit evenly.
  2. Stretch a chalk line between the start point of the wall and the end point. Snap the chalk line to leave a guideline on the floor.
  3. Apply masking tape to the floor, running parallel to the chalk line on each side of the line. Space the masking tape lines 1/4-inch wider than the glass block.
  4. Set glass block tracking in between the tape lines. Mark the floor through the predrilled screw holes with a pencil. Remove the track and drill pilot holes through the marks. Reposition the track, lining the guide holes up with the pilot holes. Insert screws through the guide holes and tighten to secure the track to the floor with a power screwdriver. If the glass wall butts up to another wall, extend the track up the wall, the height on one block and secure in place with screws.
  5. Pour powdered mortar into a bucket and mix in water following the instructions on the bag. Mix it until the consistency is thick, but workable.
  6. Trowel on 1/2-inch of mortar over the track. Work in three to four foot manageable sections at a time.
  7. Butter the base and side that faces the wall of a glass block with 1/2-inch layer of mortar.
  8. Set the first block in place and firmly press it into the mortar.
  9. Lay a level across the top of the block to check to make sure it is level. If the bubble is not in the center of the level, tap the block until with your hand until the bubble is centered.
  10. Place a spacer next to the first block. Butter the bottom and side of the second block with 1/2-inch of mortar. Set the glass block in place and level it. Continue to butter blocks, set them, level them and insert spacers down the entire length of the wall.
  11. Apply a 1/4-inch layer of mortar over the top of the first row of block. Set a metal reinforcement ladder on top of the mortar.
  12. Butter up glass blocks, space, set and level exactly as you did on the first course. Continue to build the wall up until your reach your desired wall height.

Use a damp sponge to clean excess mortar off the glass blocks as you build the wall.

Do not lean on the wall or use the wall for 48 to 72 hours

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