Glass Block Flooring

We have a "light-challenged" house (bottom floor of a 20-foot wide, three story house attached at two sides). There is a light shaft that takes up significant floor space and provides minimal light to two interior room. We would like to recover the floor space but not lose all the light. Ideally, this would mean taking out the lightshaft on our floor ad putting in a "skylight". However, a standard skylight is no good because other floors have access to the shaft and as soon as we put it in they will think they can climb into the shaft and walk on it. So we would like to put in about 15sf of architectural glass block of the type that is used to make floors and decks. However, our contractor and architect have no idea where to get it or how much it costs. The only suppliers we have found are for large installations.
Any ideas about: how much the materials would cost? who might be able to supply it? what kind of installation difficulties we might face? whether we are just wasting our time?
Thanks in advance
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They are idiots and don't give a damned about helping you. A Google serach gave me 1,540,000 hits for glass block floors. http://www.bobvila.com/ArticleLibrary/Subject/Floors/Miscellaneous/GlassBlockFloor.html
http://www.glassblocksunlimited.com/catalog/showroom.asp?lookup=glass+flooring+systems
If I can do it, so can you and your architect. Find one that wants t work with you.
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think
where
If I under stand what your trying to do. I do not think the effect would be acceptable for the bottom 2 floors. The glass blocks will absorb and diffuse the light and there will be no light for the bottom floor.
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I didn't quite understand this part of your post
"However, a standard skylight is no good because other floors have access to the shaft and as soon as we put it in they will think they can climb into the shaft and walk on it."
I'm not convinced that glass block will work. but the results of the a google search for:
"glass block floors" transmission
yielded some links that describe unique installations
My previous neighbor installed one of these
http://www.solatube.com /
but it was a "standard installation" ; on the roof thru an attic into a first floor bedroom. When I saw the result a was impressed. I thought they were recessed ceiling lights

How long can the tube be?
Recommended Maximum Tube Run 10" (250mm) Brighten Up 20' (6m) 14" (350mm) Brighten Up     30' (9m) 21" (530mm) SolaMaster      40' (12m)
cheers Bob
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Thanks everyone for the tips. I'm still looking and considering my options. Basically, we are on the first floor of a three-floor building, so the actual roof is about 30' away. If we install a skylight at our ceiling (about 20' from the roof), the folk on the second floor will look in and see a "walkable" surface in the light shaft at about their floor level. That would definitely be dangerous. I don't know if we will eventually do anything, but sure appreciate the pointers.

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Glass block would need a very heavy duty frame to become a flooring unit. The individual blocks are small and need to be firmly mounted in a steel frame to do what you suggest. Even with acrylic block, the cost would be high.
A window should be available for your use. I can't remember the company but on a recent home TV show they showed a demonstration house featuring suspended glass walkways made from what they said were products from the catalog. I'm sure you can get a frosted pane.
Depending on how large you want the opening and what kind of water the area sees, you may be able to frame out an opening and place a large piece if tempered glass in the opening. I'm not sure of the required thickness but you can find that out from whom you find to buy it from.
You could also build a sort of greenhouse roof in the area. It would have a sloped roof and many panes. wouldn't look like a place where you could walk. Now if your neighbors would feel like you are taking their courtyard away, thats a different story.
Have you considered light pipes. These will leave a 12" -24" dome on the roof but lets in natural light like a skylight. 2 to 4 of these would be easy to install and could not be walked on.

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