Accenting a Bathroom With Frameless Mirrors
Q: I am planning to mount 2 frameless mirrors in a bathroom we are refinishing, then framing them with wood molding. I am thinking something along the lines of 36x48-inches and 24x60-inches. My question is whether the quality of the frameless mirrors at home improvement centers is the same as I would get at a mirror and glass shop? By quality, I mean do they retain their clarity and looks? My second question is how to best mount these mirrors. I have read about using some type of adhesive, but do I need to support them in some manner while the adhesive dries?
A: The quality of the mirrors can vary greatly. When you look into the mirror, you should see more then just your flat reflection. It should have some depth. This is what you want to look for when comparing mirror quality. Quality bathroom mirrors are specially sealed on backing and edges to prevent steam and moisture penetration. If you settle for anything less, your mirrors will fog and degrade within a short time, despite your investment in them. Expect to pay more for properly sealed and quality mirrors from a reputable glass and mirror shop. Make sure you express that your mirrors will be exposed to moisture and humidity and that they should be sealed. The home center mirrors will not be of the same quality, especially in those sizes.
If you plan to adhere the mirror directly to the wall, be sure to use mirror mastic, as this will prevent the mirror from becoming discolored when you put the adhesive. If you plan to frame the mirrors with molding, you could just use the molding to hold the mirror in place while the mastic dries. Usually mirrors of this size are mounted with mastic and a "J" channel at the bottom or some other molding and support at the bottom. You can then frame them however you want. Unless you have worked with large glass or mirrors before, it might even be worth it to have a professional do the basic installation. This way you do not have to worry about breaks or chips. With the size you refer to, you might also have the glass or mirror shop do the installation. Installation should not cost much as it does not take much time, and they will replace the mirrors if they break. You lose out if you break them.