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Bathroom mirror revision - need advice.

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Forum topic by richgreer posted 303 days ago 746 views 0 times favorited 23 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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richgreer

4522 posts in 1700 days


303 days ago

In our bathroom we have double sinks, side by side. In front of the sinks is a single large rectangular mirror that is almost 4’ by 8’. My wife advises me that these large mirrors are out of style. She would like a smaller framed mirror in front of each sink and some shallow shelves between the mirrors and on the outside of the mirrors.

An idea – leave the existing mirror in place and cover it with mirror frames and the shelving units that I would make. I would avoid buying new mirror glass and it might be an easier project. Removing the existing mirror may be quite difficult.

The concern – Securing the frames and shelving units to the existing mirror. Is there a glue that i can count on to hold the wood to the glass? Would I need to clamp the wood in place for a while? It is not obvious how I would clamp it. Is there a safe way to drill holes through the mirror and secure the wood with some hardware? Is there a way to cut out a portion of the mirror to give me direct access to the drywall and studs behind the mirror? Of course, I do not want to harm the portion of the mirror that would be inside the frames i build.

Does anyone have experience with a project like this and do you have any advice to offer?

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.


23 replies so far

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404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 1595 days


#1 posted 303 days ago

How is the big mirror attached to the wall? Adhesive?

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richgreer

4522 posts in 1700 days


#2 posted 303 days ago

The big mirror is held to the wall with clips at the top and bottom. It looks like I would have to slide the mirror sideways out of the clips to remove it. That may be hard to do. We’d be working over the bathtub.

However, if I could remove the big mirror, intact, I could (in theory) have a glass shop cut out what we need for the smaller mirrors from the existing large mirror.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

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404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 1595 days


#3 posted 303 days ago

I would remove the mirror. From the size and weight it sounds like a two man job. Trying to frame and shelve over the mirror would be a gigantic pita.

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Bluepine38

2876 posts in 1711 days


#4 posted 303 days ago

Some of those old mirror clips, and I repeat some, had clips on top that would let you slide the mirror up and
slide down to lock into the bottom clips. Put pressure on the top clip and see if it will slide, then get enough
help to be sure you can lift the mirror out without breaking it. Good luck & I hope it works out. I just redid
our bathroom and set 48” wide tri view mirror cabinet into the wall to keep my beautiful lady happy.

-- As ever, Gus-the 75 yr young apprentice carpenter

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richgreer

4522 posts in 1700 days


#5 posted 303 days ago

I took another look at those clips. I think I might be able to bend them with a pair of pliers without damaging the glass. I also think 2 of us could handle this mirror if we have a couple of those suction grippers.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View crank49's profile

crank49

3370 posts in 1597 days


#6 posted 303 days ago

Of course your situation may be different, but my local glass shop will bring a truck and two people with glass handling tools and experience with all kinds of clips and remove the mirror, take it back to the shop and cut it down and then bring it back and reinstall it for way less than I ever dreamed it would cost, like $50.

You might even be able to do better than that since you could go pick up the smaller pieces and put them in your frames yourself.

-- Michael :-{| “If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.” ― A H

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

3642 posts in 1790 days


#7 posted 303 days ago

Go with the glass company. On the other hand, if you wait 5 or 10 years, the big mirror will be back in style….(-:

It’s like the way I get my hair cut. I have never changed it since grade school, and it has been in and out of style about 5 times….....currently in style…...(-:

I have a 4.5 by 3.5 foot custom mirror in my bathroom, and it has a switch and receptacle cut into it in the right lower corner. Seems to be something the glass people do on a regular basis.

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

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oldnovice

3688 posts in 1994 days


#8 posted 303 days ago

I had the same problem and I just had the glass company cut it down.

I ended up with what I wanted with some spare piece large enough for a hall mirror project. The remaining pieces were set by he curb and were gone in short period of time!

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View nailbanger2's profile

nailbanger2

958 posts in 1769 days


#9 posted 303 days ago

Rich, I strongly suggest you get more info before you do anything! I have quite a bit of experience in removing mirrors and I would be surprised if a mirror that large were only held with clips and/or channel. As a matter of fact, I have never run into one that did not have mirror mastic on the back. The clips/channel are there to hold the mirror in place until the mastic dries, and they don’t bother to remove them. It may be different in your area, of course. If the mastic is there, it is a skill to take the mirror off the wall, and I would have no way of imparting this skill to you. I do have a friend that lost the use of his leg (and almost his life) from attempting to remove a mirror. When those things break, they are really big, heavy, sharp daggers falling in front of you. Call the glass company or throw rocks at it, then pick up the pieces.

-- Wish I were Norm's Nephew

View richgreer's profile

richgreer

4522 posts in 1700 days


#10 posted 303 days ago

I’m getting some great advice here. Thanks to all. I will definitely call the glass company. I admit that I am a little intimidated by that mirror.

This is what makes LumberJocks so great – people who know providing good advice to those who don’t know.

Thanks again.

Rich

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View remdds's profile

remdds

15 posts in 1251 days


#11 posted 303 days ago

I would love to see pictures of it before you start. I had a similar bathroom that my girlfriend thought had the same problem. I took out the mirror and tried to make a smaller mirror work and it just didn’t look right. I felt it looked like a cheap builder tried to cut a corner. The big mirror went back up.

Without seeing a picture, I’m going out on a limb to say your wife is wrong. The mirror you have is probably fine.

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

3320 posts in 1439 days


#12 posted 303 days ago

I went through this process a while back. I just couldn’t convince myself that the frame would be secure, so I cut the old mirror off and replaced it with a new mirror and frame. The mirrors don’t cost much, even the high quality 1/8” mirrors from glass shops. Since it will be framed, you can skip the beveled glass, and just buy a polished edge mirror cut to your specs. I screwed my frame to the wall, and concealed the fasteners with chamfered pegs.

Here is the project page if you are looking for ideas…
http://lumberjocks.com/projects/72234

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

3642 posts in 1790 days


#13 posted 303 days ago

If you are still considering keeping the mirror, if there is significant wall space on either side of the mirror, you could hang shelving anchored to that space but overlapping the mirror. You could probably create the illusion that the mirror ends at the cabinet sides.

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

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richgreer

4522 posts in 1700 days


#14 posted 303 days ago

Pinto deluxe- thank you for your reply. It was very helpful. I have decided to have a glass company take down my mirror and make 2 36×24 mirrors for me. I will build frames for them to set in.

My frame will be very much like your frame (which looks great) except I will make it of cherry and do some stylish accents in (probably) maple. All of the woodwork in our house (and we have a lot) is cherry.

Issue – I just acquired a large cherry log which I took to a mill to be milled and kiln dried. I hate buying cherry when I am probably 2 months away from getting about 250 board feet of 5/4 cherry. Sadly, I situations like this, my wife is not very patient.

Jim – I really don’t have enough wall space around the outside of the existing mirror to do what you suggest.

Rmdds – I think the existing mirror is just fine as is. On issues like this, my opinion is of little relevance. We’ve been married 42 years. In due time you will understand.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

14721 posts in 2302 days


#15 posted 302 days ago

Rich is absolutely correct. 43 years here ;-)

Any possibility of anchoring a frame with shelves above and below?

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

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