glass block [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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Bill Vincent
10-14-2003, 07:41 AM
I've got a question that I'm pretty sure I know the answer to, but I need it verified. The contractor that I discussed in the other thread-- the one giving me the deal-- he took me to look at a bathroom yesterday afternoon that he's about to gut, and wants me to tile later. Now, this is going to be kind of a period bathroom, complete with white 1x1 floor with a black design border and white subway tile wainscot and shower walls. Now, here's the problem. He's going to be ready for me to do my work around the beginning of december, at which time I'll just be getting through with this next round of Wendys. I should be done by the second week, and then I can start this project. But then I'm leaving for Utah on the 23rd, so I don't have a real lot of time, and both this guy and the home owner don't want anyone else to do the work, so we're trying to cut down my time factor here. What he wants to do is use a 42" corner fiberglass shower pan, but he wants 2 rows of glass block at either end to sit on the FG curb, and the glass framing for the door to be attached to the end blocks. First off, John, I know you had some pics up here a couple of months ago showing that same detail concerning attaching the framing, but the big question is can I go over the fiberglass curb? The only thing I was thinking about was the possibility of doing it like I did that tub (the one with the 1/2" tumbled marble), using ultraset as a bond coat/isolation membrane, but I didn't know if there would still be too much movement there or not.


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10-14-2003, 12:55 PM
What about packing the backside full of mortar before installation. Shower pans should be set in a bed of mortar but just make sure the curb is packed also. If they wont go for that find a spot in the pan that will eventually get covered and drill a hole and pack it full of expandable foam or two part marine foam. Everything will depend on how the pan is made.

10-14-2003, 04:19 PM
i ran into this once too. it was last year, and i didn't end up doing the work, but here's where i started finding some of the information i needed for a bid price. hope this helps ....

p.s. i'll help with wendy's if you got one within 2 hrs of binghamton ---- :D

John Bridge
10-14-2003, 04:25 PM
I guess I don't see anything wrong with it as long as you can anchor the blocks to the top of the plastic curb. I do not know how you're going to attach the glass door frame to the glass blocks, unless you go into the bed joints between the courses.

It seems to me like you'll be putting a quality tile installation over a piece of shit receptor, though. ;)

BTW, those things ain't pans. Shower pans go under tile shower floors. ;)

Bill Vincent
10-14-2003, 06:50 PM
Brian-- you're about 2 months too late-- We did one in Holyoke-- just about 2 hours away! I didn't know you're in Binghamton-- beautiful area-- When I was in the service, I had a girlfriend that lived just north of Jamestown, and when I came home on leave I'd go right thru your area heading over that way on 17 from Connecticut. On this trip, we're starting in Taunton, Mass. (out by the Cape), then Westfield, Mass., then St. Albans, Vt., Barrington, Vt., Nashua, New Nampshire, and East Windsor, Connecticut.

John-- Pans, receptors-- to me it's all semantics. I call any shower floor a pan. Anyway, I could have sworn you posted (or SOMEONE here) posted a pic here of a shower door frame attached to the block. As for using the fiberglass in lieu of a mud pan it's either that, or they wait till january, or they get someone else. Also, I think cost might have played into it somewhere along the line. The biggest thing I'm worried about is the fiberglass flexing, and breaking the bond to the glass block.

10-14-2003, 07:21 PM
ya, i was woried about the flex too, but, what i couldn't get over was how do i bond glass block mortar too fiberglass. they say to sand the area, and prime it with this special primer, then start the block work, here's a link, you'll have to clik where it says ' shower systems ' and you'll get a .pdf instruction sheet.......

what they do spell out too in the instructions is, they want the ' pan ' mortared in, which will not eliminate, but greatly reduce the amount of flexing going on. --- i think ---:D

o ya, they also say to anchor screws for door into mortar joints... only way

Bill Vincent
10-14-2003, 07:38 PM
Thanks, Brian. I can get past the bonding issue. That I'd do almost the same thing I did with the FG tub-- ultraset as a bond coat, then thinset skimcoat, and then block mortar.

That mortar idea I think will be the way to go, though. As for anchoring the door mounts in the joints, I'm pretty sure that's the way it was done in that pic I saw, as well. I'm going to print out that pdf file and leave it here for the contractor to pick up tomorrow. Thanks to you, Kevin and John. I appreciate the help!!

10-14-2003, 08:04 PM
Bill, I might have mentioned once about anchoring a shower door to glass block but I never posted a picher. I've done it two times without a problem. I don't remember the name of it but we installed a long nut in the joint to except the screw. Kinda like a 2 inch all-tread but the treads are on the inside like a nut. We had to line them up perfectly plumb and made new holes in the door frame, seems like we had one every 16 inches. Wish I could remember the name of the treaded piece. Maybe someone knows what I'm thinking.

10-14-2003, 08:26 PM
If it had a little flare on one end with sharp points on it suitable for hammering lightly into a piece of wood with a hole in it, they would be called Tee Nuts, Davy. Would work fine between those blocks with the flared end inside, set in the mortar.

John Bridge
10-15-2003, 06:38 PM
Well, I've never done it. When I've needed to hang a door on a glass block front, I've tiled a column to the ceiling for the hinge side and run the stop to the tiled wall on the other side. I've never run either side of a door directly to the block.

I have heard about using epoxy, but I can't remember where I heard it. I recall I was a little leary of that approach and still am. ;)

The glass block pic I'm fond of posting here uses no doors. the blocks stop at about six feet off the floor and have no supporting columns to the ceiling. There is no header to tie things together, either.

Quite frankly, I would be afraid to swing a door off that arrangement if I COULD figure out how to attach it. :D

Jason Helmer
10-15-2003, 08:17 PM
Can you use some sort of header over the door? The glass guys can hang a door with a pivot hinge using thier metal top frame for a header.

10-15-2003, 09:32 PM
CX, what you are talking about is very simular, I also think those would work. ;)

Bill Vincent
10-20-2003, 04:18 PM
I don't believe there'll be a header, so to speak-- just the aluminum frame. Most likely it'll be something along the lines of what Davey and Cx are talking about.