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How Much Do Glass Blocks or Tiles Cost?

Last Updated: January 13, 2022

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Glass, one of the hottest bathroom design trends, can be used to make everything from sinks and countertops to backsplashes and shower enclosures. If you're looking to jump on the glass bandwagon, but not with both feet, consider adding glass tiles or blocks, which add light and visual interest to a room that, in many cases, could sorely use it.

Comparing Glass Blocks and Glass Tiles #

While glass can be formed into both blocks and tiles, the two are quite different. Read on to learn more about each, including popular uses.

Glass Tiles #

Glass tiles are available in a huge variety of shapes, sizes, colors, and textures, far too many to name here. Some of the more basic options are clear glass tiles (which take their color from the backing material they're mounted on), frosted glass (more opaque than clear glass), bubble glass (made with tiny trapped air bubbles), and crystal glass (a flashier glass that resembles jewels). Specific types of glass tile include smalti tile (aka Byzantine tile, these units are small, opaque, colored, and textured), sintered tile (very durable, scratch resistant, tiles made from powdered glass), and cast tiles (different glass is molded together to create multiple layers and colors).

Aside from traditional glass tile offerings, manufacturers are continuing to add new products, such as glass embedded with wire mesh and other materials. As the trend towards glass in the bathroom continues, homeowners can expect an even greater selection of styles.

When it comes to installing glass tiles, there are a few areas of the bathroom that are appropriate:

  • Backsplash
  • Shower stall wall
  • Tub wall
  • Featured wall
  • Flooring (although make sure you choose a texture that provides some traction)

Glass Blocks #

Glass blocks allow light to pass through while still providing privacy. Like glass tiles, they're available in numerous sizes, shapes, textures, and finishes. It's useful to think of them as glass bricks, as they are laid in a similar fashion and also used to build walls. In the bathroom, that might mean the walls of a glass shower enclosure or a half-wall that serves as a partition/room divider. Glass blocks can also be used to make bathroom windows. Alter the backlighting to affect a different mood (such as Christmas lights during the holidays).

Benefits of Glass #

Whether you choose glass bricks or tiles (or both), glass is a great building material for the bathroom for a number of reasons, including:

  • Product selection
  • Stain and mildew resistance
  • Easy to clean
  • Recyclable (and, in many cases, glass tile and blocks are made from 100% recycled materials)
  • Fashionable
  • Durable (despite being made from glass, durability is comparable to ceramic tile)

Glass Block and Tile Costs #

  • Glass tile costs can vary significantly depending on the materials selected and where they're installed.

  • Prices start as low as $2 to $5 per square foot for basic glass tile, but can run as high as $20 or more per square foot for more decorative designs.

  • Glass tile installed on vertical surfaces (i.e. backsplashes, shower stalls) typically costs $10 to $30 per square foot. Installing glass tile flooring costs $2.50 to $5.00 per square foot.

  • Assuming you pay $10/sq. ft. for materials installed at $20/sq. ft. on 50 sq. feet of vertical wall, that's a total estimated cost of $1,500.

  • Hiring a pro to build a 4 foot x 6 foot glass block wall (for use in a shower or as a room divider) might cost $2,000 to $3,000.

  • A glass block bathroom window costs $400 to $500, including labor and materials.

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