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
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
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.
If I can do it, so can you and your architect. Find one that wants t work
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.
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
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
"glass block floors" transmission
yielded some links that describe unique installations
My previous neighbor installed one of these
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)
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.
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
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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