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How to Build an Interior Glass Block Wall (page 2 of 2)

A glass block wall can create a division between rooms without blocking light.

More in Windows Walls and Doors

Apply Mortar to End Block After Every Two Rows

Step-by-Step Instructions:

Lay First Blocks

Nail white expansion foam to the inside of the wooden frame. This foam is a spongy material that allows the wall a small amount of movement without any danger of damage — for instance, if materials expand slightly when the temperature changes. Make sure the foam sits centrally on each length of wood (image 1).

Position spacers inside the floor of the wooden frame, ready to hold the glass blocks (image 2). Check that they are level and accurately spaced to fit the dimensions of the blocks. Trowel white mortar onto the frame’s floor, between the spacers. Spread mortar onto one side of a glass block. Try not to get any on the block’s face (image 3).

Place the first block onto the spacers, pressing the mortared side firmly into position against the frame and bedding the block into the mortar along the floor (image 4). Lay more blocks and spacers to finish the row, checking that they are level (image 5). Wipe off any excess mortar with a damp sponge; dried mortar is hard to remove from glass.

Build Up Rows

Apply mortar along the top of the first row. Drill holes in the wall plate and fit the reinforcing rods. Press them down into the mortar (image 1). Continue laying blocks on top. After every two rows, cut through the foam on the wall plate, just above the top edge of the course. Apply mortar to the end block, ready to bed in a wall tie (image 2).

Screw the wall tie to the wall plate, behind the foam, and bed the tie into the mortar (image 3). Then lay mortar and reinforcing rods, and continue laying blocks. Keep checking as you build up the height that blocks are level and plumb, vertically aligned (image 4). If you are going higher than six courses, let mortar dry overnight before finishing.

Finish Partition

Once all the glass blocks are in place, twist the spacers' face plates to remove them (image 1). Allow the mortar to dry, and then grout the joints (image 2). Wipe off excess grout from the glass-block faces as you go, because grout is difficult to remove once it has dried. Smooth the grout using a grout shaper, or brick jointer (image 3).

Apply silicone sealant around its perimeter if required to make the seams waterproof, and wipe down the wall to give it a polished look (image 4). Paint the wooden frame if you wish.

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