Who wouldn’t like a few shapely curves – whether it’s on your body or in a shower or partition wall in a home or business? Shape drives style. Style makes you feel good about yourself and your surroundings. If you’re remodeling a bathroom, kitchen, basement or a conference room creating a curved glass block wall can add a dramatic flair to any room.
With that being said – the questions surrounding what’s possible with rounded glass projects may seem daunting. Get the answers below to 7 frequently asked questions about designing a radius wall.
Question 1 – What shape options exist for curved block walls? – You can create graceful curves, a sharp 90 degree turn (in a 12″ space) or even a serpentine (S shaped) wall. Question 2 – What are the most popular uses of rounded walls? – Shower walls, partitions, bars, counters and conference room walls are the most common. Question 3 – What glass blocks are needed for rounded walls? – One way these walls can be built is with standard blocks (4″ x 8″, 6″ x 6″, 6″ x 8″ and 8″ x 8″ sizes) where you’ll make the masonry joint smaller on the inside of the wall (the recommended size is 1/8″) and larger on the outside (5/8″ is recommended). The other option is to use blocks that are specifically manufactured for curves. These units have a tapered shape (their outside face is 5 ¾” than their inside face is 4 ½”). Each of these blocks makes a 22 1/2 degree turn. The manufacturers Pittsburgh Corning and Mulia Inc call these units Arque and Variant respectively.
Question 4 – Are there fabrication and installation systems to make this project easier? – The best way to save money and improve quality (versus using the block by block installation method which requires a skilled mason contractor) is to use prefabricated wall assemblies. A vinyl track spacer system is used to add rigidity and allows for a modular installation. Question 5 – Do these walls need to be installed on curbs and/or anchored to an existing wall? – For standard shower enclosures using a preformed or site constructed base the block panels should be set on top of a curb. For level entry barrier free shower wet rooms you can set the blocks directly on the bathroom floor. For projects outside of the bath these walls are usually mortared to a hard surface (but don’t require a curb).
Anchoring the curved wall to at least one existing wall is preferred – but it is possible to do a free standing wall if support elements are added vertically through the block coursing (don’t do this type of installation without technical assistance). Question 6 – Can glass block colors, designs, patterns, tiles and textures be added?- Absolutely. Adding colored, frosted, etched or even decorative glass tiles can really dress up and personalize your project. Question 7 – How do I get this project installed? – If you’re using the block by block installation method you’ll need to find a skilled mason or glass block contractor. If you design the project to use a premade wall system it can be completed by a handy do it yourselfer or general contractor. Now that you’re equipped with the answers to these 7 questions you’re on your way to adding style, shape and function with a curved glass block shower or partition wall.