No, a homeowner doesn’t have to buy a special sort of mirror as a vanity mirror for the bathroom. What are called bathroom mirrors are usually those bland mirrors a homeowner finds in the bathroom section of a big box store or even a hardware store. They look like they shouldn’t go anywhere else besides the bathroom, and because they’re so boring, they often don’t.
A mirror is a piece of glass with a metallic back, usually silver or aluminum to make it reflective. Mirrors can be flat, concave or convex. Concave mirrors enlarge the reflection and are helpful with shaving and putting on makeup. Unless the homeowner finds them really off-putting, these sort of mirrors might be good to put in the bathroom. What truly matters when choosing and using a mirror in the bathroom is the lighting. The lighting in a bathroom shouldn’t be over bright and the homeowner should be aware of the different qualities of light given off by fluorescent, incandescent and halogen lights.
The one concern a homeowner might have with a vanity mirror in the bathroom is the inevitable heat and humidity in the room. Mirrors with wooden frames can be quite beautiful, but not highly recommended for bathroom mirrors, as they can swell and warp if they’re not treated with a sealant. High humidity can also damage the mirror’s reflective backing and lead to a condition called foxing. These are dark stipples that can be seen in the glass. Some people, especially collectors, adore these spots, but some might find them unsightly.
A vanity mirror that’s put in the bathroom must also be anchored securely to the wall. The wall has to be smooth, solid and dry. Mastic, an adhesive compound that can attach a mirror to the wall without clips or screws or any other hardware, shouldn’t be used. A mirror, especially if it’s heavy, should be hung on screws that are secured into a solid wall with anchors. They shouldn’t be hung one screw, but screws arranged in a way that will distribute the weight of the mirror and make sure that it’s secure. No one wants to contemplate what can happen if the humidity in a bathroom weakens an already weak fastener.
Of course, if there’s a sturdy shelf on the wall, the mirror can simply be propped up on it and leaned against the wall.
A vanity mirror should complement the decor of the bathroom, or even the decor of the bedroom if the bathroom is en suite. One thing that can be done with a mirror in a bathroom or a powder room is to edge it with makeup lights. This set up, long a staple of Hollywood movies and actors’ dressing rooms, gives shadowless light that’s ideal for applying makeup. A bathroom mirror in a seaside cottage can be surrounded by pretty seashells. The homeowner can do this themselves with some glue and seashells from the beach. A vanity mirror can have an ornate, etched glass or metal frame or have no frame at all. It can be round, square, oval, rectangular or even a bit irregular.
A vanity mirror can be ordered on line from a high end home furnishings store, found at a yard sale or a junk shop, or bought in a big box store. Some people even find their favorite mirror on the street, waiting to be thrown out with the rest of someone else’s junk.
So, after taking humidity and heat into consideration, any sort of mirror can be good for the bathroom.