Mounting a Mirror in the Lavatory
In addition to its functional value as a place to perform things like shaving, putting on makeup, tweezing your eyebrows, and styling your hair, bathroom mirrors can also be beautiful accent pieces.
To make your bathroom feel larger, strategically put mirrors to reflect the scenery outside your window, a nice piece of bathroom furniture, the basin and tap, or accessories like a vase of flowers or a group of candles. They can also reflect light, illuminating previously dark areas and giving the impression of more space.
In a small or dimly lit bathroom, an illuminated mirror can be a lifesaver since its built-in lighting eliminates shadows from overhead light sources, allowing you to see your reflection clearly from any angle. It is common practice to arrange lights in such a way that they illuminate a frosted panel or panels in the mirror, creating a visually appealing effect.
The size and intensity of the illumination in illuminated mirrors vary widely. Colored lights and white lights are both present. While LED lighting is becoming increasingly common, many buildings still use inefficient light sources. LED lights are more expensive to purchase and replace, but they are also more energy efficient and last longer, so they are probably a good investment financially and environmentally.
All bathroom mirrors have a rating for “ingress protection” (IP), and if that number is 44 or higher, you can put your illuminated mirror anywhere in the bathroom except within the bath or shower. Selecting a low-voltage, fully immersion-proof (IP67 or above) mirror design is essential for this application.
When searching for a new mirror for your bathroom, a mirror cabinet is worth considering. You may save valuable floor or counter space in a small bathroom by installing one of these mirror cabinets, which provide a reflective surface and storage for toiletries.
Before installing your mirror, pick a location that won’t put you in danger of hitting any pipes or wires in the bathroom. When determining where to put your mirror, you should think about the direction of natural light (unless you have a lighted mirror) and how convenient it will be to use every day. You can test the mirror’s location by holding it up yourself and inspecting it up close, as you would when using it, and then having someone else hold it up while you examine it from a distance to see how it looks about the rest of the bathroom. Check the mirror’s alignment with a spirit level, and then use a pencil to lightly mark the wall at each corner before drilling.
Ensure your measurements are correct before drilling for these mounting holes. Drilling through tile can be dangerous if you aren’t careful. A firm drill bit and consistent light pressure will offer you a better chance of not cracking the tile as you work. You’ll need to use wall plugs if your wall is made of brick or blockwork beneath the plaster, but not if it’s made of wood studs. Drilling into the mortar between bricks or the plasterboard between timber studs will not give a suitable hold for your screw fixing, so be careful you drill into the most challenging section of the wall.
An illuminated mirror may require wiring depending on how you plan to power its lights. Alternatively, it might run on a built-in battery, eliminating the need for wiring during setup. If you decide to purchase a mains-powered illuminated mirror, remember that any electrical work in your home should only be performed by a licensed electrician.
Helen Davies is a senior content writer for Better Bathrooms, a company that sells accessories for the bathroom, such as mirror cabinets and lit and non-illuminated mirrors.