Benefits of Glass Block Shower Walls & Shower Pans
Style and looks. Glass block showers have been described as cool, clean, and contemporary.
Easy cleaning. Multiple patterns make it hard to see spotting on the glass block's surface. These shower blocks can be cleaned with soap and water or window cleaners.
Glass block walk-in showers eliminate the need for a door. This will save you money for a shower door.
Durability and eco-friendliness. Glass block prefabricated shower panels are put together with a horizontal and vertical vinyl stacking system and then field grouted with a small 1/8" grout joint. They have excellent durability and are a sustainable product.
Increased privacy. Obscure wave and iceberg patterns allow light transmission and obscure views. With the 'wave' pattern you have a wide range of design options including corners for an 'L-Shaped' glass block walls or a curved blocks for a walk in shower
Design flexibility. Check out the many decorative glass block designs, colors, and frosted glass blocks. Also combine different sized glass blocks to create a 'stained glass' style look with your durable glass block wall.
Purchasing from a company you can trust. Innovate Building Solutions is accredited by the Better Business Bureau and has won Consumers' Choice Award and Angie's List Awards for service. Check out our reviews in Google. See how Innovate is rated by your friends and neighbors.
Saving you money (and aggravation) through a comprehensive glass block shower wall fabrication, design, supply (and installation in selective markets). Starting with your design ideas and the size of your bathroom and shower Innovate can help reduce your costs in these 5 ways.
- Hire a skilled "one-stop shop." Although some masons and tile setters dabble in glass block shower wall installations, a specialty nationwide wholesaler or contractor who can coordinate and execute your project from beginning to end is best. Innovate can help you with your initial design and layout. Innovate can prefabricate and supply a solid surface shower pan or a ready for tile base which is made to the specifications of your wall sections. Innovate will prefabricate and install (in selected markets) these glass block shower wall sections. Innovate can also supply waterproof PVC or laminate shower wall panels to go with the glass block walls.
- Stack straight, right-angled or curved prefab glass block wall sections. Premade straight and curved glass block walls are easier and less costly to build and install than hiring a mason (if you can find one) to put the wall up block by block. The 'Protect All Vinyl Stacking Spacer System' reduces installation times and makes the project doable for a DIY'er or professional contractor who has never done it before.
- Use thinner series glass blocks. Using 3 1/8" thickness glass blocks will not only save you money, but make the wall simpler (and lighter) to install . These thinner blocks come in finished ends, curves and 90 degree angles.
- Design a walk-in glass block shower without a door - Eliminate the cost of the door & get rids of the pain of cleaning the door frame, once and for all. .
- Purchase all the accessories you need from one place - Get a standard or custom shower pan designed around your glass blocks. Innovate can help with stylish shower wall panels, recessed niches, a corner seat, grout, and glass block bathroom window . Innovate can help design, supply, and install (in our regional markets) so that everything works together seamlessly. And if you're not in our regional market we can guide you (or your contractors) through the details for a successful project.
Improve function by adding a solid surface shower pan, stylish shower wall panels or shower accessories. With our glass block shower kits you can not only get a custom stone shower pan (or ready for tile base) with your prefabricated glass block wall sections, but also soap and shampoo niches, bench or corner seats and shower wall panels which get rid of tile joints once and forever.
Free design and technical installation assistance. Most people ar installing their first glass block shower. They don't know how to use the curved blocks, or how large to make the shower opening or the height of a step up shower curb for the block wall. Let an Innovate Design Specialist help you through the details (and the frustrations) of doing this project for the first time.
Shipping to your location. We provide nationwide shipping for glass block shower kits and pre-fabricated wall sections. We ship anywhere in the United States, from Washington to Texas to New York to Florida.
- Glass Block Designs
Glass Block Walk In Shower Designs - Product Options
You need a logical process for a successful glass block shower design and kit to work. Follow these 5 steps:
- Step 1 – Design and lay out your glass block wall
- Step 2 – Choose the right glass block series for your budget and design.
- Step 3 – Choose your glass block shower pan (solid surface or ready for tile)
- Step 4 – Use prefabricated glass block wall sections for an installation as simple as 'Lego-blocks.'
- Step 5 – Follow the installation steps
Step 1 – Design And Lay Out Your Glass Block Wall
Creating a glass block shower begins with a design which will work for you and your family – now and into the future. Innovate can design it for you - without any cost to you. Here's some key glass block shower design considerations:
- How much space is availale?
- Do you want a walk in shower or one with a shower door?
- Will the shower be in the corner of the room (and need two glass block walls) or will it be an alcove shower (with one wall in the front?)
- What type of shower base do you want (a stone solid surface or a waterproof ready for tile pan)? Do you want keep your existing drain in the same place? Do you want a round, square or linear drain?
- Do you want to use thinner glass blocks (which cost less, are lighter to install and have more options for shapes)?
- Would you like to incorporate grout free shower wall panels to speed the installation process and reduce your ongoing shower wall surround maintenance?
If you need design help (and almost everyone does) send your sketch (and yes, hand drawn and scribbled on notebook paper is fine). An Innovate Glass Block Shower Specialist is trained to guide you through the process. We can do the glass block layout for you, or send you layout templates (like you see below) so you can do your own.
Step 2 - Choose the right glass blocks for your shower
There are 3 series of glass blocks available:
- Thinner 3 1/8” American sized glass blocks. They're most cost effective, weigh less and provide the most options for different shaped walls.
- Design patterned or colored glass blocks in metric sizes. Yes, they do cost more, but they're also fun.
- Frosted or etched glass block wall designs in American or Metric sizes. These custom walls are one-of-a-kind.
Thinner 3 1/8” Glass Block Series for Shower WallsNew Item!
(Series 1) Thinner Glass Block Series in American Sizes for Shower Walls
Consider using 3 1/8" thickness blocks to reduce costs and add design options not available in the 4" thick units. Some of the advantages of these blocks include:
- More cost effective than 'old-series' 4" thick blocks. Lower priced than metric designer blocks (in series 2).
- Lighter weight – easier to maneuver and install.
- Increased design options – available in traditional "Wave" pattern (for any shape of wall) and the higher privacy "Iceberg" pattern (which only works in straight walls).
- Provide more room inside the shower – An important factor for tub to glass block shower conversion is to maximize the inside space. Thinner glass blocks accomplish this goal. .
- 'Protect All Vinyl Stacking' prefabricated wall systems available to reduce installation time and improve finished quality. Anyone can install these walls.
- Blocks are available in Wave and Clear (on a limited basis) patterns in finished ends, rounded blocks for curves (called "Radial" blocks for 22 1/2 degree angles), and 90 degree angle glass blocks (called "Veer" blocks).
(Series 2) Metric Series Designer Patterned and Color Glass Blocks for Shower Walls
These international metric series glass blocks offer the widest range of patterns and colors. While they will be more expensive than the American series, they offer exciting design possibilities.
- Fun colored glass blocks for a dramatic design.
- Designer series glass blocks to create glass block shower walls with themes. Consider modern art styles, beach themes and contemporary inspired linear angle and circular designs. .
- Save installation time with the Protect All Vinyl Stacking System. Shower pans made for the glass block sections.
- Finished end blocks (in clear and a few color designs) provide a smooth outside edge for your glass block walls.
(Series 3) Frosted & Etched Glass Blocks (in American Or Metric Sizes)
Make your shower unique with frosted or a one of a kind laser etched glass block mural. Innovate Building Solutions can customize with you. Why not make a design as distincitve as you?
(Note: Find Step 3 in 'Choose the right glass block shower base' in the next tab)
- Shower Pans
Step 3 - Choose the right glass block shower base
Since the shower pan is the “foundation” of your glass block shower – the selection of the right system is critical. Learn below advantages and disadvantages of solid surface and ready for tile shower bases (the 2 preferred shower pan options for a glass block wall project).
Ready For Tile Glass Block Shower Base
100% Waterproof Expanded Polystyrene Glass Block Walk-In Shower Pan
The ready for tile shower base is available in standard and custom sizes and is made of 100% waterproof expanded polystyrene. It has no seams. It's light and quick to install.
- 100% waterproof polystyrene walk-in shower base eliminates the potential for water leaks and growth of mold and mildew.
- Light, yet sturdy construction - This 'closed cell' shower pan isn't heavy, yet can withstand the weight of a truck rolling over it!
- Reduced installation time and lower labor costs. Here's how the installation process works.
- Trowel out common modified-latex thinset onto your subfloor or floor backer system.
- Run a bead of silicone around the drain body.
- Install the pre-designed and pre-slopped pan.
- Your choice of drain location saves you from reworking your plumbing to accommodate a pre-determined drain hole.
- Customize the base for walk-in and roll-in showers. Design to suit your needs. Custom bases can be manufactured to any shower size or shape (with straight, rounded, or 90 degree 'L-shaped' walls). Choose a design with a curb or a barrier free roll in entry.
- Seamless construction enhances waterproofing. Install your wall board inside the flange of the base to eliminate leakage.
- Accessory System - Recessed soap dishes, shampoo caddies, shower and bench seats available .
- Use a standard square, round or linear drain in your best location.
- You'll have the cost (and labor) to add tile to the top of the shower pan.
- Curved glass block designs require an additional 'curb cap' made of solid surface before the glass block is placed on the shower curb.
Solid Surface Glass Block Shower Base
Solid surface glass block shower bases (which are also called cultured granite shower pans) are made by combining aluminum trihydrate crystals with specially formulated resins which add flexibility and strength. The result is a durable, grout free shower base with a wide variety of color, shape and finish options.
Custom solid surface glass block bases can be built around any design – curved, straight, 90 degree 'L-shaped' or even serpentine.Whether you want to create a walk in shower or design with a curve - a solid surface base can be created for you.
Different curb options are available including low profile (1 1/2" high), a built in ramp for an accessible handicap shower design or mid-height (2 3/4" high) or a full height curb (4 1/4" high)
All bases are presloped towards the drain and are a single unit for a worry free easy installation.
100% waterproof design eliminates the worry of water leaks or mold or mildew.
Lifetime guarantee for your peace of mind.
Grout free solid surface shower wall panels, accessories and trim moldings are available to compliment your base and prefabricated glass block wall.
Ready to install, no finishing material is needed at the top of the base. This saves money and the cleaning aggravation of a tile surface.
Non-slip top surface is safe for grandkids or grandparents.
No curb caps are needed for serpentine or curved glass block wall designs.
Solid surface bases are heavier than ready for tile shower pans.
They're more expensive than 'site-built' tile shower floors.
(Note: Find Steps 4 & 5 About 'Prefabrication and Installation Systems' in the next tab)
Step 4 - Using the 'Protect-All' Glass Block Prefabricated Wall System
Whether you're a professional contractor or DIY’er Innovate's “Protect All” vinyl stacking prefabricated glass block shower wall sections provides these benefits:
- Reduced installation time - the sections 'stack together' like Lego-blocks
- Even a “first-timer” DIY'er can install a curved walk in glass block shower wall
- Cuts installation costs and labor costs
- Improved finished quality with block sections which are pre-made to the highest standards
- Reduce the grout joint sizes to 1/8” vs. 1/4" (or larger) vs. site-built projects put up by a mason.
- Sturdier finished walls which are anchored every 16-24".
- Eliminate rust between the blocks since the vinyl spacers provide the reinforcement needed both vertically and horizontally through the wall.
Check out our installation videos in the 'Video' tab above.
Step 5 - Follow the Glass Block Shower Wall Installation Steps
The best way to learn about this installation is to watch the 3 shower wall and base installation videos in the last tab in this section. Included below you’ll find images of key steps in the process.
Glass Block Shower Installation Details
Frequently Asked Questions
1.) When should I use a doorless glass block walk in shower vs. one with a door?
Glass block showers with doors work better in smaller areas or where you want to create a closed space, such as in a steam room. Walk-in glass block showers are chosen because they're simpler to clean (there's no door), have a contemporary look and work well for barrier free or roll in designs.
2.) What type of shower pan is best for my glass block shower? Can these shower pans be made any size, shape and with a custom drain location?
The two best shower pans for glass block walls are solid surface and ready for tile options. Their flexibility allows them to be made any size, or shaped for curved or right-angle walls. You can choose your drain location to eliminate the expense of moving your drain - which is especially important to save cost when you have a concrete floor.
3.) What sizes, shapes, and colors of glass blocks are available?
Innovate offers various American and Metric sized glass blocks. They come in shapes (to make curves and angles and finished rounded edges). They're available in multiple patterns. Frosted and colored glass blocks can personalize your design.
4.) How tall should I make my glass block shower? Does it need to go to the ceiling?
First measure your ceiling height. Assuming you've got a standard 8' (96") ceiling the recommended glass block wall height is 80" high (or 10 blocks high). Since this wall will be installed on the curb of your shower pan (and this curb is between 1 1/2" to 4" high), the finished height of your wall will be 82" to 84" (equal to where the shower head is generally set). Note - it is not recommended (or required to go to the ceiling). Leaving open space will allow humidity to escape from the shower.
5.) When should I have my walls built block by block by a mason and when should I use a prefabricated glass block shower wall panel kit?
The prefabricated glass block shower kit system is preferred in the majority of the installations. It'll save you money vs. site built. It will create a better qualtiy finished look. It can be done by a DIY'er or contractor who hasn't installed a glass block shower before. The time to use a mason contractor (assuming you can find one who is willing - and experienced in - glass block installations) is when you have a graceful radius wall which can't be done using the prefabricated wall method.
6.) What's the best wall material to use for the interior shower wall surrounds? Should the glass block walls be installed before (or after) the shower surround system is put up?
The common choices of shower wall surrounds are tile, marble and grout free walls like laminate wall panels and solid surface shower surrounds. The best of these materials depends on your budget and desire (or lack of desire) to maintain grout joints. In all cases it's best to install the shower surround walls BEFORE the glass block wall. You'll get a more waterproof installation.
7.) How can I add style to my glass block wall designs?
Using color glass blocks, glass block etched designs or 'frosting' the outside of the wall (the bathroom side) is the best way to add style.
8.) How do I finish the end of a glass block wall?
The end can be finished with 8" tall "finished-end" blocks (which are rounded - or bullnosed on one end), double-end blocks (which are finished on two ends with in an 8" x 8" size), or glass style caps (which can be used on various sized blocks).
9.) How do I finish the top of the curb in a ready-for-tile glass block shower pan? Do I always need a curb cap for a shower pan for a glass block wall?
The curb for a ready for tile shower pan is finished with cultured marble, ceramic tile, real marble or granite. A solid surface shower pan is fully ready to install and does not need a curb cap.
Glass Block Shower Design Ideas
- Visit Our YouTube Channel »
Glass Block Shower Videos
To view all of the videos in this playlist, click the list icon at the top left of the player and select the video(s) you are most interested in.
Glass Block Shower & Walk-In Design Kits
A glass block shower provides a contemporary look and cleaning a breeze. Learn how Innovate Building Solutions offers a one-stop solution with a broad line of prefabricated glass block shower kits. These kits include premade glass block shower panels (using the Protect All Prefabricated Wall Panel System), solid surface and ready for tile shower pans, and grout free shower wall panels.
With Innovate's glass block shower kits you'll take your bathroom remodel to the next level - and simplify your installation and design details. You (or your contractor) won't be forced to 'figure this project out on the fly' and hope you got it right. If you're looking for glass block walk in shower kits and ideas - you've come to the right place.