Adding a mirror backsplash to your kitchen or bathroom can visually expand the space, reflect light, and add a contemporary, stylish look. Installing a mirror backsplash is also a relatively easy DIY project that can completely transform the look and feel of a room. Here is a comprehensive guide on how to install a mirror backsplash in your home.
Choosing the Right Mirror Backsplash
The first step is selecting the right type of mirror backsplash for your needs. Here are the main options to consider:
Mirror backsplashes are commonly available in 4×8 ft sheets, which can be cut down to size. Consider the dimensions of your backsplash area when deciding on size. Measure to ensure you get an adequately sized mirror.
Standard mirror thickness is 1/4 inch. Thicker 3/8 inch mirror is more durable for heavily used spaces. Ensure the thickness works with your planned installation method.
Frameless vs Framed
Frameless mirrors have a sleek, contemporary look. Framed mirrors have a decorative edge and come in various styles. Frames cover mirror edges for safety.
Mirrored Glass vs Acrylic
Glass mirror backsplashes have higher clarity and reflectivity. Acrylic plastic mirrors are more affordable but scratch easier. Both can work well.
Mirrored tiles and sheets can create a unique backsplash look. Tiles have grouted seams and may be textured.
Beveled mirrors have angled polished edges that refract light. This adds depth and visual interest.
Smoked mirrors have a dark tint that can help soften reflections. Good for high-glare spaces.
Two-way mirrors are reflective on one side and transparent when lit on the other. Provides a very unique effect.
How to Measure and Cut a Mirror Backsplash
Once you’ve selected the ideal mirror backsplash type and size for your space, the next key step is properly measuring and sizing the mirror to fit your backsplash area:
- Use a tape measure to carefully measure the height and width of the backsplash area you plan to cover. Remember to account for any outlets, switches or irregular shapes.
- It’s recommended to make the mirror 1/8 to 1/4 inch smaller than the backsplash area on all sides. This allows room for adhesive and spacers.
- Mark the measurements on the backside of the mirror with a grease pencil. Use a straightedge and razor knife to score the mirror along the cut lines.
- Clamp the mirror securely to a table. Carefully snap the mirror on the scored lines. The mirror should cut cleanly along the score.
- Use a diamond glass blade in a wet saw to cut mirror for any detailed or curved cuts. Take safety precautions.
- File and smooth the cut mirror edges using a carbide sanding block or a mirror edge grinding machine. This prevents injury from sharp edges.
- Clean and dry the mirror before installation. Carefully remove any grease pencil marks on the front of the mirror using glass cleaner and a soft cloth.
Preparing the Backsplash Area for Mirror Installation
To ensure proper mirror backsplash installation, the backsplash area needs to be prepared prior to attaching the mirror:
- Thoroughly clean the entire backsplash area with a multipurpose cleaner to remove any dirt, oil, or debris. Rinse and let dry completely.
- Ensure the backsplash area is smooth, dry, and free of any loose material or imperfections in the wall surface. Repair any holes or flaws if needed.
- Remove any existing backsplash. Scrape off any remaining tile adhesive. Fill any uneven spots with drywall compound and sand smooth.
- If there is an existing substrate like cement board or drywall, check that it’s firmly secured to the wall framing. Re-secure if needed.
- For moisture-prone areas, apply a waterproof membrane as an added safeguard against potential moisture damage.
- Prime the entire backsplash installation area with a quality adhesion promoting primer or sealer. Let it dry fully.
Installation Materials and Tools Needed
Gather all the necessary materials and tools to safely and successfully install the mirror backsplash:
- Mirror backsplash
- Adhesive: Liquid nails or silicone adhesive for mirrors
- Adhesive spreader/trowel
- Spacers or washers
- Mirror clips
- Silicone caulk and caulk gun
- Tape measure
- Stud finder
- Marking pencil
- Utility knife
- Power drill and bits
- Circular saw with carbide blade (if cutting)
- Carbide sanding block
- Isopropyl alcohol and soft rags
- Grease pencil
- Safety gear: gloves, eye protection, work apron
Step-by-Step Mirror Backsplash Installation
Once you have all the necessary materials and tools assembled, follow these key steps for professional mirror backsplash installation results:
Step 1: Plan Your Mirror Layout
- Based on your measurements, determine the optimal layout for the mirror backsplash area. Mark stud locations.
- Figure out any seam locations if using multiple mirror panels. Plan the layout so seams fall between studs if possible.
- Mark reference lines horizontally and vertically on the wall to guide the installation. Use a level.
Step 2: Prepare the Mirror
- Clean the back of the mirror thoroughly with isopropyl alcohol. Make sure it’s free of dust and oils.
- Apply adhesive to the back of the mirror following manufacturer instructions. Use spacers as needed.
- For frameless mirrors, secure mirror mounting clips to the back side. Position 1-2 inches from the edge spaced every 8-12 inches.
Step 3: Attach the Mirror
- Carefully lift and press the mirror against the wall aligned with your reference lines and layout marks.
- Use a level to double check alignment. Adjust as needed. Use tape or nails to temporarily hold in place.
- Drill pilot holes and secure the mirror clips or frame to the wall studs with screws. Don’t overtighten.
- Use silicone adhesive around the edges and between any mirror seams. Smooth with a plastic spreader.
Step 4: Finish the Installation
- Allow the adhesive to fully cure per manufacturer instructions. Usually 24 hours.
- Run a bead of silicone caulk around all edges of the mirror backsplash. Smooth with a damp cloth for a clean finish.
- Clean the mirror surface with glass cleaner and soft towels. Do not use abrasive pads.
- If desired, seal the mirror edges using specialized mirror sealant. This prevents moisture intrusion.
And that’s it – your stylish, functional and contemporary mirror backsplash installation is complete! Properly installed, a mirror backsplash will serve as a beautiful focal point and provide years of service.
FAQ About Installing Mirror Backsplashes
Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about installing mirror backsplashes:
Is a mirror backsplash hard to install?
Installing a mirror backsplash is a relatively straightforward DIY project, comparable to tiling a backsplash. Just be sure to carefully measure, cut to size, thoroughly prep the wall, and properly adhere the mirror. Patience is key.
What kind of adhesive should be used?
Liquid nail adhesive designed specifically for mirrors is recommended. It dries clear and solidly bonds the mirror. Silicone adhesive also works very well. Avoid super glue or double-sided tape.
Do mirror backsplashes get damaged easily?
High quality tempered glass mirrors are quite durable and resistant to damage. Avoid abrasive cleaners and harsh impacts. Seal edges to minimize moisture intrusion. Proper care will extend mirror life.
Should mirror backsplash seams be noticeable?
For a seamless look, plan mirror layouts so any seams fall against wall studs or corners and are filled with caulk. Well-aligned seams with clear caulk can be barely visible.
Can you install a mirror backsplash on drywall or cement board?
Yes, mirror backsplashes can be installed over drywall or cement backer board if the surface is properly prepared and primed. Ensure the substrate is firmly secured to stud framing first.
How do you cut a mirror?
Mark the mirror backside and carefully score the surface with a utility knife. Clamp the mirror and snap along the scored line. For curved cuts, use a wet saw with a diamond glass blade. Safety first!
Should the mirror go floor to ceiling?
Not necessarily. Typical backsplash height is 4 feet or to the bottom of wall cabinets. However, you can install the mirror from counter to ceiling for a dramatic look. Measure your space.
Can I install lights behind the mirror backsplash?
Yes, installing lighting behind or around the mirror backsplash can create amazing effects. Use LED strip lights or wire individual fixtures – just make sure wiring codes and safety practices are followed.
Tips for Maintaining a Mirror Backsplash
Once installed, proper care and cleaning is important for a long-lasting mirror backsplash:
- Use a soft microfiber cloth and glass cleaner to regularly keep the mirror clean. Avoid harsh chemicals.
- Re-caulk perimeter edges immediately if any moisture seepage appears. Keep edges sealed.
- Don’t let splatters or liquids stay on the mirror. Promptly wipe up spills to avoid stains etching the surface.
- Consider using a sealant made specifically for mirrors around the edges. This provides extra protection.
- Check for any loose mirror clips, fittings or adhesive. Re-secure if necessary.
- Avoid pressing hard on the mirror surface when cleaning. Scrub gently.
- Don’t use abrasive pads, scouring powders or anything that could scratch the mirror.
With the right care, a mirror backsplash brings beautiful, functional style to any kitchen or bath for many years. Follow this guide for flawless do-it-yourself mirror backsplash installation results.