glass block window


Old 05-26-00, 02:44 PM
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In my tiled tub surround, I have a 4x5 area of glass blocks with a nasty 1x2 metal-framed window smack dab in the middle. I hate the metal frame - it's spotted and yucky. I want to put in a vinyl window, but my darling husband says we'll have to replace all the glass blocks too. Is this true? The grout between the blocks is pretty gross too, so I guess I'd only be complaining about the cost. Can you re-use the blocks after they've been disassembled?
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Old 05-26-00, 07:56 PM
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The way you have asked the question is impossible to answer.

I can't even visualize what it looks like. Is the 4 x 5, inches, feet, number of blocks, etc?

On an inside wall, outside, part of the surround itself???????

Depends in general on what supports what? Probably removing the window and replacing it, isnt any big deal. Probably could be taken out in pieces if it had too.

I've seen glass block walls with inserts but this one has me puzzled.

In general glass blocks can be disassembled and reused. Generally they use a plastic based gloo as mortar. In this bathroom situation it is hard to tell, what has been used.

Might be anything, tile mastic, grout, ?????.

I've seen folks get quite creative in installing stuff like that. Hopefully nothing that clings tight if you decide to remove.

Don't even understand about the cost. Think everyone else would have difficulity with this too. You have to explain much more clearly.

Old 05-30-00, 07:45 AM
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The glass block area is 4 feet by 5 feet, and is on an outside wall, (part of the tub surround). I can look out the window into my backyard (and unfortunately, my neighbors can also look into my shower if they are feeling frisky). The window itself is 1 foot high by 2 feet wide and is set in the blocks. My primary objective is to remove the window and replace it without removing the blocks. If I have to remove the blocks to install a new window (blocks are held together with mystery material...whatever was common in 1950) I would like to re-use them instead of buying all new, thus reducing my cost.

What would make me happiest, if I am able to find a vinyl window this size, is to just hammer, push, or pulverize the old one out, and slide a new one in.

What are the odds of this happening, without breaking lots of glass blocks?
Old 05-31-00, 02:43 AM
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Pretty good odds, actually. First, get the replacement window or more glass blocks to fill in the area. BEFORE taking old window out, dry-fit the new one in the ledge to make sure it will be an easy fit, better to be sightly too small than too large.

Once you get that solved, start on the old window removal. Depending on what's holding it in it'll either be a chisel job to slowly and gently break the mortar/grout/whatever, or if you are really lucky it's screwed/nailed into a wood base. In any case, be GENTLE. Take your time. Clean area thouroughly. Once old window is out stick the new one in and plumb & level it.

Also if you want you can just buy new glass blocks and cover the entire old window opening and use a matching grout. To me that would be your easiest method of dealing with it. That's my two cents worth
All DIY projects should come with a bottle of Advil.
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