Having glass blocks installed in any room can dramatically change the look and feel of the room in an instant. The great thing about glass blocks is they allow all of the light in, yet can offer some extra privacy and even some extra energy efficiency. There are a lot of positives to having glass blocks installed either as an interior wall, room divider, or exterior window.
Before embarking on a new home remodeling project though, it is wise to examine the important characteristics of glass blocks. One of the most important characteristics to examine is the glass block fire ratings. The question then becomes, what is a fire rating?
A fire rating is basically a measurement of the glass’s ability to resist fire. The fire rated glass block for each type of glass manufactured is approved and rated by the Underwriters Laboratories (UL). Ratings are given in minutes like 45, 60, or 90 minutes. This is essentially how long the glass can withstand direct contact with fire.
The Underwriters Laboratories
This is a nonprofit organization that was first started in 1894. The organization employs testing protocols and standards for product safety, life and health, environment, verification services and knowledge services. For over a hundred years, they have established the trust of the general public to ensure that all products meet their strict standards for performance and safety.
The world is rapidly evolving, and new materials are created each and every day. Each of these new materials are tested and rated for fire safety by the UL. This is a very important process for public safety. Everything is tested including the fire safety of glass blocks.
Fire Resistant Glass Blocks
So what makes some glass blocks more fire resistant than others? It depends on the materials that go into the creation of the glass itself. Some additives can create better insulation for the glass block, which limits the amount of radiant heat that can pass through the glass block. This insulation makes the glass block able to withstand direct heat from a fire for a longer period of time.
Having fire resistant glass blocks is just part of the problem. The glass blocks must be held together with mortar. That means that the mortar must be able to withstand direct heat for at least as long as the glass blocks that it is holding together. If the mortar is compromised, then it does not matter much how fire resistant the glass blocks are.
There are minimum fire safety requirements for glass blocks, which just about every product meets today. Those that exceed the minimum standards can provide an extra bit of protection. This can prove to be invaluable when it comes to protecting a home.
The Quality Glass Block and Window Company has been one of the leading wholesale loose glass block suppliers since 1976. Some of the quality products include glass block with fire ratings for windows, shower kits, entryways and more. A glass block wall or divider can really transform any room into something truly spectacular.