Glass block windows consist of multiple glass bricks assembled and sealed together to form a single window panel. The blocks are typically made of thick tempered glass in a wide range of textures, colors, and shapes.
Glass block windows typically range from $500 to $1,000 to install at your home. However, your specific glass block window cost will depend on the size of your window and whether or not you select a custom design.
In this article, we’ll go through some of the factors that can impact your cost and the different types of glass block windows you can choose from.
How Much Do Glass Block Windows Cost?
Glass block windows are known for their durability, energy efficiency, and security. Many homeowners install them in personal areas like bathrooms and bedrooms to improve natural lighting without sacrificing privacy.
There’s a wide range in how much they can cost. Small prefab glass block windows can start as low as $200, while large, custom-designed options with specialty glass bricks can far exceed $2,000.
|Cost Range||Average Cost|
|Low-end Cost Range||$200–$500|
|National Average Cost Range||$500–$1,100|
|High-end Cost Range||$2,000+|
Our cost data comes from RSMeans, a price estimator database for contractors. The estimates included in this article cover materials and average installation costs.
What Factors Affect the Cost of Glass Block Windows?
Glass block windows are unique because they consist of multiple glass bricks sealed together. In this way, they function almost like part of a brick wall instead of a window opening. However, like any type of window, your glass block window installation costs will vary depending on several factors, including:
- Block design
- Window size
- Assembly materials
The sections below discuss these cost factors in more detail to illustrate how much you can expect to pay for a glass block window.
Prefab Vs. Custom Glass Block Windows
The primary determinant of your glass block window costs will be whether you install a prefabricated (prefab) or custom-made window.
|Prefab Glass Block Window||$300–$1,500|
|Custom Glass Block Window||$600–$3,500+|
Prefabricated models arrive already sealed and mortared together, making them cheaper to produce and easier to install. However, you’re stuck with standard sizes dictated by the manufacturer. All this makes prefab glass block windows far cheaper than tailor-made designs, often between $300–$1,500.
Custom windows often involve specialty blocks, individually manufactured to fit the homeowner’s size, texture, color, and shape requirements. These new windows almost always cost more than pre-made ones, sometimes exceeding $3,500 for premium designs.
Cost of Glass Block Windows by Block Design
One of the most attractive benefits of glass block windows is their customizability. Glass bricks come in an expansive range of designs, allowing you to pick the color, texture, and translucency level that fits your privacy needs, lighting preferences, and home aesthetic.
The best way to see the cost differences between these designs is to look at the prices of individual blocks. We’ve listed average price ranges for popular block types below:
|Glass Block Design||Average Cost Per Block|
Clear glass blocks offer the best lighting but worst privacy. They typically consist of three to four-inch thick glass without interior patterns or exterior textures.
Acrylic block windows consist of a commercial-grade acrylic resin molded into brick shapes of many textures, sizes, and translucencies. Acrylic provides the light and privacy of standard glass blocks with added durability. It’s stronger than glass, making it ideal for homes in harsh weather climates.
Wavy glass blocks are common in basements where lighting and privacy are top concerns. They feature a rippled surface that allows light to flow in and distorts the view through the glass.
Alpha glass blocks feature circular clear glass in the center. These are popular for making a design statement and adding light to living spaces and entryways.
Diamond glass block windows provide excellent privacy, so they’re commonly used in bathrooms as exterior windows or shower walls. They contain an interior diamond pattern that disperses light and blocks the view through the glass.
Frosted glass blocks have a matte texture and cloudy appearance, making them ideal for private rooms. They provide the security, strength, and lighting of clear glass blocks without sacrificing privacy.
Colored glass blocks are perfect for adding a decorative touch to interior spaces. The hued tint is fused into the glass for long-lasting color and durability. Colored glass blocks are more expensive because of their complex manufacturing processes.
Cost of Glass Block Windows by Size
The size of your glass block window will significantly impact its price. A larger window opening requires more glass blocks to fill it, which will inevitably cost you more for materials and installation.
The tables below list costs for various installed window and block sizes to help you start budgeting:
|Glass Block Window Size||Average Cost Range|
|25” X 25”||$300–$500|
|31” X 31”||$350–$600|
|36” X 36”||$475–$600|
|40” X 40”||$550–$775|
|48” X 48”||$850–$1,125|
|Glass Block Size||Average Cost Per Block|
|6” X 6” X 3”||$7–$9|
|8” X 8” X 3”||$8–$10|
|8” X 8” X 4”||$9–$12|
Cost of Glass Block Windows by Assembly Material
Glass block windows are one of the most energy-efficient window options available. Though this is largely due to their thickness, it’s also because of the sealant between each glass block. The most common assembly material is a mortar-like sealant, similar to what goes between bricks. However, other materials like silicone and vinyl are commonly used for glass blocks, and each has its benefits.
Costs in the table below are for a standard 36-inch-by-36-inch glass block window.
|Window Assembly Material||Average Cost Per Window|
|Mortared and Rebarred||$1,375–$1,500|
- Mortar is a mixture of cement, sand, lime, and additional chemicals for flexibility and water-tightness. Mortar is among the most accessible materials, making it popular with DIY window enthusiasts. However, it isn’t always the most energy-efficient choice.
- Silicone systems hold the glass blocks in place with a thin silicone joint. These systems are generally affordable but also the least watertight and energy efficient. However, they do provide a sleek, “all glass” look with thinner joints between blocks.
- Vinyl glass block assembly requires the installer to seal the bricks with silicone caulk and vinyl spacers. This method is expensive but creates a more durable, energy-efficient surface than other assembly types.
- Vinyl-framed glass block windows come pre-fit in frames for easy installation and energy-efficient use. Instead of the blocks being cemented directly into the rough opening, the prefab window panel can be tightly sealed and sometimes made to open and close.
- Mortared and rebarred glass block assembly is necessary for large or custom-shaped windows. This method requires a steel reinforcing bar to be sealed between bricks for enhanced load-bearing capabilities.
Additional Costs of Glass Block Windows
When budgeting for a glass block window, you must also account for installation fees and special features that will increase your bill. We’ve detailed some additional cost factors below to help you avoid pricey surprises:
- Installation and labor costs will likely add between $40–$60 per crew member per hour to your final bill. A two-person crew performing a three-hour installation might cost around $300.
- The location of your glass block window can potentially impact project costs. Glass block basement windows are typically smaller and less decorative, yielding lower prices. Meanwhile, specialty glass blocks or colored bricks commonly used in entryways and bathrooms are more expensive.
- Adding a vent to your glass block window will improve its functionality but impact its total cost. Although the vent space decreases the number of glass bricks you’ll need, the vent materials and installation still come at a price — often between $50–$100.
- Corner glass blocks cost more than standard glass blocks, a consideration to account for if you’re building a partition or shower wall. If your glass block window has curves and corners, you’ll likely pay $30–$50 per block for that section.
How Does the Cost of Glass Block Windows Compare to Other Window Types?
Glass block windows cost more than standard options like double-hung, casement, and awning windows but offer more privacy and a decorative flare. However, when selecting a glass block window, you’ll often give up some operability unless you choose one with an added vent.
On the other hand, glass block windows generally cost much less than structural types like bay windows, egress windows, and garden windows. If adding light to a room is your main concern, you might consider a glass block window over these types, especially if you want to maintain privacy.
With these considerations in mind, see how glass block window costs stack up to other common window styles:
Is DIY Glass Block Window Installation Worth It?
Unless you have window expertise and masonry experience, we suggest leaving glass block window installation to the pros. One of the major benefits of glass block windows is their optimal security and energy efficiency — two things that stem largely from proper installation.
Unlike standard windows, which feature one glass panel between the frame, glass block windows have multiple parts that fit together to form a whole. This makes a lot more room for error, especially if you lack the necessary home improvement skills.
Looking for a pro to help with your window project? Read our guide to the best window replacement companies to see our top picks.
Are Glass Block Windows Worth It for Your Home?
Glass block windows are a unique feature many homeowners consider adding to their personal spaces. These highly customizable bricks come in a wide range of textures, colors, and shapes, all intending to promote interior lighting and privacy. Although glass block windows are expensive — usually between $500–$1,000 — they can be an excellent investment for your bathroom, laundry room, basement, and beyond.
Ready to start shopping for your own glass block window? Use the form below to get free estimates from top installers in your area:
FAQs About the Cost of Glass Block Windows
Are Glass Block Windows Outdated?
Though glass block windows became popular in the 1980s, they’ve made a comeback in recent years due to their versatility and functionality. Homeowners and interior designers are getting creative, designing stylish glass block walls, shower partitions, and even floors.
Whether or not glass windows are an attractive home feature is purely up to the individual. If you decide to install them in your home, we suggest choosing the most energy-efficient, durable option to optimize potential resale value.
Are Glass Block Windows Energy Efficient?
Glass block windows are highly energy efficient. Their thickness gives them insulative qualities comparable to double-pane windows, which means they’ll keep outside temperatures out. Glass block products with ENERGY STAR certification are the best choice for your long-term budget, as these can help you lower your energy bills by 12%.
Can I Replace One Glass Brick?
Yes, you can replace one brick out of your glass block window. Not only are the thick glass bricks challenging to break in the first place, but they’re also relatively simple to patch up if a crack occurs. A professional can safely remove and replace the damaged block without replacing the whole window, saving you time and a chunk out of your wallet.