Glass block windows, some love them, and others, not so much. While your realtor friend may like glass-block windows, many home decorators and architects have come to an agreement glass-blockless block windows are outdated and unnecessary.
Here, in this feature, we will provide you with some alternatives to glass block windows.
1. Fiberglass Windows
We are starting with a glass block window that is, unfortunately, on the higher price side of window options; however, their higher value is also representative of the fiberglass window’s higher quality. It may please you to also know that they are easy to install as well, which means you probably will not have to hire a professional to install the fiberglass windows. Not only should you have no issues installing the windows but you can also make them your own with many different design options.
With fiberglass windows and depending on the look/style you are going for, you can make them more chic or more traditional. These windows also offer the benefit of low maintenance, which means you will not have to keep up on cleaning, repairing, or polishing the windows as much as you would with glass block windows. If you are looking for windows that will look good and will stand the test of time, the fiberglass windows are an excellent choice.
If you are familiar with household improvement, you probably will know that fiberglass is commonly used in insulations for house walls, floors, and ceilings.
With this in mind, you can likely guess that not only will fiberglass windows last a long time and look great while doing it but they will also insulate the viewing opening as well. This means that they would also be great for bathrooms by keeping the room cool during the summertime while simultaneously keeping it warm and cozy in the winter.
2. Wooden Windows
Wooden windows are a great look for a cabin-style home, offering that rustic look while also being environmentally friendly. This means that wooden windows will look fantastic and you can feel good about where they may end up one day.
Wood is an excellent trade-off for the glass block windows since not only can you personalize them quite easily by painting them with pretty much any color you may wish, but you can also stain them to enhance their natural beauty. If that is not enough for you, you can also easily give them texture.
Since wood has been used for housing since houses started to be built, you can safely assume that they will never be out of touch with the times. If you are a regular DIYer or at least are familiar with home improvement and home renovation, you will have no problems installing wooden windows.
However, when it comes to durability, wooden windows lose a couple of points since they will require more maintenance, especially for the outside of the windows as the wood can suffer water damage, sun damage, and overall degradation.
So if you happen to live in an area with high humidity levels year-round, you may want to reconsider wooden windows. Though if you opt to go with a classic stained wood look, and keep up on re-staining the wood, the wooden windows can look fantastic and can last even while dealing with sun, water, and humidity.
So, you may want to avoid using wooden windows in bathrooms but they will both look good and will remain durable (with maintenance) in almost any other room of your house.
3. Acrylic Windows
When looking for great alternatives to glass block windows, acrylic windows have many benefits. These windows are lightweight, strong, and easy to install. Sure, they may not be as eco-friendly as some other options such as wooden windows; however, they make up for it with their adaptability.
This means that if you are looking for various colors to go with your home’s aesthetic. While acrylic windows are very sturdy, they are much more susceptible to scratching than glass block windows.
Acrylic windows are much stronger when compared to glass block windows, this is mainly due to the fact that they are essentially quality plastic. When it comes to maintenance, they are relatively easy to keep. Acrylic windows are pretty good insulation, though with that said, they are not too viable for colder areas.
You may also know acrylic windows as plexiglass, and that means that they can take a hard hit and still look great afterward. Sure, they may not be fantastic when it comes to cold temperatures but they are excellent for keeping the scorching heat of summer out of your home or building.
Also, with acrylic windows, you will be able to enjoy an elegant natural light glow, which means that not only are they great for household windows but you can also use them for skylights, greenhouse windows, and even for a strong protective window on your shed.
4. Vinyl Windows
Vinyl windows are popular for a good reason, as not only do they handle both sides of the temperature spectrum incredibly well but they also offer impressive longevity. While cleaning vinyl windows can become difficult, they are good at holding in heat and ventilating cool air.
They do have some drawbacks when talking about looks as vinyl windows are considered less elegant than others. Unfortunately, folks who have used vinyl windows have reported that they can twist, soften, bow, and even warp.
So if you are looking for durable alternatives to glass block windows, you will likely be better off going with fiberglass windows.
It is estimated that vinyl windows last roughly around 30 years and that is being generous, whereas fiberglass windows can last up to 50 years longer than the vinyl comparative. So, you will likely want to weigh out what you want most for your windows since vinyl windows are quite affordable but they also have some drawbacks.
However, there are some great things about vinyl windows, seeing as they are eco-friendly and you will not need to worry about scratches as vinyl windows do not scratch easily. Vinyl windows are also great at holding in heat in the winter season and can protect you from the toasty heat of the summer season.
These windows are considered one of the most affordable options when it comes to windows but they also do not sacrifice quality for a reasonable price, since vinyl windows do not rust you will not have to worry about upkeep.
5. Aluminum Windows
As you may be aware, aluminum is incredibly lightweight while maintaining durability, which makes it pretty great for windows. While you see aluminum windows more often in company buildings, they can also pair quite well in a home setting.
If you are looking to save some time or money on maintenance, aluminum windows are an excellent choice, as they do not require unique care. If you are tired of replacing windows, then you should consider these windows as even with time they will not need replacement.
Some drawbacks to aluminum windows are their lack of insulation, which means that they will likely enhance temperature fluxes rather than repelling them.
Since aluminum windows actually condensate very easily, you will not want them in bathrooms or above your kitchen sink area. So, it will be up to you if you want to possibly spend more for windows that may make your home feel like an oven in the summertime.
With all of that said, aluminum windows are quite eco-friendly and they can fit in with many different styles in a household. So, not only are they super lightweight but they are also thermally efficient.
Which is a big contrast when compared to the bulky glass block windows that while they are very durable, they are also very heavy and difficult to work with. So, would you rather break your back with a glass block window or carry an aluminum window with less than a pinky finger? The choice is yours.
Some refer to windows as the eyes of a home, which would make sense to be looking for the best, most durable, and good-looking windows on the market. It is also possible that you are not necessarily looking for the best but rather, a stronger, more affordable alternative.
Some people love the look of glass block windows, while others are repulsed by them but when it comes to your home, you should make it look the way you want it to, and with this guide, you can find a suitable alternative for such a window.
If you love the natural light in your home, you certainly want to figure out what is best for your windows, so maybe you live in a humid climate but also need durability to withstand weather such as high winds, so you would likely be better of with fiberglass windows.
Perhaps you live in a cold climate but it also gets very hot in the summer but you also do not want to give up durability, so you would likely be best going with wooden windows. There are different windows for not only different folks but also different needs.