Today’s topic is mirrors. What are my choices? What size should I have? What do they cost?
The main categories of styles we will be discussing are:
- Plate mirror
- Medicine cabinet with mirror front
- Framed mirror (in the information below we will explore the different types of framed mirrors)
We’ll start with the plate mirror. A plate mirror is just that, plate glass mirror with no frame on it. It could be beveled or nonbeveled around the edges depending on the style that you choose. It can go wall to wall, from splash to ceiling, or it can be floating on a wall above the vanity. Room specifics and other details in the room help determine the installation types as mentioned. Plate mirror is glued to the wall and then supported by a bottom metal track it may rest in.
Medicine cabinet mirrors are another choice that offer extra functionality with additional storage. Medicine cabinets either hang on the face of the wall, just as typical mirror does or they can be recessed into the wall. Often, recessing a medicine cabinet comes with labor implications as the wall has to then be opened and the wall may need to be reframed around this piece. The benefit is that it sits flush to the wall, doesn’t look bulky and you can use traditional wall mount lights on the wall above without challenge or conflict. The drawback maybe that labor involved can drive costs up. Not recessing will save you labor of reframing the wall and potential in wall plumbing conflicts, but using traditional, wall hung lights are a challenge as the light path is blocked by the depth of the medicine cabinet diminishing the light distribution and casting shadows and these can look bulky in a small room.
Framed mirrors come in all kinds of different choices. A lot of people like a framed mirror that matches the finish on their cabinets. We can custom frame mirrors to just about any size that matches the cabinetry color. Another option is a metal framed mirror that matches the metal finishes of the faucetry. They also come beveled or nonbevelled glass and these can be purchased in varying sizes from a number of vendors.
The pivot mirror is a great choice as it can add more of a decorative look to the piece. It also adds some depth and dimension to the space. Because of the pivot feature you also have the flexibility to adjust the direction of the focus of the mirror.
Practical and pretty.
The last option we’ll talk about is to either custom frame a mirror made at an art framer or a decorator type mirror from a retail vendor. This leads to the question…where do I find these mirrors? When we do mirrors with moulding that match our cabinets, we provide these for our clients. For custom framed mirrors with decorative framing, a local framing store is always a great option. When we select metal framed mirrors there’s Restoration Hardware, Pottery Barn, and a huge assortment of other companies to choose from. Sometimes mirrors online don’t look the same when you receive them. That can be challenging with sending them back and reordering more and sending them back again. Our suggestion, if you go this route, is to find a retailer where you can see a physical sample. Or if ordering online, order early to give yourself enough time to source secondary options should the first not look the way you want it to.
Sizing requires some thought about many factors. Your vanity size as well as ceiling height and light fixture placement. From a width perspective, the general rule is that you want your mirror to be slightly smaller than your vanity, by maybe 3”-4”, if doing a single large mirror. If you’re doing sconces on either side of the mirror, then you’ve got to be cognizant of the space that needs to be left over for those. Sometimes people will eliminate the sconces and go with the fixture above because they want a wider mirror.
Most of the mirrors that we deal with will run anywhere between a couple hundred to $800 depending on the size of the mirror and the framing type. Of course, there are also opportunities to price below and beyond that.