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photo by Brian Vanden Brink mirrors are good for knotting ties and putting ~ above makeup. However when mounted on a wall or ceiling all over in her home—whether in a hall foyer or ~ above the kitchen backsplash—mirrors can make practically any room look at bigger. How? They broaden the room you view by reflecting the depth and height of a room and also sometimes by happen a satisfied outdoor see inside. Castle can likewise brighten a dark room or edge by showing light indigenous a window or fixture. And, in a pinch, they also cover surface imperfections or a dated wall surface treatment.

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Home centers offer precut, full-length mirrors that are ready to install on the back of a closet, bedroom or toilet door. But if you want to winter a wall or change the broken mirror over your bath vanity, you"ll need a local shop the specializes in cutting and installing mirror and glass. As a dominion of thumb, consider hiring a glazier if you"re dealing with a mirror bigger than around 2x3 ft. Trying come transport, cut and also mount noþeles much larger is risky and also not really price effective given the capabilities and prices of most glaziers. But prior to calling a glass shop, take into consideration these advice from designers and installers on how to make the many of a mirror"s space-stretching capacity and just how to call if you"re acquiring a top quality installation.

OPTIONS and also PRICES

Glaziers stock winter in sheets as huge as 110x144 in., cutting it to size with big specialty saws. Winter stock is available in three thickness: 1/8 and 3/16 in., both used in frames, and also 1/4 in., which deserve to be enclosed to wall surfaces in huge sections v mastic and also mechanical fasteners. Retail prices for standard, 1/4-in.-thick wall mirror range from $8 come $15 or much more per square foot installed. The variation in price counts not ~ above the mirror stock but on the complexity of the installation, just how the edges are finished and also if the winter is carved or decorated. "Mirror is mirror," claims Greg Csaki, a vice president of Galaxy Glass, a Fairfield, new Jersey-based installer. "The finishing and also installation determine exactly how it looks and what the costs."

For example, beveled edges can rise the price of a winter 50 cent per straight inch. Sandblasted or sculpted designs and also gold or silver- inlays also add to the cost. Mirrors set up as single, large pieces with surprise mountings cost much more than number of pieces organized in location with molding. And seams surprise by beveled glass strips cost much more than plain-butted seams.

You"ll likewise pay much more for cutouts roughly outlets, switches, plumbing and molding. And also because winter is daunting to ship, the furthermore you are from the manufacturer, the an ext you"ll pay (most are situated in the southeastern united States).

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picture by Bob Greenspan WHERE they LOOK BEST

How big a mirror you choose and also where you put it rely on the dimension of the room and also what you want the mirror to do. So start by defining your goal: broaden space, multiply light, include drama - or all three. Because that example, to develop the illusion of more space, use a few large panels. Inner designer Camille Waldron, the Camille Waldron Interiors in Franklin Lakes, brand-new Jersey, says eliminating seams, i beg your pardon lessen the space-stretching effect.

If you should use more than one item of mirror, usage an odd number of panels. And, says Csaki, avoid dividing the wall surface evenly, or furnishings and also light fixtures centered in the room will align with seams and call attention to them. Because that example, use three 4-ft.-wide mirror panels or one 6-ft.-wide panel flanked by 2 3-ft.-wide panels ~ above a 12-ft.-wide wall. Remember, the mirror should fit with all the doors that result in the environment site.

If including drama is your optimal priority, shot several small strips used to wall surfaces or ceiling. To main point the effect of light, be sure the light source is reflect in the mirror. Additionally consider installing lattice over the mirror—the mirror will reflect light and also the lattice will diffuse it. And don"t usage smoked mirrors, which darken spaces.

Also be sure you understand what you"re reflecting. For example, if you locate the mirror opposite a large picture window, is the view attractive? and will the winter reflect glare somewhere else in the room? uncover out through propping increase a huge framed winter in the space. Waldron argues you move it around for a day or 2 to be sure you"re comfortable with the effect. And also if you"re including a toilet mirror, continue to be away native floor-to-ceiling installations. Begin the mirror at waist elevation or higher to stop reflecting plumbing or the toilet.

One final point: You"ll discover that much less is much more when it comes to mirrors. To prevent visual confusion, don"t mirror an ext than two walls in the same room.

GETTING it INSTALLED

Glaziers are noted in the yellow pages under "Glass" and "Mirrors." Ask exactly how long the company has remained in business and, together always, check references for organization level and work quality. Additionally make certain you obtain proof the insurance. Then narrow your selection by getting satisfactory answers to the adhering to questions:

Who will carry out the measuring? A experienced should it is in responsible for this crucial phase. Cut the winter as tiny as 1/4 in. Too short or narrow will develop a visible gap that"s hard to conceal and also looks shabby. And cutting it even 1/4 in. Too long will necessitate trimming. Because walls rarely are plumb, winter must likewise be shimmed during installation—often v a tarlike bedding compound—or they finish up buckled and bowed.

How room the edge finished? smaller sized glazier shops often hand-polish mirror edges; larger companies polish through machines. Both techniques ensure smooth, chip-free edges. Far better mirror shops go a step more by coating the reduced edges v sealant to save moisture from obtaining through come the reflective ago and eventually tarnishing or oxidizing the mirror. Sealed edges space a have to when mirror is mounted in a residence in a humid climate or along a kitchen backsplash or bath vanity.

How will certainly the winter be hung? Mirrors must be external inspection to the wall surface with one-of-a-kind mastic. Proficient installers understand which mastic to usage under what circumstances. Several determinants determine the varieties of mastic that space used. Amongst them is the dimension of the mirror, whether it is on a wall or ceiling and the form of surface it"s being set up over - painted or unpainted drywall, wood, brick or plaster.

For safety"s sake, manufacturers recommend the all unframed winter be installed with at least one form of mastic and a mechanically fastener, such together a decorative molding, J-channel, unobtrusive plastic or steel clips or screws. If plastic fasteners bother you, setup to download decorative irradiate fixtures ~ above the mirror. "The fixture fasteners will hold the winter up should the glue ever fail," states Vinnie DeMauro, owner of countryside Glass & mirror in Waldwick, new Jersey. Or, have the winter trimmed with wood molding the will organize it in place.

Once the mirror is installed, look at the the opposite ceiling heat reflected in the mirror; you must see one consistent plane. "If the mirror looks wavy or there"s a short spot, bulge or a damaged plane, the wasn"t installed correctly," DeMauro explains.

With a top quality installation and proper care, a mirror will certainly stretch a room and brighten your home—and expand your visual horizons because that years come come.

    <p>This handsome, multipanel mirror reflects the view exterior to produce a sense of unlimited space.</p> photo by Jessie pedestrian  <h2>Bigger Mirrors demand a Glazier

1. Glaziers transport large, fragile, custom-cut winter upright in racks on particularly outfitted trucks. As soon as on site, they carry the mirrors indoors so they can reach room temperature prior to installation; this help moisture evaporate and also reduces the opportunity of cracking throughout installation.

2. Rubber gloves help maintain a firm fixed on the glass, defend hands and also keep human body oils and also perspiration from corroding the protective backing of the mirrors. Large suction-cup "handles" that produce a vacuum grip allow glaziers to handle mirrors easily.

3. All sizable mirrors need to be mounted with some kind of mastic; this adhesives differ according come the mounting surface and drying time. Larger

installations generally require two mastics - one that dries conveniently to for sure the winter immediately and also a second that dries more slowly to store them in location over time. Winter manufacturers recommend mechanical fasteners in addition to mastic.

Black bedding compound enables installers to even out the wall surface and cave the mirrors level and plumb.

4. The high quality of the project relies top top the ability of the glaziers and also their accuracy in duplicating the cautious job-site dimensions they have taken ~ above the glass when developing cutouts because that light switches, outlets and also moldings. This cuts space made on large water-cooled saws. The edges are then polished on other specialized equipment.

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The Right means to Clean a Mirror

Moisture is the No. 1 adversary of mirrors. If a wet cleaner is sprayed right into the joints, it can puddle, invade the security coating and also eventually deteriorate the reflective silver- beneath. That"s what causes those ugly black color spots ~ above old mirrors. Instead:

use a lint-free file towel or a clean, soft cotton cloth. Old diapers and

T-shirts are great.

Spray a nonabrasive, low-ammonia cleaner top top the cloth, not the mirror, so it doesn"t seep right into seams. Or, moisten the fabric in 1 gal. That water combined with

1 cup of rubbing alcohol or 3/4 cup the distilled white vinegar.

complete by thoroughly drying the mirror, especially about joints and also edges, through a soft, grit-free cloth.