How to Use Glass Block With Silicone Caulk

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A glass block wall can form an entryway to your home, a divider in your kitchen or a shower stall in your bathroom. Artistically it can accent an already standing wall or provide luminous touches for design elements within your home. Glass blocks can raise the value of your home as well as increase a delicate ambiance to dull or dark spots in rooms and hallways. All of this can be achieved with the application of a little time and effort.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • Level
  • Chalk line
  • Square
  • Plumb line
  • Silicone caulk
  • Caulking gun
  • Glass block
  • Edging tool
  • Measure your space, clean all surfaces and determine how many blocks are needed. All blocks come in consistent sizes, and adding one-quarter inch for each block on the bottom and adjoining side compensates for the caulking between the blocks. Use a level to confirm a smooth base to build the wall from. With a chalk line and a square, create lines for the edges of the blocks on the floor or base and wall contact points.

  • Attach the plumb line to the ceiling, centered on the middle of the width of the glass block. Lay down the silicone caulk in two lines at the width of the glass block and inset by one-eighth inch. Apply caulking to the sides of the glass block in the same manner. Place the block in between the chalk lines and square to the wall and the floor. Repeat for the base row, moving the plumb line. Confirm with a square that lines are maintained. Confirm with a level that all blocks are the same height after caulking.

  • Repeat Step 2 for the next row of glass blocks. Proceed with each row until the wall is to the desired height.

  • Smooth out caulk with an edging tool. Pay very close attention to seals between blocks as cracks and gaps will allow mold and mildew to grow between blocks.

  • Follow recommendations on the caulk packaging, and allow blocks to stand without moisture and movement until caulking is cured.

Tips & Warnings

  • Keep all surfaces clean and free of debris.
  • All blocks should be laid in one session.
  • Clean all tools and work area immediately after completion.
  • Watch for settling of blocks after initial curing time and periodically during the life of the wall.
  • Settling of any one block or row of blocks more than one-quarter inch (thickness of a line of caulk) requires major rework of the wall. Settling of less than that can be repaired with additional caulking to shim up the settled block.
  • Follow all safety precautions on the caulking label and any that come with the glass blocks.

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References

  • Photo Credit glass brick wall image by Karin Lau from Fotolia.com
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