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Replace a Window with Glass Blocks

  • Transcript

    LESLIE: Elmer in Nebraska, you’ve got The Money Pit. How can we help?

    ELMER: Yes, I want to install a tub surround in a bathroom that has no shower. There’s a regular two-sash up and down window that needs to be removed. What’s the procedure?

    TOM: Well, why do you want to remove the window? Have you considered putting the tub surround around the window, trimming it out and then adding a waterproof shower curtain over the window?

    ELMER: No, I’d rather not do it that way. No.

    TOM: You want to eliminate the window.

    ELMER: Except I’d like a row of glass brick across the top.

    TOM: And the house is wood framed?

    ELMER: No, it’s brick.

    TOM: The whole house is brick. Well, it’s easier to remove a window and fill in the space than it is to cut a hole and stick one in there. I’ll tell you that.

    ELMER: Yeah.

    TOM: The trick is going to be to have it look good on the outside. Because you’re always going to see that seamed area. But essentially, what you do is disassemble the window, you remove the sashes then you remove the side jambs. A handy tool to use for this is called a saws awl (ph). This allows you to dig in there and cut the jambs into pieces and pull it out. And then, basically, what you’re going to do as the first priority is to figure out what size glass block is going to be able to fit in there and mortar in the glass blocks, which is a particularly tricky job. I will say that some masons have a lot of difficulty with glass blocks but if you can find someone to do that for you that’s experienced, that would be helpful. And then you can rebrick up on the outside, you can frame it on the inside and then you can cover that with a piece of drywall or a piece of Dens Armor, which is a paperless drywall, and then you can put your surround over that. It’ll be invisible from the inside but you’re still going to see the brick repair on the outside.

    ELMER: (inaudible) in the backyard.

    TOM: Well, then who cares? Right? (Leslie chuckles)

    ELMER: Yep.

    TOM: The heck with the neighbors. (chuckling)

    ELMER: Yep.

    TOM: Elmer, thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.

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