Glass bricks or blocks have been in use for many years. Recent popularity has spawned new mass production techniques and modern installation methods. This article addresses the traditional installation using mortar and reinforcing wire. Uninstalling blocks takes two paths depending on whether you intend to re-use or discard the bricks you remove. This article also assumes that your blocks are actually made of glass and not acrylic.
Re-using Old Blocks
Plan your attack so you have maximum area in which to work without obstruction. Cover the opposite side of the wall with the heavy plastic and secure the sheeting with duct tape. Use the razor knife to cut off any sealants that might have been applied over the mortar.
Put on your safety glasses, dust mask and gloves. Using the masonry drill, drill into the mortar between two blocks on the top course. Continue to drill closely spaced holes all around that block.
Using the cold chisel or the bricklayer's chisel remove all the mortar around the brick and set it aside.
Remove additional adjacent blocks following the above procedure until you have enough room to work comfortably with the hammer and chisel horizontally.
Use the bricklayer's chisel to work through the mortar from the end of each block in the course. Remove one row of bricks at a time and set them aside. Cut the reinforcing wire with the hacksaw as you encounter the pieces.
Cover the back side of your wall with two layers of heavy plastic sheeting and secure it with duct tape. Put on your safety glasses, dust mask and gloves.
Inspect the joints and remove any sealants with the razor knife. Pay particular attention to the places the glass bricks meet a solid wall.
Start in one upper corner and break the blocks with the hammer. This will require some effort depending on the block used.
As you progress, cut the reinforcing wire with the hacksaw.
Work your way through the entire area one block at a time until you are finished.
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After attending Pasadena City College as a business major, Ron Sardisco spent 35 years studying small business and organizational behavior. More than 20 years as a banker, 10 years as a small business owner and five years as a business adviser fuel his passion for writing and mentoring others. An award-winning photographer, he was also a contributing columnist to the "Antelope Valley Press."