6 Best Alternatives to Glass Block Windows

When it comes to choosing your bathroom windows, or windows for any other area in your home, there are quite a few appealing options. However, it can be hard to decide on the best option, especially if you’re not familiar with all the possible solutions.

While glass block windows seem to be one of the most common options for bathroom windows, many people do not find them aesthetically pleasing, and it can be hard to fit them into your interior design.

That being said, in this guide, we will talk about the best alternatives to glass block windows if you’re not too fond of the glass block aesthetic.

The best alternatives to glass block windows 

While glass block windows can be a great choice in many cases, there are also alternatives available for those who want to consider all of their options. 

1. Wooden windows

In case you’d like to stick with the antique, but more rustic style, wooden windows can be an excellent replacement for glass block windows.

They’re extremely easy to adapt to your house’s interior or exterior, and the best thing about them is that you can customize them yourself, using different colors, prints, and textures.

Another advantage of wooden windows is that they’re also environmentally friendly, and when it comes to trends, it is safe to say they’ll never go out of style.

When it comes to disadvantages, the biggest one seems to be maintenance cost and durability. As opposed to glass block windows, wooden windows can easily get damaged, especially by external factors such as sun exposure. 

Other than that, wooden windows are a traditional, classic solution, but they’re not the best choice for areas with high humidity, such as the bathroom

2. Fiberglass windows

Fiberglass windows are yet another versatile, convenient option, as they offer many design options. You can make them look more chic or traditional, depending on your house design.

In addition to being low-maintenance, fiberglass windows are quite durable and high-quality, and definitely a great replacement for glass block windows when it comes to overall longevity.

An important advantage of fiberglass over glass blocks is that they’re much easier to install, so you may not even need professional help. They also don’t require as much maintenance.

As you may already know, fiberglass is an excellent insulation option, so you can expect these windows to keep your house cool in the summer months and warm in the winter.

A downside of this glass block window alternative is that it is more expensive but still not as durable as glass.

3. Vinyl windows

Vinyl windows have got to be one of the most popular, versatile options out there. While they aren’t the best alternative to glass block windows when it comes to overall aesthetics, vinyl windows are extremely affordable and easy to maintain.

They’re also long-lasting and weather-resistant, as they can withstand both high and low temperatures.

Vinyl is also known to be a pretty good insulator, so you can expect these windows to keep the area warm in winter and cool in summer.

As durable as they are, vinyl windows are no match to glass block windows, as they can crack, fade, and even warp over time. Also, it can be quite hard to get them perfectly clean as the dust particles get trapped in all their nooks and crannies. 

4. Aluminum windows

Aluminum windows will appeal to those of you who prefer that modern, industrial style over a more classic, artistic aesthetic that glass block offers.

Aluminum windows are generally quite durable, long-lasting, and suitable both for buildings and residential applications.

When it comes to maintenance, aluminum windows are a very convenient choice as they don’t require any special care or replacement over the years.

However, keep in mind that aluminum is a great conductor of both heat and cold, which means that it could make your house really hot in the summertime and cold in the winter.

Another downside of aluminum as a window material is that it promotes condensation, which doesn’t make it the best choice for humid areas of your home. Finally, aluminum windows tend to be more on the expensive side. 

5. Acrylic windows

Acrylic windows are very clean-looking and quite “neutral” when it comes to the overall style, so it is easy to implement them in any part of your house as far as the design is concerned.

They’re very durable and sturdy, as they’re made from high-quality plastic that is 16 times stronger than glass, which is an important factor to consider when it comes to high-traffic areas and overall safety.

Acrylic windows also come in a wide range of styles and colors, making it quite easy for you to adapt them to your overall house aesthetic.

They’re extremely easy to install, lightweight, and generally quite easy to maintain. Acrylic windows also represent a great alternative to glass block windows, as they provide a much higher level of insulation

The only disadvantage of this option is that acrylic can get scratched easily as opposed to glass, and it is also not the best solution for cold climates. 

6. Thermal pane windows

Lastly, thermal pane windows are a great alternative to glass block windows if insulation is your main concern and you want your windows to be extremely energy efficient.

Thermal pane windows are specifically designed windows that consist of two or three layers of glass, and a layer of special insulating gas in between each of these glass layers.

Also, these windows are coated with metallic oxide, which is a component that makes them even more energy-efficient, as it reduces the overall energy consumption when it comes to heating or cooling. ‘

Installing thermal pane windows has been found to lower cooling and heating costs by up to 30%, which is something that cannot be said for glass block windows or other alternatives we’ve mentioned.

However, keep in mind that thermal pane windows tend to be a pricier alternative due to their special design. 

Pros and cons of glass block windows

Before we get into the best alternatives to glass block windows for your bathroom design, let’s talk a bit about the pros and cons of glass blocks so you can have all the facts before you make your final decision.

These windows consist of thick blocks of glass that represent a great choice for more private areas of your home. Natural light can still come into the room, but it is impossible to see through glass block windows.

This is precisely why glass block windows are a common choice for bathroom windows, as installing regular glass windows in your bathroom would also require blinds or curtains to achieve a certain level of privacy.

Instead of a single glass block window, these windows contain multiple glass blocks creating a very antique, mosaic-like vibe.

While they can be installed pretty much anywhere, glass blocks are a frequent choice for basement windows, bathroom windows, or your garage windows (and any other kind of exterior window).

Due to their specific aesthetic, many people choose glass block windows for a partition walls or other statement pieces in their home.

As opposed to traditional window panes, glass blocks add an artistic, art deco touch to your overall house interior or exterior, depending on their placement.

As opposed to a traditional window, glass block windows have a higher energy efficiency rating, since many models have the ability to significantly decrease heat loss during winter months.

Another advantage of choosing these windows in darker areas of your home is the fact that they let in a lot of light, which may result in reduced energy costs since you won’t be using artificial lighting as much.

It is also possible to vent your glass block windows, which is a great solution for cooling and could also improve the overall energy efficiency.

Glass blocks are generally a very safe, sturdy choice for first-floor windows, especially in basements. Since they’re made of masonry, they’re quite durable and almost impossible to breach.

They are often used as an additional security element when it comes to protecting your basement against possible flood damage, especially if floods are common in your area.

When it comes to the biggest disadvantages of this option, you’ll see that glass block windows are a bit more expensive than regular glass windows.

Also, maintaining these windows tends to be a bit pricier, as they require resealing every few years to offer maximum energy efficiency. 

As far as glass block installation is concerned, it is generally a more complex task than installing regular solid pane windows. It is advised to hire an experienced professional for this task, as the window needs to be pre-assembled and installed into a pre-cut frame.

How to choose the best alternative to glass block windows

Now that you’re familiar with the best alternatives to glass block windows, it will be much easier to decide on the best option for you, depending on what factors you prioritize in your decision-making process.

Wooden windows are the most classic, traditional option if you’re looking to stay within that category, while you’ll get a more chic, industrial type of design with vinyl and aluminum windows.

Fiberglass windows are pretty versatile and easy to implement into any style, while also being extremely easy to install. Acrylic windows, on the other hand, offer great durability and easy maintenance at a reasonable price.

Finally, if you want to prioritize energy efficiency and insulation, you will probably gravitate towards thermal pane windows, which can be quite expensive but are worth the investment.

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