Framed Vs. Frameless
Bathroom Mirror Style Guide
Choosing the right bathroom mirror is like putting the bow on a beautifully wrapped gift. The mirror should be the finishing touch – a shimmering gem that completes your new or remodeled bathroom! If you haven’t thought about your vanity mirror this way, maybe it’s because you haven’t yet discovered the gorgeous and diverse mirror options that are available today. As you pick from among these many appealing choices, an important question arises: framed or frameless? You may have already made the framed vs. frameless shower door decision, but you don’t have to choose the same style for your vanity mirror. It’s perfectly fine to pair a framed mirror with a frameless shower or vice versa. Let’s delve into not only the pros and cons of framed and frameless bathroom mirrors, but also the exciting custom options offered to today’s home decorator.
1. What are my options for framed bathroom mirrors?
There are several ways to obtain a framed vanity mirror for your bathroom, and the right choice for you will depend on factors like budget and desired appearance. When buying a pre-framed mirror, you are limited as to size and style options. Working with a custom glass company does allow you greater freedom to pick the dimensions and appearance of the mirror.
Choose a frame, order a custom mirror to fit inside it, and then hang the framed mirror in the desired space above your vanity. This is appealing if you’re going for a unique look or have a particular frame you’d like to use in the room.
Order a custom metal wrapped mirror in your desired dimensions and have it professionally installed. Going this route also allows you to tailor the wall hanging to your practical needs AND preferred style.
Buy and hang a pre-framed mirror. This can be a quick, budget-friendly option with a set range of sizes and styles from which to choose.
2. What are my options for frameless bathroom mirrors?
You also have a few different choices if you decide on a frameless bathroom mirror. As with framed mirrors, ordering a custom product gives you the most flexibility for the shape, size, and style of the mirror.
Order a custom polished edge mirror and have it professionally installed. If you want a non-traditional or asymmetrical mirror shape, this is your best bet.
Order a custom beveled edge mirror and have it professionally installed. A beveled edge adds detail around the perimeter, making the mirror more decorative.
Purchase and install a stock frameless mirror for a budget option.
If you truly want the vanity mirror to function as a wall hanging, a focal point, or a statement piece, choosing a one-of-kind custom design is an appealing option.
3. What are the pros and cons of bathroom mirrors in traditional frames?
As we dive more deeply into the features of each product, let’s start with mirrors in traditional frames.
PRO: A frame gives a mirror character and personality, so a framed vanity mirror always does double duty as a wall hanging.
CON: A frame can collect dust if not regularly cleaned.
PRO: A frame that matches the bathroom’s style and palette visually connects the mirror to the room’s overall aesthetic.
CON: Frames with very distinctive styles may not match if you change the bathroom’s theme, style, or color scheme.
PRO: Framing a mirror can give you the opportunity to show off an heirloom frame or a great flea market find.
4. What are the pros and cons of metal wrapped bathroom mirrors?
A metal wrapped bathroom mirror has a style that is framed rather than frameless. ABC Glass & Mirror offers metal wrapping in the following finishes:
PRO: Metal wrapping is available in several finishes so you can often match it to other bathroom hardware.
PRO: A metallic border makes a functional bathroom mirror look more like a wall hanging. For example, the combination of dark metal and glass is very popular right now. Wrapping your vanity mirror in black matte metal turns it into a trendy but classy wall ornament.
PRO: Metal wrapped mirrors can be ordered in custom sizes. This design element is doable whether the wall space over your sink is plentiful or scarce.
PRO: Metal wrapping is available for square and rectangular mirrors as well as circular and oval ones.
CON: If you renovate the bathroom, the metal border may no longer match the other hardware. (However, mixed metals are in style, so this doesn’t necessarily have to be a problem!)
5. What are the pros and cons of frameless bathroom mirrors with polished edges?
Polished edge frameless mirrors are classic and timeless. Their surface is uniform, and the mirror edges are machine polished for safety and a sleek appearance.
PRO: Frameless mirrors with polished edges match any color scheme and blend in seamlessly with many bathroom styles.
PRO: A polished edge mirror will not clash with any bathroom hardware, regardless of its finish.
PRO: A polished edge mirror keeps the focus on the glass and fits well in modern, contemporary, and transitional spaces.
PRO: Their simplicity makes the care of polished edge mirrors quite straightforward.
PRO: Polished edge mirrors work well when you want to maximize usable mirror space or make the ceilings seem higher by installing a wall to wall and/or counter to ceiling vanity mirror.
PRO: Polished edge mirrors can be cut into many different shapes.
CON: A polished edge mirror is definitely a wall ornament, but it is not as decorative as a mirror with some type of detail around its edges.
6. What are the pros and cons of frameless bathroom mirrors with beveled edges?
On this type of frameless mirror, a bevel is cut around the mirror’s perimeter so that its surface slants down and finishes in a thin polished edge. In terms of shape, beveled mirrors can have straight or curved edges.
PRO: The bevel dresses up the mirror and makes it more of a wall adornment.
PRO: A bevel is a mirror border that will match any hardware or bathroom color palette.
PRO: Beveled mirrors also work well when you want a large expanse of reflective glass.
PRO: Beveled mirrors are available in various geometric shapes.
PRO: Beveled mirrors also have a simple, easy to clean design.
CON: Beveled mirrors are classic but not as trendy as some framed mirror options, such as a mirror wrapped in black metal.
7. All in all, how do framed and frameless bathroom mirrors compare?
As you can see, both framed and frameless bathroom mirrors have many positive traits and few negative issues. Frameless mirrors are often best if you want as much mirror space as possible and highly value smooth surfaces that are easy to wipe down. In general, polished edge and beveled mirrors have a more modern vibe than their framed counterparts. Also, some homeowners like to make the bathroom more edgy with unusually shaped mirrors. Frameless mirrors can be cut into asymmetrical shapes as well as geometric figures like crescents, tear drops, triangles, half circles, and more.
On the other hand, if you want to maximize the mirror’s decorative impact, a metal border or traditional frame is a great tool for doing just that. Also, a framed mirror is a better fit for popular styles like cottagecore, farmhouse, grandmillenial, maximalist, and more. Any bathroom theme that includes vintage charm will be well served by a metal wrapped or framed mirror.
In summary, it’s helpful to clarify your goals for the space and then choose between a framed or frameless bathroom mirror. Thinking about these points can be helpful:
What style or theme have I chosen for this new or remodeled bathroom? Is it more modern or more vintage?
How much functional mirror space is ideal for this particular area?
Will I be cleaning this bathroom myself or hiring out the job? If I’m doing it myself, will I dust and wipe down a mirror frame regularly?
8. Would two framed mirrors or one large frameless mirror look better over a double vanity?
If you’re blessed to have a double vanity in your bathroom, it’s important to get the choice between one large frameless mirror or two smaller framed mirrors right.
One large frameless mirror: Choosing one wide mirror that extends across the whole length of the vanity counter can create a sense of spaciousness. This also gives you as much mirror glass as possible, which is nice if you and your spouse get ready for work at the same time. One large frameless mirror tends to a have streamlined, modern look.
Two smaller framed mirrors: Often, two smaller mirrors will also provide you with sufficient reflective glass. Going this route opens up more design possibilities. Will the two mirrors be identical in their shapes and sizes? What frame style and finish will you choose? Will the two frames match? With this option, you have two more decorative accents to add to your bathroom: the frames.
While the choice often comes down to one large frameless mirror or two smaller framed mirrors, keep in mind that you could also use a single large framed mirror or two smaller unframed mirrors over a double vanity..
9. Can I include a framed and frameless mirror in the same bathroom?
In a bathroom with a single vanity, it is actually desirable to add a second mirror to supplement the one over the vanity, and even larger bathrooms will sometimes have multiple mirrors. This is especially useful in the case of the master bathroom or a restroom shared by siblings. In many cases, it looks just fine to have both a framed mirror and a frameless mirror in the same room. For example, you might fill the wall space above the sink with a large polished mirror and then hang a smaller framed mirror on another wall above a makeup table. Other possibilities include:
Creating a gallery wall that includes both framed and frameless mirrors.
Turning the vanity mirror into the central piece in a gallery wall by surrounding it with other wall hangings and/or mirrors.
Using a framed mirror over the vanity and supplementing with a frameless mirrored medicine cabinet elsewhere in the room.
10. Besides framing and edgework, are there other ways to customize a mirror to my bathroom’s style?
Absolutely! Besides the options already discussed for framing, edgework, and mirror dimensions, ABC Glass & Mirror offers:
Antique Mirror: Antique mirror is a term used to describe new mirror glass that has been given a vintage look. This glass imparts immediate charm to any space and is ideal for creating a layered, collected over time impression. Although these are sometimes hung over the vanity, you will not see yourself reflected as perfectly in an antique style mirror as in a standard mirror. If this is a concern, a metal wrapped antique mirror is a wonderful wall ornament elsewhere in a bathroom with vintage flair.
Cut-outs: If you’re going for a more contemporary feel, it’s often desirable to install a large sheet of reflective glass. In a bathroom, there may be outlets or light switches where you want this mirrored wall. Glass professionals can add cut-outs to a mirror so that it will fit around devices already attached to the wall.
Tinted Mirror: ABC also offers gray and bronze tinted mirror glass. You would not want to use such a mirror to apply makeup, but it makes a stunning statement piece elsewhere in the bathroom. For a modern vibe, have the tinted mirror cut into an irregular shape; for an Old World feel, have it wrapped in metal or place it inside an ornate frame.
11. What are the best ways to care for framed and frameless bathroom mirrors?
We’ll start with cleaning tips that apply to both framed and frameless bathroom mirrors. It is best to avoid products that contain ammonia since this can damage the mirror’s backing. It’s also preferable to spray the cleaning agent onto the cloth or paper towel rather than onto the glass itself. Spraying it onto the glass can result in liquid running down the face of the mirror and damaging the mirror backing and/or whatever is below the mirror.
Avoid all harsh or abrasive cleaning agents or scrubbing pads when working with reflective glass.
First, wipe away any visible soil or fingerprints.
Next, apply more cleaner and wipe down the entire mirror.
Finally, buff the mirror’s surface until it is completely dry.
If streaks are present, apply a small amount of cleaner and once again buff until dry.
If you have a framed bathroom mirror, you will also want to:
Regularly dust the frame or metal wrapping.
Inquire with your glass company about how to clean metal wrapping without damaging or spotting its finish. (This can vary depending on the finish.)
If the frame or metal becomes damp, dry it promptly to avoid potential damage or staining.
12. How can I have bathroom mirrors delivered and installed for me?
If you’d like to design custom framed or frameless bathroom mirrors and have them professionally installed in your Northern Virginia home, you can call ABC Glass & Mirror at (703)257-7150. Our first step is to set up a free in-home meeting with one of our mirror experts. This meeting allows you to view samples/photos of the different types of mirror glass and the edge options. You can also ask questions from someone with lots of mirror experience. At the same time, this consultation allows our glazier to inspect the relevant walls, to take notes regarding structural irregularities or fixtures on the wall, and to take and record the appropriate measurements. After this initial consult, the process typically follows these steps:
We email you a price quote for the products and options in which you are interested.
You make your decision and call us to place your order.
We prepare all that is needed for your mirror(s) and schedule an installation visit.
A trained team installs your bathroom mirrors.
Whether you want a frameless vanity mirror, a mirror wrapped in metal, or a mirror cut to fit inside a frame, we invite you to give ABC a call and give us the chance to earn your business.