Selecting a Bathroom Mirror

When decorating or remodeling a bathroom it is basically a given you will be heading into the stores focused on the difficult task of selecting a bathroom mirror. In traditional bathrooms the mirror was simply a place to prepare yourself for the upcoming day, but now it has become the opportunity to add function and style to your bathroom. Before grabbing your checkbook here are a few things to consider and get the most out of your mirror.

Consider Your Options

  • Framed Mirror: A framed mirror is a bathroom mirror which comes with a frame already attached. These are typical as most homeowners would rather spend less time shopping for both pieces separately. These are also preferred for the ease of hanging.
  • Frameless Mirror: A frameless mirror comes without a frame, and only the mirrored glass. Using a frameless mirror in a modern space has become popular due to its “floating” effect. These are also easy to install or hang but are usually glued to eliminate bulky hardware which is visible.
  • Custom Mirror: A custom mirror is created when the mirrored glass and frame are picked separately for a custom look. The options for this are endless, but time is a factor and attention to measurements and detail is key. Installation and hanging is a bit extensive as it now becomes a two-step process.

Determine the Size

The size of your bathroom mirror will typically be dictated by the size (length) of your vanity countertop. A good rule followed by designers is at least 2 inches small in length than the vanity, and in most bathrooms could be more like 4 inches. This provides 1 to 2 inches on each side of the bathroom mirror and eliminates “the box” look that automatically cheapens the design of your entire space.

After determining the measurement that specifies how long your mirror is you must consider the height. A bathroom mirror should be no taller than your vanity and placed at least 4 to 6 inches from the ceiling. If lighting is located directly above the mirror space then this must also be factored into the height of your mirror.

Test the Shape and Style

Bathroom mirrors come in literally hundreds of shapes, sizes, and colors. Determining the best style for your bathroom can be tedious and frustrating as you view these hundreds of ideas and have no possibility of actually viewing your space completed to get the best result. Before getting too stressed there are options to test your design pre-sight without making too many mistakes on style before hitting the ideal look.

Create a template out of paper or poster board in the shape that you feel would look best in your bathroom. Now, attach the template to the wall using tape. This is the lower quality version of what your bathroom will look like with this shape. If you love it, then get this style and you will be thrilled to see it in higher quality. If you hate it, you just saved yourself time and money, keep trying until you find the perfect fit.

Taking the time to really think about and research the shapes and styles of mirrors can reduce the stress of selecting a bathroom mirror. Get creative in testing shapes, sizes, colors, and styles to make sure your minds eye is given a reality check and what you think will look great really will look amazing.

Think About Function

Mirrors are no longer just for reflections anymore, they are also very functional. Taking a look through the mirror gallery of your home décor store will quickly reinforce this as there are so many great features in bathroom mirrors.

Storage: Vanity cabinets with mirrored fronts can be found in both traditional and modern styles. A mounted box vanity cabinet is typically traditional in style, but modern designs are often created with sunken cabinets that are completely invisible when closed. Both are wonderful options if needing to add a little more storage space for grooming products.

Lighting: Mirrors with built-in lighting are great for cosmetic reasons. The lights provide that extra glow to see what you will really look like when out and about in town. These must be hardwired into the bathroom and may require a licensed electrician to install.

Research Mounting Styles

Permanent Installation (Essentially Forever): If you are hanging your mirror in the bathroom and do not plan on changing it for years, and by years I mean decades, then glue is certainly the best option. This can be done with liquid nails or other glues which are created to hold a heavy weight firmly in place for an extended period of time.

Semi-Permanent Installation (A good long while): If you are hanging your mirror in the bathroom and would like to lessen the amount of work when you do your next update, say five to ten years, the best option would be a less permanent glue which be loosened with certain chemicals. These glues are created to react to the glue remover and loosen when triggering this reaction. Check reviews to ensure the quality is great and the risk of a broken bathroom mirror before intentionally removing it is a risk.

Temporary Installation (Just for now): Wire or Mirror Brackets are simply screwed in and attached to the wall therefore never actually being bonded in any way. This can be the least expensive, and easiest to install, as well as remove. This is ideal for those leasing a home, apartment, or condo.

Tip: If installing your mirror with glue it is crucial that the strength of your chosen glue is checked and researched. Before applying your mirror to the wall you must know the mirrors weight (located on the box), and match this to the strength (amount of weight) the glue can support (located on the bottle). If in doubt, go up one step to a higher strength to ensure that your mirror survives for years to come.

Quick Tips on Selecting a Bathroom Mirror

  • Try not to purchase a bathroom mirror on clearance or at a store which offers no refunds, returns, or exchanges. All too often a home decorating piece is selected in a store and once put in the home does not have similar effects or the desired impact. It is always best to have the option to return the mirror if needed.
  • Measure your space before leaving to pick your mirror. A mirror in a store will look much smaller than once placed in your smaller and more closed in bathroom. This is a common mistake made by people considering eliminating a step by “eyeballing it”.
  • Determine the safety needs of your bathroom before purchasing your mirror. Will this be a mirror for a rambunctious child’s bathroom? Perhaps a safety glass mirror is the best option to prevent an unsafe situation. Or maybe this is a purchase for a busy restroom in your place of business? Again, safety first, quality a must.
  • Remember when selecting a bathroom mirror that this is a fantastic opportunity to add value, style, and function to your bathroom and take your time in researching the best choice for your space.



4 Responses

  1. I have 52″ for my vanity and a single sink. I purchased 2 wall sconces and a top bar light. What size mirror should I get and where do I place the sconces and bar light? My sink is 20″ wide, Vanity 34″ tall with sink sitting 2″ above the counter. Ceilings are 96″.

  2. I need placement of sconces and size of mirror. I have 52″ for my vanity and a single sink which is in the middle of the vanity. I purchased 2 wall sconces and a top bar light. What size mirror should I get and where do I place the sconces and bar light? My sink is 20″ wide, Vanity 34″ tall with sink sitting 2″ above the counter. Ceilings are 96″.

  3. We have a long vanity with a single sink in the middle. I want to replace the huge mirror that consumes the entire wall, with 2 smaller ones. How large should they be in proportion to the vanity?

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