Making a curved glass block wall for a shower | Siouxland Houses
By James Dulley Creators Syndicate Inc.
Dear James: I want to build a curved glass block wall for a shower stall and a straight wall in my kitchen. How to put a wall of glass blocks so that it does not leak when showering? – Darlène G.
Dear Andrea: Glass block walls can make a house look very open and make small rooms look a lot bigger than they are. They can also provide more even lighting across the wall while still providing a privacy design on the type of blocks used. Some patterns simply distort the view while others obscure it altogether.
A straight glass block wall is easier to build than a curved wall, so start with this project first. The idea of using a curved wall for a shower stall makes sense because you can get more usable shower space than with a rectangular stall. Consider installing LED light strips in the joints between the blocks for attractive lighting.
Until about a decade ago, unless you had experience in installing curved glass brick walls, I guarantee you would have been disappointed with your first job. It takes a little skill to make the glass walls level and even. This was especially true for shower stalls where one end is open and the top does not meet the ceiling. With only one side of support, it can appear unstable.
The DIY kits available today allow someone with very little glass brick experience to lay a very even and properly spaced wall. These kits include glass block spacers that position the glass blocks relative to each other. This results in a solid level wall with very homogeneous mortar joints.
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When choosing the glass blocks in your home improvement store, stack several to determine if they will provide adequate privacy. Once you have selected the type and size of glass blocks you desire, purchase the spacers to match the blocks. Even though the glass blocks are hollow, they can get quite heavy, so have someone help you carry them.
The first step is to design the edging from concrete landscaping bricks to support the glass blocks. Do not start placing the glass block wall directly on the ground or you will surely have leaks. Temporarily place the first row of glass blocks on the floor to determine the number and shape of concrete bricks you need.
Set the concrete bricks in a layer of thinset. Then lay a water barrier film on the floor and bricks and run a layer of mortar on the floor of the shower stall to the bricks. For a more decorative look, cover the top and sides of the concrete bricks with a thin marble veneer or simply start the glass block wall on the bare bricks.
The correct laying of the first row of glass blocks is the most important because it forms the basis of the rest of the wall. Make sure to use a special mortar formulated for glass blocks and place the glass blocks in a thick layer of it. Use a good level to make sure they are level in both directions.
Place plastic spacers on the first row, apply mortar and install the second row. Repeat this on the wall. Install metal reinforcements in the mortar joints and attach the glass blocks to the bathroom wall. As the mortar sets, break off the ends of the spacers and finish the joints with grout.
(ADJUST IMAGE) plo102821adAP.jpg (FINISH IMAGE) (ADJUST LEGEND) A glass block shower is the perfect way to illuminate a bathroom while providing a high level of privacy. (END LEGEND)
Send questions to Here’s How, 6906 Royalgreen Dr., Cincinnati, OH 45244 or visit www.dulley.com. To learn more about James Dulley and read articles from other Creators Syndicate authors and designers, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.
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