If you're planning on doing some remodeling, you might have to make the decision between a vanity mirror vs. a regular mirror.

It goes without saying that a bathroom installation or renovation will require all the typical fittings, plumbing, and décor. Vanity mirrors are unique in that they serve both as function and as decoration.

With countless options available - and lots of money that you'll need to spend on all of your other bathroom products - you might be wondering if you need to spring for a vanity mirror or if you can just buy a regular mirror instead.

However, you can't just use any mirror you find as a bathroom mirror - or at least you shouldn't.

Is There a Difference Between a Vanity Mirror and a Regular Mirror?

There are several major differences between a regular mirror and a vanity mirror.

Tempered Glass

According to federal law, all bathroom mirrors must be made out of tempered glass. Sometimes referred to as toughened glass, tempered glass is made according to specific safety guidelines.

It is exposed to a number of chemical treatments before it is molded into a specific shape in a temperature-controlled environment.

When hit with any kind of brute force, the tempered glass breaks into rounded shards rather than those that have sharp edges. This can prevent serious injuries.

A vanity mirror will almost always be made from tempered glass. In some cases, though, it might be made out of laminated glass.

Laminated glass is similar to tempered glass in that it is safe for use in bathrooms.

A regular mirror differs from a vanity mirror because it does not have to be made from tempered or laminated glass. Instead, it can be made by spraying a narrow layer of molten aluminum or silver onto the back of a sheet of glass.

Appearance

Aside from the obvious safety concerns, there are other reasons why your bathroom mirrors should always be made out of tempered or laminated glass, too. One is for aesthetics.

A bathroom mirror that is made out of regular glass will fog up and become greasy more easily than mirrors made out of tempered glass. This can be incredibly frustrating if you step out of the shower and are in a hurry to get your hair and makeup done before work!

Vanity mirrors are meant to serve just that purpose - they'll fog up more slowly and stay cleaner and easier than regular mirrors. So don't cut corners - install vanity mirrors in your bathroom and you'll be doing yourself a huge favor.

Why Do I Need a Vanity Mirror?

Don't buy just any old wall mirror to hang up in your bathroom. Spend some extra time in your search and buy a vanity mirror. Here's why.

Vanity mirrors are bathroom furnishings. Under federal law, all bathroom fittings and furnishings must meet certain safety standards.

In that long list of furnishings and fittings are bathtubs, showers, sinks, toilets, windows, doors, and - you guessed it- mirrors.

According to federal safety standards, all bathroom mirrors must be made from tempered glass.

There are a few other reasons why you might want a vanity mirror instead of any old mirror for your bathroom, but this is the biggest and most important.

Whether you're installing a mirror in your own bathroom or are a contractor working to remodel someone else's, it's not wise to use a regular mirror in place of a vanity mirror. It can be hazardous if you happen to trip and fall, bumping into the mirror while stepping out of the shower.

A mirror that is not made out of tempered glass is also more likely to break when exposed to the abrupt temperature changes and pressure buildup from steam when you take a hot shower or bath.

Not only that, but your local or state building codes may restrict you from replacing a bathroom mirror with a regular mirror at free will.

What Mirror Size Should You Purchase?

In addition to choosing a vanity mirror for your bathroom that is made out of the right kind of glass, there are a few other factors you'll need to take into consideration before shopping, too. Among these are the mirror size, height, and type.

Let's dive first into finding the right size mirrors for your bathroom.

Height and Width

You'll need to consider both the height and width of your mirror, which varies depending on the types of bathroom settings in which the mirrors are being installed.

Look for a mirror that is at least as wide as your countertop (or no more than two to three inches on either side). This will help you maximize the aesthetics of your mirror but also make it more functional, giving you a larger surface to gaze upon.

Flush Positioning

There are other tips you can use to install your vanity mirror, too. For example, you'll want to be sure to keep the mirror flush with your vanity (which can make most types of bathroom areas seem larger than they actually are).

It will also reflect more light, making the room seem brighter while also giving you a better view of yourself in the reflection.

The height of the mirror is also important, but the good news is that this is more or less a matter of personal preference.

A tall person will need a vanity mirror to be hung a lot higher than a shorter person - that should go without saying!

However, rather than hanging a mirror higher or lower, you could choose instead to install a longer or shorter mirror to accommodate everybody's needs.

How High Should You Hang Your Mirror?

In addition to choosing a mirror that's of the proper height, you'll also need to decide how high to hang your mirror.

Obviously, you should hang your mirror high enough so everyone can see themselves. Without measuring every single person in your family, though, you can get a rough idea of how high this needs to be.

One way is to position the mirror a few inches above the faucet. You can also hang it so that it is centered between the lighting fixtures and the sink. A final option is to hang it five to ten inches above the sink.

Whatever you choose, just make sure you can see into it!

What Type of Vanity Mirror Should You Buy for the Bathroom?

Now that you know where we side in the vanity mirror vs. regular mirror debate, it’s time to find the perfect one for you.

Believe it or not, there are many types of mirrors you can choose from. From floor mirrors to smart mirrors, here are some of your options.

Wall Mirror

As the name suggests, wall mirrors are meant to be mounted directly on the wall.

They can be framed or sold without a mirror frame, allowing you to adapt to a wide variety of bathroom decors.

Pivot Mirror

Pivot mirrors are another option you might choose for your bathrooms. These wall mirrors generally attach to your vanity and are some of the most versatile around.

Because they move and pivot, they allow you to view yourself from several different angles. When it comes to fixing your hair in a complicated style or applying makeup, pivot mirrors are the way to go.

Cabinet Mirror

When you think of a vanity mirror, you probably automatically think of cabinet mirrors - these are the classic options since they combine storage with personal viewing.

Cabinet mirrors can be permanently installed on the wall or be freestanding units on legs.

Lighted Mirror

A lighted mirror, or illuminated mirror, is another smart choice. Even though you probably have lighting installed in your bathroom, illuminated mirrors are beneficial in that they mimic natural daylight and offer better lighting for up-close activities, like plucking your eyebrows or putting on foundation.

These generally rely on LED lights that are built directly into the top or sides of the mirror.

Smart Mirror

If you want to get really fancy, you might want to consider installing a smart Bluetooth mirror in your bathroom. These mirrors reflect modern times by allowing you to sync your cell phone or music device directly to them.

These are often similar to illuminated mirrors in that they are equipped with LED lighting.

They go one step further, though, since you'll be able to connect your devices so that you can play music, get the time, or answer a phone call without having to worry about getting your electronics wet.

Tips for Choosing Bathroom Mirrors

Ready to start shopping for the ideal vanity mirror? Here are some things to consider as you look around for the best bathroom décor.

Purpose

What will you be using your bathroom mirror for? Putting on makeup, fixing your hair - perhaps just brushing and flossing your teeth?

Consider the purpose of your bathroom mirror since you'll want to make sure it receives adequate lighting and can be installed in the best possible position for your activities.

Framed vs. Frameless

Whether you opt for a framed mirror or a frameless one can make a major impact on the look and overall appeal of your bathroom.

A framed mirror can come in a variety of styles, with both modern and more traditional options available.

A frameless mirror, on the other hand, will be made out of a single sheet of mirrored glass. It will generally have beveled or sandblasted edges. They can be harder to install and move but take up less space than framed mirrors do in the bathroom.

When choosing a framed mirror, keep in mind that you'll have to narrow down your search even more - you will find framed mirrors made out of all kinds of materials, including metal, plastic, wood, and glass.

Cleaning

How busy are you? Chances are, if you're like most people, the answer is - very. You probably don't have hours of free time to spare to clean your bathroom all the time.

That's something you'll want to take into consideration when shopping for your bathroom mirror.

Vanity mirrors that are floor-length tend to take forever to clean, while decorative mirrors often have intricate nooks and crannies that can be hard to get free from grime, too.

Shape

All mirrors have unique shapes, with the three most common for bathroom and vanity mirrors being convex, concave, and plane.

Convex mirrors tend to be spherical in shape, bulging out and distorting the shape of the reflected image. Often, these make you look smaller - probably not the best when you're trying to apply makeup or do your hair since it will be harder to get a clear view of intricate details.

Concave mirrors curve in, making you look larger. These may not be the best if you want to feel thinner while gazing upon your reflection, but they are better for doing your makeup.

With plane mirrors, you get what you get - there's no distorting. It is what it is!

Single or Multiple Mirrors

Here's another thing to consider - how many people will be using your vanity mirror?

If the answer is, "more than one," particularly more than one at a time, you may want to consider doubling up and buying multiple mirrors.

If you have a double basin or vanity cabinet, with a "his and hers" style design, you're going to want multiple mirrors.

A single mirror will just look odd - unless, of course, you choose one wide wall mirror to cover the entire space.

What Type of Mirror is Best for a Bathroom?

Ultimately, the details above don't matter as much when you're shopping for a bathroom mirror. The most important decision you will need to make is whether to buy a regular mirror or a vanity mirror - and the answer should always be a vanity, or bathroom, mirror.

Safety takes precedence over anything else and a vanity mirror will offer you just that. Otherwise, you're free to decide which variables mentioned above matter most to you - but believe it or not, form and function can work together in your bathroom!

When it comes to making a serious impact with the style of your bathroom, you've got to consider Luvo’s vanity mirrors. This company offers the widest variety of vanity mirrors including the exclusive Diamond line of products.

You don't have to be a Hollywood movie star in order to love everything that these Luvo mirrors have to offer. They're glamorous and extravagant (without being extravagantly priced!), offering three tones of lighting and multiple settings to help them light up any room in which they are installed.

Better yet, they're made with quality-grade aluminum and steel and equipped with all the mounting gear you need for easy installation.

Your bathroom décor is a reflection of who you are as a person - and your mirror is a reflection of your bathroom (both figuratively and literally). Make an impact by choosing a vanity mirror that is safe, functional, and gorgeous - you don't have to compromise!



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