Glass blocks are an affordable alternative for those who want to add architectural interest or natural light without sacrificing privacy.

Along with 1980s neon manicures and vintage ’90s blazers, glass blocks are returning thanks to a new fan base on social media. One Instagram reel showcasing several types of retro building material has racked up more than five million views since March. It features cross-hatched blocks, frosted blocks and fluted blocks.

Key takeaways:

  • Glass blocks are an affordable alternative for those who want to add architectural interest or natural light without sacrificing privacy. They’re even known for enhancing fire safety.
  • Glass blocks can be designed to accommodate various tastes. Architects can choose from numerous designs and even colored blocks. One project featured glass blocks with circular glass bulbs placed within.
  • Glass blocks typically cost $30 to $40 per square foot. A traditional glass wall could run closer to $100 per square foot.

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