Whether installed above a sink or vanity or simply hung on a wall for decoration, a mirror is one of the most noticeable elements of a bathroom.Just like carefully designing a bathroom’s layout or overall aesthetic, selecting a mirror isn’t strictly about utility. In other words, the criteria for buying a bathroom mirror go beyond simply finding a piece of glass with a reflective backing.
Whether it's for a renovation or a design refresh, a restroom mirror should deliver both design and function. To help a client find a bathroom mirror they’ll love, you'll want to pair the appropriate size with the right type.
Selecting the Right Commercial Restroom Mirror Size
While no two commercial restroom mirror projects are the same, the impact of size selection is universal. The key to selecting an appropriate mirror size for a bathroom is twofold: It’s about balancing function and appearance, both of which go hand-in-hand.
Regardless of a commercial bathroom design, a mirror’s core purpose is to reflect images and light. Its size plays a key role in conveying the desired effect or simply meeting a user’s functional needs.
For instance, in modern hotel bathrooms, mirrors are typically large and span the entire length of a vanity. In addition to providing an ample viewing area, the larger mirror reflects more light. Large mirrors also help make a space seem bigger -- an important design consideration for those looking to make a small bathroom (e.g. a residential half bath) not feel so cramped.
Conversely, small mirrors integrated into a space’s design -- say, a bathroom at an upscale restaurant -- serve a different function. They convey a motif of order and intimacy.
Selecting a mirror that delivers on aesthetics means keeping perspective.
Inappropriately sized mirrors stick out and overwhelm the space. Too-small mirrors seem out of place or lacking. And custom-shaped mirrors may give the impression of reduced performance -- a user might think it won’t adequately reflect an image.
Choosing a bathroom mirror size that conveys deliberate intention starts with taking careful stock of the room it’s going in and matching it with your desired effect.
2 Popular Types of Commercial Bathroom Mirror
Size is only one component of helping a client find the perfect mirror for their bathroom.
The type of mirror they’ll install also matters, as different types of mirror glass offer unique benefits.
Aside from traditional mirror -- the most common type used in bathrooms -- popular mirror selections include:
- Copper-free mirror
- Low-iron mirror
1. Copper-Free Mirror
Copper-free mirrors take longevity to the next level -- an important consideration for clients who look at mirrors as a long-term investment.
What gives this mirror type its long lifespan is the absence of copper in its reflective backing. During manufacturing, multiple coatings of a specialized, copperless primer are applied to the glass before the silver layer is added. With proper sealing (and without copper), the mirror’s reflective surface is protected from moisture, which causes degradation or corrosion over time.
Copper-free mirror like Guardian Glass’ UltraMirror is ideal for bathrooms where moisture (i.e. steam from a shower) is regularly present, such as:
- Athletic facilities
- Hotel guestrooms
2. Low-Iron Mirror
Manufactured using materials with trace amounts of ferric oxide, low-iron mirror is colorless, except along its edges, which can pick up the colors of nearby objects. With nothing impeding light transmission or reflectivity, low-iron mirrors offer unparalleled clarity.
Low-iron mirror is ideal in bathrooms where users may be checking their appearance, such as:
- Reception halls
- Conference centers
- Residential vanities
- Hotel guestrooms
Balancing Size and Type for Commercial Restroom Mirror Selection
A highly-trafficked space in any building, be it a home or a hospitality establishment, a bathroom should be cohesive and functional. Its mirror -- or mirrors -- is an important part of delivering on both fronts.
Careful consideration of size along with intended performance ensures your investment in commercial mirror glass is a one-time deal.
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(Editor's note: This article was originally published in October 2021 and was recently updated.)