A bathroom mirror frame offers a style option that can really make a bathroom's visual appearance "pop". You've probably seen them before in nicer hotels or fancier restaurant rest rooms -- those large bathroom mirrors framed with luxurious gilded or stained wood frames.
You can achieve the same look for your own bathroom and there are several ways to do it:
Option 4 is arguably the easiest method because of the convenience of being able to keep the mirror on the wall. You also don't have to fabricate your own frame. The kits are designed to make the framing job a relatively quick and easy installation. With that in mind let's take a closer look at what's available with these kinds of kits.
Putting some flair and finish on your otherwise bland wall mirror is easily done with made-for-you kits. With a little bit of time to measure, cut and assemble, you can have a new and fresher look for your bathroom.
The framing kits "work" by using adhesives to bond the frame pieces to your existing mirror. Materials and quantity of styles vary among manufacturers but the concept is similar.
In general, frames are available in wood, metal, MDF and acrylic and in styles ranging from contemporary to traditional.
If you're remodeling your bathroom and plan on installing a new furniture style vanity, you can save money by avoiding the purchase of a coordinating decorative mirror by using one of these kits. Rather than throw out your existing unit because it's too bland, wrap a rich wood frame around it. With the styles that are available in these kits finding a frame to complement the vanity is easy.
MirrorMate frames attach with a strong 3M-brand adhesive tape. The process starts by measuring your existing mirror and choosing the right frame from among multiple styles and colors. You can browse the selections by style or by price point.
The frame pieces are assembled using glue and corner connectors. The completed frame is then trial-fit against the mirror using temporary "jigs" called placement corners. These temporary tools are tacked to the mirror under the frame's upper inside corners. When the frame is properly positioned, the placement corner tools are put in place to mark the right location. All that's left is to remove the frame, apply the adhesive strips, reinstall the frame and remove the placement corner jigs.
The vast majority of frames are actually made from MDF (medium density fiberboard) which is a material made from compressed wood fibers. The frame is covered in a very thin veneer material that mimics the look of wood or other materials.
MirrorMate Frame Sample Pieces
The positive aspect of MDF is that it allows for intricate surface details that simulate carved wood. The down-side is that MDF doesn't like moisture and if the substrate is exposed to wetness it has a tendency to "fuzz". If the material is protected that shouldn't happen but if the surface protection (the paint, veneer covering, etc.) is chipped or nicked, the underlying material is exposed.
MirrorMate trim can be ordered directly from the company's website as well as through various stores and designers that carry the products. You'll find a list of retail locations on the site as well.
Mirrorscapes differs from MirrorMate in that the frames have square corner pieces instead of mitered corners. To build and install a frame with Mirrorscapes you'll need to buy straight sections that will cover the length and height of your mirror plus four corner pieces.
Mirrorscapes frames are mounted with a strong adhesive. You put them in place using mounting brackets and templates that help you correctly position the pieces. There are mounting brackets for the 4 corners and the straight sides. All you need to do is position the templates and then the mounting brackets, cut the straight pieces to size and mount them in place. After that it's just a matter of snapping the corner frame pieces in place to finish the frame.
Frames are made from wood with a variety of finishes and styles. Some can be painted to match your own decor. They're backed by a limited lifetime warranty.
You can see more of these frames at the Moen Mirrorscapes website. They can be bought online there as well as at other online merchants (just search for "moen mirrorscapes"). They're also sold at some of the big-box home centers if you prefer to shop and see the product before you buy. Just visit the Moen Mirrorscapes website and click on their "where to buy" locator function to help find retail locations.
|Frames are NOT representative of any particular maker|
Mirr.Edge frames take a different approach to the frame configuration. Instead of mitered corners Mirr.Edge incorporate a decorative corner piece which covers the joint where the horizontal and vertical frame pieces come together. Frames are a polymer or acrylic material with either a woodgrain-look or smooth finish. The number of styles is not as plentiful as some of the other bathroom mirror frame kits.
Frames are assembled by first measuring the length of framing material needed. The pieces are "cut" to size by scoring and snapping and then fastened to the mirror using adhesive. Some minor trimming might be necessary on the framing strips to ensure they fit over the clips that are typically used to fasten the mirror to the wall.
The Mirr.Edge framing system is available from several different sources including the online stores of The Home Depot and Bed, Bath and Beyond among others. The Mirr.Edge website has a "how to purchase" link with follow-on links to these online retailers.
With over 100 different styles of frames virtually any conceivable decorating style is covered. The frames are priced per linear foot and the inventory includes kits at several different price levels. Framing materials include wood, MDF and polycore (a synthetic material also used to make trim and moldings).
Reflected Design kits are assembled on a flat surface and then applied to the mirror using adhesive strips pre-applied to the back of the frame. The corners of the frames are held together with screws that are supplied with the kit and assembled into the back surface of the frame.
Reflected Design products are shipped across the U.S. but if you live in Northern Utah, you're eligible for a free in-home consultation as well as a free measurement and installation should you decided to purchase.
|Frames are NOT representative of any particular maker|
All of these kits allow you put a decorative frame around your mirror in a relatively economical and painless way.
What I like about MirrorMate and Reflected Design is the large selection of frames they offer. There are plenty of choices in various colors and styles, enough in my opinion to satisfy most tastes.
I'm personally not real fond of using MDF materials in the bathroom simply because of the moisture that's inherently present there. However if the MDF material is covered and doesn't get chipped, it should be OK. I'd probably go with a real wood frame in this type of environment however.
There are other ways of getting a framed bathroom mirror but they involve more expense and time. You can have your existing mirror professionally framed but that will require you to remove it from the wall and transport it to the framer, not a convenient task for some of those larger wall mirrors.
You could also buy a completely new pre-framed unit but they can be costly. Finding very large sizes also isn't that easy.
As an example, my own bathroom wall mirror measures 44" x 32". Depending on the frame I choose I'd end up spending from about $125 to upwards of $290 for one of these kits.
Doing some quick internet shopping, I found prices for wood-framed mirrors at $300 to over $1000. Not only were they more expensive than a framing kit, they were smaller than my existing mirror.
Regardless of which method you choose however, the impact these frames can make can be dramatic. It can turn an otherwise utilitarian bathroom into a warmer, more visually appealing place to start and end the day. And the best part about it is that you don't even have to take the mirror off the wall.