A mirror is much more than a piece of reflecting glass on your wall. Mirrors can make your home super stylish. They can create an illusion of space for smaller homes and they also improve interior light by reflecting it. But if you are thinking about embellishing your walls with a shaped mirror, it is quite important to choose a high quality mirror that keeps looking nice and bright over time. The quality of mirrors becomes even more important if you want to use a fitted mirror for your bathroom as the mirror requires to be more durable in bathroom environment.
If you are looking for high quality mirrors in London, Antique Glass Ltd. is the glass shop that can provide you with the bests. Antique Glass offers best mirrors in London and gives you a variety of custom size wall mirrors and different shapes. Feel free to give us a call to receive advice for home mirrors and no obligation quote.
In this article, we will provide you with some tips that will help you identify a high quality mirror and understand the difference between good quality mirror vs bad quality mirror.
Factors of a high quality mirror
The quality of mirror is determined by four aspects:
- The purity of the sheet of glass
- The flatness of the sheet of glass
- The thickness of the mirror’s glass
- The reflective coating on the glass (this coat turns the sheet of glass into a mirror)
Glass quality for mirrors
The purity of the raw materials used and their level of purity affects the final quality of the glass in the manufacturing process. A high quality mirror requires high quality glass and the best glass has no inconsistencies so it won’t distort the reflection.
How thick should a high quality mirror be?
When determining the quality of a mirror, the glass quality id specifically important, but the overall mirror quality can generally be determined by the thickness of the mirror. If you are looking for a high quality mirror for your home, there are some regular thicknesses that you can choose from. For home applications, mirrors are available in 1/8, 3/16 and 1/4 inch thicknesses.
Ideally, you need to choose the thicker mirrors if you are looking for high quality. So if your budget can handle the its cost, you should always go for a mirror that is a 1/4 inch thick.
1/4-inch thickness will generally cause the mirror not distort the reflection, even if the wall that the mirror is fitted on is not completely flat. You should consider that glass is flexible and because of that, as adhesive dries, it will mold the mirror to any wall inconsistencies. This creates a distortion in the reflection. So it is advised to fix the inconsistencies in your wall before you go for the mirror.
Quality of mirror silvering
In order to make a mirror, a reflective material such as tin-mercury amalgam, aluminum, or silver is adhered to the back of clear glass.
Now a high quality mirror will have silver as its reflective coating. The mirror will also have a sealer and several coats of paint to prevent the silver from tarnishing.
So, as mentioned there are numerous coating materials and the most common one is a mixture of silver nitrate with other chemical compounds. This surface is then covered with red lead, which provides a mechanical protection for the silver nitrate. A final coating of sealer is then applied over the red lead.
If you are looking for a high quality mirror for your home, you must consider that inexpensive mirrors will use lower quality and very thin coatings of reflective material compared to more expensive mirrors.
In order to choose a high quality mirror, it is best to discuss what you expect from the mirror in terms of reflection quality and life expectancy with an expert glass company. Mirrors that you might find in local stores or markets are usually low quality and inexpensive mirrors. So if you are looking for good quality, you need to consult your local glass shop.
Final tips and conclusion
So as we said, all mirrors do not come in equal quality and if you are looking for a mirror with high life expectancy, you definitely need to go for a high quality mirror. If you live in London or Home Counties and you are looking for best quality mirror products, you can give us call for free mirror quotes. Here is the wrap up and some extra tips on how to choose a high quality mirror.
- High quality mirrors have high silver content
- There are multiple coats of protective paint on the back (to keep air from the silver which will make it tarnish)
- The producer uses one glass source exclusively. If the manufacturer uses multiple sources for glass you may find subtle differences in the shade of the mirror. But it won’t be noticed until you put two pieces together.
- The best mirror is “copper free”. This enhances the life of the mirror dramatically.
- Thickness matters! Mirror comes in ¼” thickness and several thinner ones. If it isn’t ¼” it IS a lower quality mirror.