Most homeowners pay between $410 and $1,235 per glass block window to enjoy the practical and aesthetic benefits glass block windows provide. The national average cost to install glass block windows is $660. A prefabricated 14-inch by 24-inch ready-made glass block window can cost on average about $350, or glass blocks can be purchased individually for $6 to $25 per square of glass block.
Glass block windows are small, square-shaped blocks of thick, translucent glass stacked on top and beside one another to make one solid window. Light passes through them, but you cannot see through them, making them a great way to allow more natural light to flow into your home without compromising privacy. They provide security, are energy efficient, and add a unique decorative flare.
In this article:
- Average Costs
- Prefabricated vs. Custom Glass Block Window Costs
- Cost Estimator by Size
- Cost Estimator by Window Assembly Method
- Other Factors That Affect Cost
- Related Services
- Pro Cost vs. DIY Cost
- Cost by Location
Average Glass Block Window Installation Costs
|National Average Cost||$660|
|Typical Price Range||$410 – $1,235|
|Extreme Low-End Cost||$300|
|Extreme High-End Cost||$3,900|
The national average to install one glass block window is about $660. Cost is affected by many factors in addition to labor costs. These include whether the window is prefabricated or custom, window assembly method, size of the windows, number of blocks, glass material and style, and the location in your home.
A prefabricated 14-inch by 24-inch ready-made glass block window that costs about $350 for the window alone can cost a total of $700 with installation. A custom 48-inch by 48-inch installed window can total as much as $3,900.
A single, clear glass block can cost as little as $6 to $7 per square of glass block. A higher-end glass block with designs, colors, or irregular shapes can cost as much as $30 per square of glass block.
Choosing a prefabricated, unframed, mortared window keeps costs at the lower end. If you want blocks with unique shapes, patterns, and features, like ice or frosted glass blocks, you’ll end up paying closer to the higher end, as much as $25 to $30 per square of glass block.
Prefabricated vs. Custom Glass Block Window Costs
One of the advantages of glass block windows is their decorative versatility. You can buy a prefabricated window, which comes as one solid block and is ready to be installed, or you can purchase individual glass blocks for a custom window. These bricks are pieced together as the window is being built on your property.
Most glass blocks measure 8 square inches. They can cost as little as $5 per square of glass block and as much as $25 per square of glass block, depending on size, color, and patterns. A clear glass block costs an average of $10 per square of glass block.
Although it is rare, individual blocks can be ordered in other sizes, like 4 inches by 4 inches and 6 inches by 6 inches. Let your imagination run wild as you build custom windows with unique shapes, sizes, designs, and colors. A frosted glass block costs an average of $25 per square of glass block.
Prefabricated windows usually come in standard sizes to fit the average window size in a home. They are easier to install than a custom window and range from $300 to $1,500, including installation. For those looking for a more uniquely defined space, a custom window plus installation averages between $600 and $3,900.
Glass Block Window Cost Estimator by Size
Larger windows with more complicated and unique features cost more. The average 25-inch by 25-inch window ranges between $60 and $300 per window. A much larger 48-inch by 48-inch window ranges from $155 to $840 per window.
There is some considerable price overlap between these two windows, despite their difference in size. It is important to keep in mind that price is also affected by whether the blocks are pieced together by silicone, mortar, or vinyl, whether it is framed or unframed, and their location in the home.
|Window Size||Cost Range|
|25” x 25”||$60 – $300|
|31” x 31”||$65 – $350|
|36” x 36”||$85 – $475|
|48” x 48”||$155 – $840|
Glass Block Window Cost Estimator by Window Assembly Method
The three main methods for assembling or installing glass block windows are mortar, silicone, and vinyl. These represent how the individual glass blocks are held together.
Mortar is the most common method. The mortar is usually cement combined with other materials for flexibility.
Typical Price: $175 per window
With this method, the blocks are butted together with nothing in between them. This is great if you’re going for a seamless, all-glass look. But it is less secure and energy-efficient than the other options.
Typical Price: $200 per window
The vinyl assembly method uses vinyl spacers between the glass blocks. Vinyl is also called the Protect All window. It is the most costly, but it is the most difficult to break apart, adding to your level of security. It is also more energy-efficient than mortar and silicone.
Typical Price: $275 per window
Most glass block windows are unframed. Many are mortared into the concrete wall or block. But you can purchase a prefabricated glass block window with a vinyl window frame or have your installer make a custom vinyl-framed window.
Some vinyl-framed windows give you a functioning window, meaning they can be opened. The window swings in and out. An installed prefabricated vinyl-frame window costs between $30 to $80 per square foot. An installed custom vinyl-framed window is $60 to $160 per square foot.
Rebarred Assembly for Large Windows
A very large window would be installed by using a mortared and rebarred assembly method. This method is only for custom windows. The rebar gives extra durability and support. An installed mortared and rebarred glass block window runs between $80 to $200 per square foot.
Other Factors That Affect Cost
Many other factors affect the cost of glass block windows in addition to size, assembly method, and whether it is prefabricated or custom. Here are some other cost factors to keep in mind for your glass block window home improvement project.
- Location in Your Home
- Block Material
- Block Translucency
- Block Style
- New Window vs. Window Replacement
- Current Conditions
The average cost per hour to install a glass block window is about $50. Labor averages around $200 per window.
Labor costs can be affected by the same factors that affect the cost of the window, like window size, installation method, whether the window is prefabricated or custom, and the uniqueness of the individual glass blocks. Handymen may charge by the square foot or by the window. For example, labor for installing a prefabricated window can range between $15 to $30 per square foot.
Since prefabricated windows are made ready to be installed, the labor is less intensive and costly. Labor costs are higher for custom windows because of the complicated patterns and the work required to assemble the blocks.
A custom installation can be about $30 per square foot. Labor for a more complicated custom installation, like a bigger window with patterned blocks using a rebarred assembly method, could cost as much as $150 per square foot.
Location in Your Home
|Location||Prefabricated Cost Per Window||Custom Cost Per Window|
|Basement||$300 – $600||$600 – $1,200|
|Garage||$300 – $1,500||$600 – $3,000|
|Bathroom||$400 – $1,000||$800 – $2,000|
Glass blocks have been used as basement windows for years. But they are also a great way to add natural light while maintaining privacy, and they can add style to other areas of your home.
Installing a glass block basement window will cost less than installing a glass block window in the garage or bathroom. You’ll have to decide if you want a simpler and easier-to-install prefabricated glass block window, or if you want the higher costs of a more intricately-designed custom window.
Some glass block windows are made from acrylic. Acrylic blocks are lighter than glass blocks and easier to cut. They are also stronger. Acrylic blocks cost between $12 and $20 per square block.
On average, acrylic blocks are more costly than clear glass blocks. However, you may not have as many options for patterns and shapes with acrylic blocks as you have with glass blocks.
Glass bricks allow light to pass through while maintaining privacy by not allowing the windows to be seen through. You have options for how much light is allowed through, if any, by choosing the translucency level of the blocks. Privacy can be increased with the level of opacity. You can even choose colored blocks to suit your decorative palate.
|Block Translucency||Cost Per Block|
|Semi-Transparent / Translucent||$6 – $15|
|Frosted / Non-Transparent||$25|
|Colored||$16 – $32|
Different block patterns and styles allow you even more versatility to jazz up your home. If you are going for a unique look, some of these patterns may catch your attention.
Alpha Glass Blocks
A big circle in the middle gives the alpha glass block its signature look. Alpha blocks allow the maximum amount of light. They cost an average of $10 per block and range between $8 and $15 per block.
Wavy Glass Blocks
Like alpha glass blocks, wavy blocks allow the maximum amount of light. This pattern, however, distorts images and provides more privacy than standard clear blocks or alpha blocks. The average price is $7 per block. They can be found at as little as $6 per block and as high as $15 per block.
Ice Glass Blocks
Ice blocks have a textured pattern. They look like the ice on the ground on a cold winter day. The wavy, translucent design allows light to come in while still providing privacy. Their average price is $15 per block. Ice-style blocks can be as low as $6 per block and as high as $25 to $30 per block.
Diamond Glass Blocks
The surface of diamond blocks is covered with a repeated diamond pattern. Light passes through, but images are completely obscured, providing ample privacy. Diamond blocks are on average $12 per block.
Leathered Glass Blocks
Leathered glass blocks are rare. They are similar to frosted glass but less opaque. Leathered blocks cost between $10 and $20 per block.
Glass block windows do not provide ventilation. Some prefabricated windows have a vent pre-installed, but in most cases, you must request that a ventilation slot be added for an extra cost.
New Window vs. Window Replacement
Replacing a window or cutting a new hole for a window affects labor intensity and equipment, and therefore, cost. A replacement window can range on average between $410 to $1,235, while cutting a new hole can start at around $3,000.
Conditions of the Surrounding Wall
Being as prepared as possible will reduce any unexpected financial headaches. Damages to areas surrounding the windows, like cracks in the wall, can increase material, equipment, and labor costs. Be sure to consider the area’s current conditions and any repair work that may be needed after the new glass block window is installed when thinking about your budget for this project.
While you’re thinking about the cost of glass block windows, you should also consider the cost of these related services, including alternative window styles.
Removing Glass Block Windows
If you are replacing an existing window, you have a couple of options. You can either remove and dispose of the old window completely, or keep and reuse the blocks.
Reusing blocks can save money on your new window, depending on the quality of the blocks and how many are reusable, but it takes more time to remove the window. Removing the entire window costs $200 to $400.
If you want to keep the blocks, removal costs between $500 to $1,000 per window. It may be worth the added cost if only a few blocks are broken and need to be replaced. You could also reuse the blocks somewhere else in your home.
Removing Standard Windows
You may be swapping out a standard window for the privacy and elegant look of a glass block window. Most standard windows cost between $100 and $300 per window to remove. A window that is very big or that has custom features can cost more to remove.
Maintaining Glass Block Windows
One of the advantages of glass block windows is that they are sealed to keep out moisture when installed properly. To keep them waterproof, have them resealed about once every five years.
Cost of Glass Block Windows vs. Other Window Types
Whether you are installing new windows or replacing an existing one, you have a lot of choices. You can even mix and match. Think about the window’s purpose, which can be affected by the location in your home.
Some other factors that may impact your selection decision are how often the window will be opened, if at all, what type of windows will maintain your home’s architectural style, ease of installation, and cost. You can have different window styles, like double-hung and casement windows, and still create a cohesive look by using similar materials and designs for both types of windows.
The table below will help you compare prices by window type.
|Window Type||Typical Price Range|
|Glass block window||$410 – $1,235|
|Arched window||$345 – $925|
|Awning window||$295 – $655|
|Bay window||$985 – $2,450|
|Bow window||$1,300 – $3,380|
|Casement window||$155 – $970|
|Circle window||$250 – $825|
|Double-hung window||$250 – $975|
|Folding window||$835 – $2,200|
|Garden window||$1,050 – $4,000|
|Hopper window||$200 – $665|
|Jalousie window||$165 – $400|
|Picture window||$200 – $775|
|Single-hung window||$115 – $410|
|Skylight window||$800 – $2,200|
|Sliding window||$180 – $870|
|Storm window||$125 – $415|
|Tilt-out window||$350 – $1,500|
|Transom window||$160 – $365|
|Single-pane window||$160 – $390|
|Double-pane window||$425 – $950|
|Triple-pane window||$500 – $1,865|
|Custom window||$300 – $3,000|
|Egress window||$2,445 – $5,265|
Pro Cost vs. DIY Cost
You can tackle this project yourself if you’re installing a prefabricated glass block window, but you will need basic carpentry and masonry skills. If you’re installing custom windows, it is best to leave the job to a professional glass block window installer.
Cost and equipment will vary depending on whether you are installing a window in a cement block, a wood frame opening, or a vinyl frame.
The DIY cost for tools and supplies to install a glass block window in your basement typically averages $237 per window if you rent a circular saw. At an average of $24 per day to rent a circular saw, buying one may be your best option if you have multiple projects where a saw is needed, or you are installing multiple windows that will take you a few days to complete. You can purchase a circular saw for as little as $45 – $60.
|DIY Equipment||Average Cost|
|Renting a circular saw||$24 / day|
|Buying a circular saw||$58 – $185|
|Total DIY Cost with renting a circular saw||$237|
|Total DIY Cost with buying a circular saw||$295 – $422|
Labor averages about $200 per window, with the size of the window factoring into the price. For example, a 14-inch by 24-inch window can cost an average of $350 for installation. When deciding whether it is worth it to do it yourself, contact your local professionals to get a list of quotes for your specific project.
Even if you find you can do it for less, keep in mind that you will need basic carpentry and masonry skills. And if you are installing a large window, it may be heavy and affect your ability to handle installation on your own. Also keep in mind that you may do more damage to the surrounding walls than a professional, and those repairs will increase your expenses.
Cost of Glass Block Windows by Location
The cost of glass block windows will differ depending on where you live. For example, they cost more to install in Austin and Minneapolis than in Indianapolis and Chicago. Availability and demand of supplies and laborers in the area also impact costs. It may cost more to install glass block windows in a large metropolitan area than in a rural area.
The best way to get an accurate price estimate is to reach out to professional window installers in your area who know local labor and material rates. We recommend getting quotes from a few different businesses to compare.
FAQ About Glass Block Windows
Glass block windows generally cost more. For example, a single-hung window, which opens from the bottom, typically ranges from $115 to $410. A double-hung window, which can be opened from the top of the window and bottom, costs between $195 to $635. Although a glass block window typically costs between $410 and $1,235, the advantages it offers of energy efficiency, privacy, and colors and patterns can make this type of window worth it.
The moving parts of a window can cause the seal to break easily. Glass block windows have no moving parts, so when installed and sealed correctly, they have minimal, if any, air leaks. This makes them more energy efficient. They are also waterproof.
Yes. You may want to contact an experienced handyman, as the process to remove the individual broken glass brick requires breaking it further to remove it.
DIY or Hire a Pro to Install a Glass Block Window?
If you’re wondering if it’s worth it to install glass block windows instead of traditional glass pane windows, there are many advantages. Adding glass block windows to your home can help you enjoy the benefits of sunshine while maintaining privacy. They are energy efficient, provide security, and add elegance and uniqueness.
While you can install prefabricated windows yourself, it is best to go with someone who has the necessary carpentry and masonry skills. And if you are going for the more sophisticated custom look, you will definitely need to find a professional. To make sure your windows are assembled and installed properly, which is a key factor in ensuring your windows keep out moisture, find an expert near you.
Note: WindowGnome may get a referral fee for matching you with contractors in your area.