Commercial and Residential Glass Installer and Manufacturer Resource

Commercial Bathroom Mirror: Traditional Vs. Low-Iron Vs. Copper-Free

Nov 29, 2023 9:02:00 AM / by Greg Martell

commercial bathroom mirror

Imagine walking into a bathroom. Looking around, you see a toilet, a sink, and maybe even a shower. 

What’s missing? 

A mirror. Doesn’t that seem odd?

Whether in a public restroom at a shopping center or a half bath in a home, mirrors are a natural part of any bathroom. 

The mirrors you see in bathrooms can be deceptive. At first glance, they all look the same -- glass panels with a reflective silver backing. But differences in material composition or manufacturing impact a mirror’s performance in a bathroom

Like selecting the right fixtures, installing the right commercial mirror in a bathroom is about understanding the available mirror options and how each performs. 

3 Commercial Bathroom Mirror Options & Their Functionalities  

Mirrors in bathrooms meet a variety of purposes. At a basic level, they reflect light and images -- a must for most users. In design, a mirror adds to aesthetics, making a bathroom appear bigger, brighter, or more visually appealing. 

There are three mirror types typically used in commercial and residential bathrooms: 

  1. Traditional mirror 
  2. Low-iron mirror 
  3. Copper-free mirror

1. Traditional Mirror for Function

Traditional mirror -- or regular mirror -- is likely what you first think of for a bathroom mirror. It’s the most common type of mirror on the market.  

From a utility standpoint, standard mirrors do exactly what they’re supposed to: reflect images and light. Easily fabricated, regular mirrors come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, making it easy to find one that complements a bathroom’s design. 

When selecting a traditional mirror for a bathroom, it’s important to be mindful of the other fixtures in the space -- mainly a shower

Steam and condensation -- which are always present during and after a hot shower -- take a toll on regular mirrors that aren’t sealed. After years of exposure to moisture, the silver backing on a standard mirror starts to come off and the now-exposed glass appears cloudy. Re-silvering a mirror isn’t an easy process nor is it cost-effective. 

Traditional mirrors are best hung where excessive moisture isn’t a concern. 

Explore New Angle Beveling’s featured commercial mirrors:

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2. Low-Iron Mirror For Clarity 

Low-iron mirrors offer supreme clarity and reflectivity. 

What makes this mirror type clearer than most others is its glass composition. Low-iron glass is made with materials containing a minimal amount of ferric oxide. Much more prevalent in standard glass, ferric oxide imparts a greenish tint to panes because it’s chemically reactive when heated. You’ll notice the green hue along the edges or in thick panes of standard glass. 

Without this additional element in its composition, low-iron mirrors are relatively colorless. That means low-iron mirrors give a truer, crisper reflection of an image. 

Low-iron mirrors are ideal for high-end bathrooms in places such as: 

  • Hotels 
  • Upscale restaurants. 
  • Reception areas
  • Banquet halls
  • Conference centers
  • Spas 

3. Copper-Free Mirror for Longevity 

Ever looked at a mirror that’s clearly seen better days -- one whose silvering is peeling and whose glass appears cloudy? That’s not an uncommon sight with traditional mirrors that have spent decades hung over sinks or in bathrooms with a shower. 

Copper-free mirrors are made to last and maintain their appearance regardless of changes in a bathroom’s heat and humidity. 

During the manufacturing of copper-free mirror glass, the backside is covered with multiple layers of a specialized primer that doesn’t contain copper before the silvering is applied. Without copper, the mirror has an increased lifespan as it is not as susceptible to degradation or corrosion. 

With an additional protective layer that seals a mirror, a copper-free mirror’s silvering is not exposed to humidity or harsh cleaning chemicals. Both moisture and cleaning products cause an unsealed mirror’s silvering to corrode, rust, or -- even worse -- flake off.  

(We can only provide copper-free mirror for large-quantity projects). 

Which Commercial Bathroom Mirror Is Best for Your Project?

Despite appearances, there’s a diverse selection of commercial bathroom mirrors available. As each meets different demands, using the wrong mirror type can mean wasted money and effort. 

Unsure which mirror type is optimal for a bathroom? Ask your commercial glass manufacturer -- they’ll help you match up the proper mirror to its intended use and bathroom environment.  

Ready to talk mirrors for your project?

An experienced commercial mirror manufacturer, New Angle Beveling has helped many customers find the right mirror for their project. Click the button below, and we’ll start talking about the commercial bathroom mirror that’s the best fit for your needs. 


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Topics: Commercial Mirror, Mirrored Wall, Mirror, Low-iron glass

Written by Greg Martell