I'm struggling with a decision regarding replacing windows in our basement. We have glass block windows right now with a jalousie window in the center. The jalousie in the Chicago area is terrible and we want to get rid of it for something warmer.

I'm trying to figure out what the advantages/disadvantages for a glass block window is versus just a plain window. For example, the glass block seems to me that it would deter theft a little better. A normal window on the other hand looks nicer and will let in more light.

Can anyone identify any other trade-offs that I should know about before making a decision?

1 Answer 1


Cost is also another major factor. Where I'm at you'll spend much more for glass block vs a double pane window, either picture or hung or sliding. Ease of installation is another. It is much much easier to install a window than to properly install glass block. You will need to ensure that you flash the exterior of the window or the glass block properly. Also, making the glass block and the window look correct from the outside is also much easier when using a window.

If it were me, and the aesthetic of the house absolutely didn't call for a glass block window I'd go with a standard window.

  • A proper double or triple pane window is also going to be a lot more energy efficient and comfortable than glass blocks. Glass alone is a terrible insulator.
    – iLikeDirt
    Commented Aug 5, 2014 at 18:16

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