Can a Glass Block Wall be Load Bearing?
Glass block walls can add a sense of elegance to any home or property. Also, what surprises many people is how strong these walls are.
Glass blocks allow light to shine into a room, and provide privacy, making for a win-win scenario. However, construction with glass block walls can be somewhat tricky. After all, these blocks are transparent, which means that even small mistakes can be seen. Keep reading to learn more about glass block walls, common construction mistakes, and if they can be used as a load bearing wall.
To Support, or Not to Support – That Is the Question
It's important to note that glass block walls are strong. While this is true, they are not designed to hold large amounts of weight. When considering the question – can a glass block wall be load bearing – the answer is a resounding “no.” While it may take some time, eventually, the blocks will start to crack and completely break. This can result in serious and expensive property damage and even create a huge safety hazard. To avoid this, glass blocks should never be used for load bearing walls – ever.
It is also important to note that when fully assembled, glass block walls are very heavy. Be sure to check the overall integrity of the floor beneath the wall’s opening. If necessary, install a structural support board between the base row of blocks and the add or floor supports beneath the floor. If the flooring starts to shift, collapse, or warp, this could result in a huge repair bill – all from mistakes that could have been avoided. Not to mention, there is a serious risk of injuries.
It's smart to call the professional to find out if a glass block wall should or can be used in a specific location. This is the only way to know for sure if the block wall will be able to stand up to the test of time.
Improper Construction Considerations
The process to lay glass blocks is similar to laying bricks. This is a specialized skill that takes years to learn and master. If someone has never done this type of work in the past, they should not try it when creating a glass block wall. Instead, contact a professional with experience handling this type of work.
If the glass blocks are not placed properly, or if they are not completely sealed, leaks may occur, which can cause damage to the blocks. It may wind up in the property owner having to have the block wall repaired or completely re-done. All this can be avoided by ensuring that a professional handle the installation. They know what to do, and how to do it – this knowledge is going to pay off in the long run.
Installing Glass Block Walls
There is no question that glass block walls are an appealing and beautiful feature for any home or property. However, if you want to ensure that no issues arise, be sure to keep the information here in mind. Doing so will pay off and ensure the desired results are achieved.