If you’re in the market for a new mirror, you might be wondering if there are any differences between a bathroom mirror and a standard one.

Mirrors serve both functional and aesthetic purposes, but they are certainly not all created equal. There are plenty of differences between regular and bathroom mirrors, so it’s important to take a deep dive into the glass world before purchasing. Location, size, lighting, and installation are just some of the factors to consider.

Luckily, we’ve done all of the necessary research, so you don’t have to. Stay tuned as we cover everything you need to know about bathrooms and standard mirrors.

1. Location, Location, Location

Perhaps the easiest way to distinguish between mirrors is by their location. You might find a standard mirror in various locations throughout a home, such as the bedroom, hallway, living room, entryway, and closet. Bathroom mirrors are specifically designed for bathroom installation.

Choosing the perfect mirror doesn’t have to be difficult; here are some tips for choosing the right mirror for any room:

  • 1. Long Mirrors in Long Rooms – If you have a rectangular-shaped room in your house, a rectangular-shaped mirror will serve the space well. This also applies to large corridors or foyers. Mirrors assist in opening up rectangular rooms, which might feel somewhat contained, especially if there are few windows.
  • 2. Avoid Facing Windows – We all know the blinding glare from looking into a mirror that reflects the sun. You don’t want jarring beams hindering your morning beauty routine or waking you up earlier than expected. During the late summer evenings, you also don’t want a mirror reflecting the setting sun’s light into your room turning it into the surface of the sun. Take note of where the sun enters your home when hanging mirrors.
  • 3. Size Matters – There are always exceptions to every interior design rule, but larger mirrors should generally be reserved for larger walls. Small mirrors, on the other hand, should be utilized as accent pieces or on smaller walls.

Bathroom mirrors are designed for use in bathrooms, where they are exposed to high levels of moisture, humidity, and temperature fluctuations. They’re structured differently to be more resilient to these conditions. Here are some bathroom mirror ideas to help you select the best option:

  • 1. Keep the mirror’s width the same size or smaller than the vanity – Mirrors shouldn’t be broader than the vanity; this will create wonky proportions your eyes can’t ignore. Align the width perfectly with a custom design, or opt for a smaller mirror for a unique look.
  • 2. Keep the mirror at your eye line – A functional mirror needs to sit around a foot above and below your eye line. However, the more height you can get, the better, as it will provide additional viewing angles and open up the room. We recommend at least four to seven feet above the ground.

2. Materials and Construction

Standard mirrors are typically made with a glass surface and a simple frame. They might not have additional protective coatings or features to resist moisture. While those features are comforting, they’re not usually necessary for a mirror decorating a hall or a dining room.

Bathroom mirrors are made with specialized materials that are more resistant to moisture and corrosion. They often have sealed edges and may include anti-fog or anti-microbial coatings to enhance their durability in a bathroom environment. With the daily attack of moisture coming from a hot shower, these coatings are essential for prolonged mirror life.

One common type of coating is hydrophobic coating. This is an invisible coating that repels water and oil, making cleanup easier and discoloration less likely. The less water and oils that cling to the surface, the less hard water stains, soap scum, and other waste products will stick as well.

3. Fog Resistance

Standard mirrors will usually fog up when exposed to steam or humidity, so they’re not ideal for a bathroom setting. Taking a long hot shower to relax is a dream, but the foggy implications are inevitable. Waiting for the condensation to dissipate can feel like hours, and wiping a towel across the surface leaves annoying streaks. Instead, opt for a fog-resistant mirror in the bathrooms of your home.

Many bathroom mirrors are equipped with anti-fog features that prevent condensation and fog from forming on the mirror’s surface, ensuring clear visibility even during or after hot showers. This can be especially vital if you’re in a hurry.

Here are some other bathroom mirror ideas to help keep the fog off of your reflection:

  • 1. Fog-free Barrier – Fog-free glass on a mirror acts as a barrier, reducing or eliminating fog buildup. This barrier can be built inside the glass or applied as a permanent coating during the production process. Most mirrors with anti-fog technology can still fog slightly, but the higher the material quality, the better the results.
  • 2. Heating Elements– Fog-free mirrors with heating elements are the most effective design. This element connects to the frame and is attached to a wall switch that activates the heat when the bathroom light is turned on. The heat produced reduces the temperature difference between the mirror’s surface and the hot water fog. This prevents water from gathering in the mirror, keeping it shiny and visible.

4. Size and Design

Standard mirrors come in limitless shapes and sizes. Since these mirrors are often used more for décor purposes than actual function, you can really have fun when selecting the perfect piece.

When a mirror is chosen for decorating purposes, anti-fogging and pristine lighting aren’t typically on the mind. The style of the frame and size are more important than the mirror’s functionality.  A mirror is a simple piece that can really tie a room together and breathe life into the space, whether it is a large one in the living room or a small one hanging in the entryway.

On the other hand, bathroom mirrors are usually more focused on functionality than aesthetics. When designing a bathroom mirror, the bathroom layout is paramount. When looking for bathroom mirror ideas, you should first consider the size of your vanity. The mirror should match or complement the size of the vanity, so have those measurements handy.

Bathroom mirror design and size will range tremendously between a master bathroom and a small half bathroom for guests. Your master bath might have the space to house a huge mirror across the vanity, plus a full-length mirror on the floor. On the other hand, a half bathroom probably only has the space for a modest mirror above the sink.

5. Lighting

Standard mirrors around the house don’t typically have attached lighting. People don’t usually use their dining room mirror as more than an accent piece, so the extra light is not needed.

Conversely, adequate bathroom lighting is crucial. Many bathroom mirrors come with incorporated lighting, such as LED strips or backlit designs, to provide better visibility for tasks like shaving or applying makeup.

Some pros of using bathroom mirror lights include:

  • Helps you see colors correctly
  • Makes the bathroom look luxurious
  • More comfortable for your eyes
  • Adds extra home value
  • Helps you shave safely, apply makeup, do hair, etc.

6. Installation

Installation is half of the fun of decorating with mirrors. Standard mirrors are installed in various ways, including wall-mounting, leaning against a wall, or as part of furniture. There are so many uses and styles that can bring even the most uncreative mind to life.

Bathroom mirrors are, unfortunately, not as flexible as standard mirrors when it comes to installation. Bathroom mirrors have specific mounting features to ensure they’re securely fixed in a potentially humid and high-traffic area.

Here are some tips to consider when hanging a new bathroom mirror:

  • 1. Mirror Weight – You’ll need to know how much your mirror weighs to figure out whether your hanging hardware is suitable. Weigh your mirror using a bathroom scale if you don’t already know how heavy it is. A weight limit will most likely be indicated on your hanging hardware.
  • 2. Special Care – Mirrors, especially heavy mirrors, need special care when mounting in a bathroom. Mounting a mirror is the same as hanging a huge picture frame or a large piece of artwork. When a large, heavy piece of glass needs to be supported on the wall, brackets or wires must be used. If it’s not framed, it could need special clips or adhesive to stay in place.
  • 3. Wall Type – Before purchasing mirror hanging hardware, consider the type of wall you have, as this will determine how to hang your mirror. Determine where you want to hang your mirror on the wall – over a stud is preferable. If you aren’t confident that you can find a stud, you can use anchors.

Utah Northern Glass is Here for You!

There is a lot to consider when selecting a new standard or bathroom mirror, from function to size and more. Do you want to add anti-fog features to help eliminate pesky moisture? Are you wanting to add lights to make sure that you are looking your best for the day? This is where our experts are here to help. When considering customized glass, look no further than Northern Utah Glass.

Northern Utah Glass can show you the power of customized mirrors for your bathroom and house. Our skilled staff specializes in the design of personalized mirrors that combine usefulness and elegance. Choose the size, shape, and style that complements your aesthetic and is custom-made to your requirements.

Contact us today to discuss your requirements, and let us create a one-of-a-kind mirror that represents your personality and enhances your area.