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What Are the Different Types of Washroom Mirrors?

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  • Written By: M.C. Huguelet
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 23 September 2014
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For many people, a mirror is an essential feature of any washroom. Due to the very wide variety of washroom mirrors available, however, choosing one can be an overwhelming process. Understanding the different types of washroom mirrors can make the selection process easier. First of all, these mirrors are available in many different shapes, and they may or may not have a frame. Some have functional features, such as hidden shelving, steam proofing, magnification, or built-in lighting.

Perhaps the most basic aspect which differentiates washroom mirrors is their shape. Rectangular mirrors are among the most commonly chosen types. Other popular mirror shapes include squares, ovals, and circles. Bathroom mirrors are by no means limited to these common shapes, however. Other possible mirror shapes include octagons, hearts, stars, arch-topped designs, and so forth.

Some washroom mirrors feature a frame. This frame may be made from a number of different materials, including wood, metal, and plastic, and can be very ornate or quite plain in appearance. Some frameless mirrors feature edges which are beveled, or slanted. This beveling can lend a decorative element to even the simplest mirror.

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Many washroom mirrors have one or more functional features. Some are attached to a shallow cupboard. This type of mirror and cabinet combination, commonly known as a medicine cabinet, offers the user a concealed storage space where small items such as toiletries can be kept. Some medicine cabinets are surface mounted, meaning that the unit’s back is flush with the wall, while others are recessed, meaning they must be inserted into a pre-cut opening in the wall. While installing a recessed medicine cabinet requires more labor than hanging a surface mount unit, the fact that a recessed model’s cabinet is hidden may make it more visually pleasing.

Another functional feature common to many washroom mirrors is steam proofing. Mirrors made from steam-proof glass resist the steam buildup which can affect normal mirrors. In general, this feature is more useful for washrooms with bathtubs or showers than simple powder rooms.

Certain washroom mirrors are designed to provide enhanced visibility to assist with such tasks as makeup application. For instance, some mirrors are double-sided, with one side providing a true reflection and the reverse side providing a magnified image. Often, these magnifying mirrors are fairly small, and are intended to be used alongside a primary washroom mirror. Finally, some mirrors feature built-in lighting which can help to clarify one’s reflection at night or in bathrooms with poor natural light.

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