Stunning glass block shower walls take advantage of natural light, provide unique accent elements and introduce a classic, elegant feel to a bathroom remodel. Using glass blocks for a new walk-in shower adds color and another dimension to your Madison WI home. These age-old building blocks have come a long way with new designs and technology – from utilitarian alternatives to colorful, artistic and dynamic features.
Once restricted by limited sizes, the traditional 8-by-8-inch blocks have been supplemented by 3-inch versions and an assortment of shapes – curves, bends and 90-degree angles. No longer restricted to really large installation, glass block can be used in confined spaces the size of a standard 60-inch bathtub with unique, interesting and pleasant results.
Walk-in Shower Popularity Benefits From Glass Block Technology
When first introduced, several decades ago, these distinctive blocks were used to replace window glass. The originals were available in just opaque clear squares. Those boring days are gone. Variations in texture, color, shape and size have evolved along with the popularity of the walk-in shower. Creating a spa-like bathroom is often the goal of a bathroom remodel and a designer’s imagination is the only limiting factor in the use of these interesting elements. What makes the unusual construction blocks so versatile? Consider:
- Substantial Results – a walled shower outlined with blocks made from glass is far more substantial than drywall-framed walls even with tile added.
- Very Little Maintenance –even textured glass is easy to clean, with no crevices to snag and hold dirt and debris and no grout to keep up.
- Color Options – There are more than 104 different colors available with manufacturers introducing more variations all the time.
- Natural Light – Even an opaque glass structure enables light to expand from one space to another. There’s privacy without relying upon extra light fixtures – always making the most of available light.
- Design Opportunities – tapping into the latest in colors, textures and sizes allows for curved, sculpted and patterned walls.
Blend Innovation, Technology and Imagination
Straight, flat walls are passé. Innovative remodeling plans make the most of new materials and creative ideas. Working with building blocks made of glass offers opportunities, including:
- Interact With The Senses – With more than 104 colors available plus textures, a variety of combinations are available to enhance the overall décor and appeal to sight and touch.
- The Artist’s Touch – Blending colors, shapes and sizes, splashes of light and texture create a mosaic.
- Tile Accents – Ceramic tile in the bathroom can be continued as a tile border around the glass wall for a distinctive, unifying touch.
- Be Exciting – combine patterns and block shapes for a contemporary design or a “retro” look – anything goes!
Not A Fit For Everyone
The concept of the walk-in shower has spread across the country and is No. 1 on most remodeler’s wish list. When the first remodeling ideas are put on paper is the time to decide if glass blocks will fit your plans. Thinking a creative wall of blocks from the beginning is the best way to make them work.
Designing with these unusual elements began seriously in Europe and as the trend continued here designers and builders realized they don’t work for everyone. The benefits are exciting, but there are drawbacks.
Benefits of glass block construction include:
- A creative way to install contemporary themes and style
- Walk-in showers with blocks of colored or clear glass provide walls to fit surrounding décor
- Modern materials come in many shapes and sizes to complete work in standard rooms and those with unusual dimensions
- Walls can be any size you want because the blocks are installed individually
- Block shower walls are easier to clean than most tile
- Opaque blocks transmit light
- A glass block wall reduces sound transmission
- Bathroom and shower warmth is contained within a block wall
- These blocks are hard to break – some are designed to withstand earthquakes
Disadvantages of a walk-in shower designed around these elements include:
- A block wall can cost more than tradition construction methods
- These blocks cannot be cut so developing the design first is critical rather than trying to adapt a new wall to an existing plan
- These are heavy walls compared to drywall or tile – individual blocks are heavy; a well-supported floor is required
- Glass block walls won’t support the weight of any structure
- Definitely not for DIY installation, doing it right requires a skilled professional
- Because they’re opaque these walls provide less privacy than an enclosed structure
Bathroom Remodel Pros Deliver
The ultimate success of any bathroom remodel begins with a solid plan and a team to make it reality.
Sims Exteriors & Remodeling is an experienced and knowledgeable source of remodeling ideas, trends and the latest in bathroom design serving Madison WI and all of greater Dane County.
Contact Sims Exteriors and Remodeling at 608-825-4500, or email us to begin planning a new walk-in shower featuring a unique glass block wall in your Madison WI home.