How to choose the size and location of the bathroom mirror.

Bathroom mirrors combine both style and function, and can have a big impact on the small but important space of the bathroom. Deciding on an approximate size and placement of the mirror, will make your trip to the mirror store easy and efficient.

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1. Decide on a general placement for your mirror. Knowing where you want your mirror is the first step. This will help you take the correct measurements of your space and accurately consider aesthetic questions before going into the store.

  • Most bathroom mirrors are placed above the sink. It’s not a requirement, although hanging your mirror elsewhere, such as to the side or behind your vanity and sink, might take some getting used to.

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2. Measure your vanity or sink. The width of the vanity will determine the width of your mirror. Your mirror can be as wide as your vanity or smaller, but is usually not larger than your vanity.

  • A typical rule of thumb is to keep your mirror at least 1 inch (2.5 cm) smaller on both sides than the width of the vanity.

  • If you have or are planning to install lights alongside the mirror, factor their width into your measurements.

  • If you are installing a round mirror, you don’t need to worry as much about matching the width of your vanity.

  • If you have 2 sinks, consider installing a mirror above each sink instead of just 1 big mirror above both sinks. This will give the space a more designer look.

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3. Measure the area above the vanity or sink. This will help to determine the desired height of your mirror. Bathroom mirrors are typically placed at least 4-6 inches (10-15cm) from the ceiling and are not usually taller than the vanity.

  • Consider both the height of the wall and the height of the people who will be using the bathroom most often.

  • For example, a bathroom used only by adults will probably have a taller mirror than one used frequently by children. Make sure your mirror is tall enough to accommodate people at least of average height (5’5" or 165 cm for women, 5’10" or 178 cm for men) and slightly taller and shorter.

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4. Install sconces alongside the mirror or lights above it for a bathroom with no window. Make sure the lighting source will provide enough light to see your reflection clearly but won’t create a glare on the mirror.

  • Sconces vary widely in size, but in the bathroom you should go with a smaller model, about 8-10 in. (20-25cm), or thin and elongated. Your sconces should be about 1/3-2/3rds the length of the mirror.

  • Buy 2 of the same model and place them at least 4 in (10 cm) away from the mirror on either side. Factor their size and distance from the mirror into your measurements.

  • Take care not to place the sconces too high or too low. Line them up with the center of the mirror.

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5. Place the mirror a few inches (several cm) above the sink to lessen backsplash. If your sink is prone to splashing water out, place your mirror high enough above the vanity so that it won’t get hit. Remember to factor this into your measurements for the height of your mirror.

  • Make sure the mirror clears your faucet!

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6. Accommodate accessories and/or electrical outlets. If you plan to install sconces or have electrical outlets around your mirror, factor them into your mirror’s size and placement. Make sure to leave a few inches or several centimeters of space between the mirror and electrical outlets to avoid cluttering the space.

  • If you plan to put décor or practical objects on your countertop, make sure to place them so they won’t collide with your mirror.