Mirror Buying Guide
Types of Mirrors
Mirror Buying Tips:
- Measure the space set aside for your mirror and buy accordingly
- Consider mirrors that double as shelves and cabinets if you’re short on storage
- Before buying, browse decor magazines and websites for ideas on how to use mirrors in your space
- When shopping for a bathroom mirror, consider the style of your vanity, light fixture and bathroom decor
- Pick up water-repellent and anti-fogging products to keep bathroom mirrors from steaming up
Mirror Glass +
Types of mirror glass include silvered glass, antiqued and concave. Silvered glass, which has a thin layer of silver nitrate and paint on the back, is used for most household mirrors. Antiqued glass has coating or tints applied to the back to create the impression of deterioration. A concave glass mirror is curved inward to enlarge the reflections for easier grooming. Some mirrors are made with metal or plastic rather than glass. Metal mirrors (metal surface polished to be reflective) are safe for kids because they won't shatter. Plastic mirrors (plastic coated with reflective material) are another safe option.
Mirror Sizes +
If you want to make a room seen bigger, or add dramatic flair to a foyer, bigger is often better. Consider a floor-to-ceiling mirror or a wall-to-wall mirror panel for maximum impact. Standing mirrors and cheval mirrors are large options suitable for the bedroom. They give you a head-to-toe view for dressing to perfection. Vanity and swing-arm mirrors are small but mighty. They provide a close-up reflection for plucking eyebrows or applying cosmetics. Measure your room accurately before purchasing, and be aware that mirrors tend to look larger once installed
Mirror Styles +
Style options are many and varied: they include sunburst mirrors, Venetian mirrors, circular mirrors, oval mirrors and captain’s mirrors. This makes it easy to find one that blends in beautifully with your decor and functional needs. Playful, sculptural designs like sunburst mirrors can make a bold style statement in a room. Rounded designs like circular, oval and captain’s mirrors help soften the sharp angles of a desk, table or fireplace mantel. Arch frames can be used to create faux windows or to highlight high ceilings. Ornate, decorative designs like Venetian mirrors can add a glam or vintage touch to a guestroom, or bring pretty feminine detail to a little girl’s room.
Mirror Frames +
Mirror frames come in square, rectangular, round, oval and abstract designs. Square mirrors and rectangular mirrors complement a classic or contemporary look, while round mirrors and oval mirrors contribute a graceful, artistic vibe. Wall mirrors with interesting frames can give any room a unique look and add style in spades. The material used to make mirror frames include wood, tile, acrylic, resin and metal. Your choice of materials should depend on a combination of your style preferences and budget. Acrylic and resin frames are affordable and versatile, while metal and wood frames tend to be more durable and long-lasting.
Frameless Mirrors +
Frameless mirrors hung on a wall sometimes create the illusion that they’re floating. This simple, understated mirror design makes the perfect accent above a dresser, fireplace mantel or side table. A frameless mirror is a great choice for a small bathroom because the absence of a frame allows for a larger mirror surface. This type of mirror is clean and sleek, making it a good fit for modern spaces.
Lighted Mirrors +
Good lighting is important for taking care of your beauty and grooming needs, whether it’s applying makeup, treating blemishes or trimming facial hair. But plenty of powder rooms and bathrooms have poor natural light and lack suitable overhead lighting. Lighted mirrors have built-in lighting around the frame to provide extra illumination. Keep in mind you may require the services of an electrician to install your new lighted mirror.
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Mirror Hanging Tips:
- Buy a picture-hanging kit designed specifically to handle the weight of your mirror
- When hanging heavier mirrors, use drywall screws or other support hardware
- Use glue or liquid nails to hang a mirror permanently
- Use wire or mirror brackets to hang one temporarily
- Be sure to screw or nail the mirror into wall studs to mount it securely
- Hang a mirror at eye level, about five feet from the floor, to avoid cutting off facial reflections
- Make sure your mirror reflects something you’d like to highlight, such as a beautiful view from a window