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How to install Glass Block Windows in Basement Windows

Updated on June 3, 2012
Photo A
Photo A
Photo B
Photo B
Photo C
Photo C
Photo D
Photo D
Photo E
Photo E
Photo F
Photo F
Photo G
Photo G

How to update your basement windows with Glass Block

Glass block windows in your Basement are a real energy saver. They make your house more Secure. They get rid of drafty single pane windows that probably don’t work anymore. Glass Block windows look hard to install. They are not. Most basement windows are 32" x 16" inches. They are fairly easy to install. First make sure that you can access the window from both sides. Then measure to check the size. These windows come already assembled and ready to install and Measure 32” x 16”. There are also other sizes available.

Tools Needed See photo A

Concrete Chisel


Glass Block Mortar Mix

Hack Saw or Electric Sawzall (To cut the frame)

Small Cement trowel

Mortar Box


Grout Bag

Wooden Shims

1. After measuring the opening and buying the correct size to fit in. Remove the window and frame. Before doing so make sure the Concrete Block or stone above the window is not loose. If so then Point the stone or block before trying to install Glass block. Use caution when installing and not hit the block with any sharp objects.

2. The metal frames are usually easy to take out. First swing the glass in and then find the catches on the side that hold it and remove the Glass.

3. Next cut the frame where it is against the concrete see photo C

4. If it is a wooden frame then just remove the Hinges and the window then check the size and remove the wooden frame. The new window should be at least 1” smaller then the hole it is going in.

5. Put a couple of wooded Shims on the window Sill. These are put down so that when you set the window into place you will not crack the block.

6. Slide the window into the whole and put in shims around edges so you can center the window push the shims in till the window is being held and is centered. Also check to make sure the Vent is opening in the correct spot.

7. Mix up some mortar mix and keeping it a little wet and put in Grout bag. Leaving the shims in start at the bottom and fill the space up with mortar. Work up the side of the window with the mortar mix filling in the space.

8. Take the trowel and smooth the seam between the block and stone and the window. Leave the shims IN. Wipe any excess off the window. Let cement sit for a couple hours. Then gently Tap the shims back out and cement the holes where the shims are. Again wiping any excess off the glass block. See Photo D

9. Let it sit for a day then come back and mix up some more mortar mix and put a outside sill on the window. Slope it down so that any rain or water that hits it will go away from the glass block. See Photo E and F

10. Let dry a week then paint if needed. See Photo G


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