“What do you have that can add some interest, some pop, some style to this glass block project?” a customer recently asked. With the introduction of colored glass your windows, showers, or wall projects can really stand out without sacrificing the functional benefits of the block. Below you’ll learn about 5 unique projects that combined colors and block patterns to create one of a kind results.
Project 1) Purple Colored Glass Block Windows in a Bookstore–
• The problem – A bookstore in Northwest Ohio had old deteriorated dark purple glass tiles from the 1930’s in their transom windows. Most of these window openings were about 80” x 40” in size. The problem with these tiles is they weren’t energy efficient, many of the tiles and grout joints were cracked, and were no longer commercially available.
• The solution – A deep rich purple amethyst block was specially developed and designed to match the colors of the old glass tiles in this commercial renovation. The advantage of the new block is it is 10 times more energy efficient and the customer had a wide selection of block patterns and styles to choose from. The Argus block pattern from Pittsburgh Corning was selected. The windows were grouted with black mortar for added effect.
Project 2) A Checkerboard Pattern Yellow and Green Glass Block Wall for Privacy in a home near Boston
• The problem – A homeowner near Boston Massachusetts wanted to create a privacy wall between a half bathroom on one side and a kitchen with a uniquely colored pot belly stove on the other side (the pot belly stove was a light green, and the kitchens colors were going to be redesigned to be earth tones and yellows). Since the bathroom had a window the goal was to move light from the outside of the home, through the half bath area, and into the kitchen without sacrificing privacy in the bathroom.
• The solution – A standard amber goldenrod yellow block and a custom designed light green block were designed for this project to augment the colors of the pot belly stove and walls in this home. The Icescapes pattern block from Pittsburgh Corning was chosen to provide privacy for the half bath. Five 40” x 16” panel sections were fabricated and shipped (using the vinyl stack fabrication system) to the project by Columbus Glass Block with the color checkerboard (alternating yellow & green colors) pattern in the top 3 courses (the entire wall was 80” high and the color blocks were used in the top 24” area of the project).
Project 3) Random Red, Yellow, Green, Purple, & Blue Colors for a Glass Block Walk In Shower in Cincinnati Ohio
• The problem – A customer of Mid America Glass Block in Cincinnati & Dayton Ohio wanted the maintenance free benefits of a walk in block shower to stop having to clean the bottom of the framed shower wall & door system of her old shower. In addition she wanted a fun and contemporary way to add some pop and interest to the design for a more eclectic look.
• The solution – For this project the goal was to add the design and style through the color of the blocks and not the pattern within the blocks. A standard Wavy pattern block from Mulia was chosen using finished end blocks for the two walls of the shower. The colored blocks were used in a random fashion through one of the walls including the finished end blocks and radius block units.
Project 4) A Ruby Red Color Cross Inside Vinyl Framed Glass Block Windows for a Church in Arkansas
• The problem – A commercial general contractor in Arkansas called because a church they were working for had a problem with vandalism and high heating and cooling costs with their existing single pane wood frame windows. The pastor wanted vandal and graffiti resistant windows that would be hard to break, but also wanted to add color and interest for the inside of the church. Most of the color blocks they saw in their local market were dull pastel colors that would not provide the vibrancy the pastor wanted on the inside of the church.
• The solution – Since these windows were inside a wood framed structure a vinyl framed glass block window was chosen for it’s ease of installation and long term durability. The pastor chose to design in a ruby red colored block as a cross in the center of the 40” wide by 72” window openings. The Icescapes pattern was used for the cross and the Decora pattern was used around the cross – making the cross really stand out through both it’s pattern and the vibrant red color. The block now provides the security, energy efficiency, and style all in one for this church. The cost of this window was lower than stained glass as well.
Project 5) Stripes of Colors through a Glass Block Bar in New York City, New York
• The problem – A loft owner in New York City was looking for a cool way to create a bar for entertaining in their new space. They liked the idea of lighting through blocks, but fiber optic systems were too expensive and standard rope lighting was too dull.
• The solution – This glass bar, which was designed 40” in height, was built with a sapphire dark blue block to accent the chrome and blue colors in the room. The blue block was used in every other course of the bars blocks including the corner and end finishing blocks to create a striped design.
Color glass block windows, showers, and wall projects can combine both excellent functional benefits with a high degree of style. The design options for this product have never been greater.
By: Mike Foti