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Updating a Bathroom Mirror

Updated on August 8, 2019
Ky Cardinal profile image

Anxious to upgrade the many places we have called home, I recently upgraded a standard bathroom mirror to one that has a personality.

Looking to Dress up the Bath.

Did you ever want a little extra bling to light up a boring bathroom. Try the beautiful tiles that are now being used most often as back splashes in the kitchen. Many of these tiles have a color palette that works in a kitchen, but there are now many that can be used in other areas of the home. Often contractors put plain mirrors up with little thought of dressing the room up. Bathrooms and kitchens sell a house. Whether it's a newly constructed house or a flip, a framed mirror always says "decorator." If looking to sale, dressing up a mirror might catch the eye of buyers.

The current trends are houses with a little sparkle. Farm house mirrors can also use frames with tiles that are more subdued. Tiles should match or contrast with countertop, d├ęcor, and color that will last and not appear too trendy. There is a fine line between trendy for this year and classic.

Preping the area.

Visit a big box home remodeling store or a tile store. You will want to find a tile that is a square piece of tile. Interlocking tile is the most popular, but making it work will require a tile cutter, and someone the experience to cut tile.

Cover your working surface with a drop cloth to protect the counter top and hardware. This will also help in the grout stage to catch any grout that falls.

Determine how wide you want your tile trim. From the tile design picked, the sheet may produce two or three rows of tile. The sheet is easily cut with heavy duty scissors or cutters of choice.

Boring Contractor Grade Mirror

Walk into a new or flipped home and this is often what you see; a plain contractor grade mirror.
Walk into a new or flipped home and this is often what you see; a plain contractor grade mirror. | Source
Tape off and sand lightly to rough up the mirror surface where the backing material will be attached prior to tiling.
Tape off and sand lightly to rough up the mirror surface where the backing material will be attached prior to tiling. | Source

Preparing the Mirror Surface.

  • Take a ruler and mark carefully where the frame will go. This will be from the side of the mirror. Nothing is attached to the drywall or plaster.
  • Tape off the mirror with painters tape. Tape to protect painted walls and then tape along what will be the inside edge of the frame.
  • Between those two pieces of tape, use fine sandpaper to rough up the portion that will tiled.
  • Then apply a adhesive mat that will attach to the mirror and hold the tiles. There are several products on the market. Most of the big box stores carry this product and is normally near the tile display. There is also a new product that is tile with an adhesive back attached. This might be a less expensive alternative for a basement bathroom.
  • The double-sided product is similar to a two-sided tape. It will be the exact width of the frame you are making. The double-sided product should not be seen once the tile is applied. It is thicker and much harder to cut, but a good exacto knife will solve the problems.
  • Carefully apply the Mat making sure all surfaces are pressed against the mirror that has been prepped with the light sanding.

Preparing the Tiles

Tile sheets are 12 X 12. Many designs have 12 roles of tile square. Although, some tiles will differ.

Cut strips of the tile to the width desired. Smaller mirrors may look better with three tiles while larger mirrors may require 4 depending of the design and size of the tile. Make sure all the netting is trimmed. There should be no trim showing once the tiles are applied. So, the number of tile sheets will correspond to the width of the frame you are making and the size of the mirror.


Once tiles have been placed, make sure they have adhered tightly to the double sided matting. A waiting period would be a good idea. A few hours would be great, if possible.

Pick out a grout that goes with the tile that was picked. For example, a brown with highlights of grey stone, may look best with brown grout or possibly grey. Often it is a personal choice.

Grouting can be done with a trough or with hands working the grout into all the spaces. Inspect closely to make sure all crevices are filled. Then take a bucket and wet sponge and removed all excess grout. This may take one or two buckets of clean water to make sure all grout has been removed and also check that there is no grout that has transferred to walls or countertops. If sink was covered and walls taped with painters tape, this shouldn't be a problem. Once the grout dries it is there permanently.

Finished Mirror with Tile

Two-Sided Matting
Two-Sided Matting | Source

A New Look

This is a one day project and should add interest to a boring contractor mirror.


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