I’m sure you can agree that the bathroom is not complete without having a mirror which is the right size for our needs and is positioned in the ideal location. This is because there is a wide range of uses for the bathroom mirror, which makes it a must-have for every bathroom.
So, if you want to enhance the functionality of your bathroom, you must consider fitting a mirror. To make it easier (or harder) for you, the choice for bathroom mirrors that are now available is endless, where you can select based on your individual needs and preferences.
Getting it right with a bathroom mirror requires an idea of how it should be done correctly.
Technically speaking, a bathroom mirror can be wider or bigger than the vanity sink area. But as a general rule, you should not install a mirror that is wider than the sink or vanity. It’s suggested that the vanity is a couple of inches wider than the dimensions of the framed or frameless mirror.
There are many things you would need to put in check at this point, such as the size of the mirror, the size of your sink or vanity, the location and size of walls, the location of cabinets, as well as the lighting requirements. These are all very important as they mark the area where the mirror must fit.
These elements have brought out many questions regarding the ideal dimensions of a bathroom mirror.
To shed light on this subject, I will touch upon some key considerations regarding the width of bathroom mirrors.
How Wide Should A Mirror Be Over The Sink Or Vanity?
This is an issue that many have had trouble with when installing their bathroom mirror. It often happens that we find it quite challenging when choosing the best proportionate mirror, mainly because there is no wrong size mirror.
The size of a mirror, as compared to the sink or vanity, can vary depending on the space available and what you’re planning to achieve with your bathroom design.
However, it is important to ensure that the mirror over your vanity sink area measures less than the size of your vanity. This will ensure that the mirror fits well over the top of the sink and allows enough space for your bathroom accessories, if needed.
Having a mirror that is 2 to 4 inches narrower than the vanity will ensure the right results. As an example, a 24” wide vanity should be matched with a 20″ to 22” wide mirror.
It is ideal if the width of the mirror is less than the sink, including the vanity, for the sake of aesthetics. From a design point of view, a mirror that’s wider than a vanity wouldn’t look aesthetically pleasing as it would make everything appear smaller, and thus, overpower the bathroom space.
Unless you want your small bathroom to look much larger, a mirror that’s wider than your vanity would make the room look unappealing and unbalanced.
The shape of the mirror will be something to consider as well. It would be appropriate to take your vanity measurements prior to buying a bathroom mirror in order to get the correct alignment.
Round mirrors require less space to achieve great results which will give you more room to play around with their sizes. A round mirror has a smaller usable area than a rectangular model with similar dimensions. Thus, it’s worth choosing one that’s larger than the vanity.
However, if your sink area is really large, the size of your round mirror, including the frame, should not exceed the size of the sink. The width needs to be measured in a proportional manner to ensure that it does not exceed the width of your sink area.
For rectangular or nearly rectangular mirrors, the minimum width of the mirror should not be less than 12 inches, provided that you are looking at them from a distance not less than an arm’s length away. You’ll be able to see your arms on the edges of the mirror and this is the minimum width where a silhouette of an average person fits in the mirror.
As far as round mirrors are concerned, you should remember that their width is equal to the height. Here, the minimum width, and therefore the diameter, should be at least 16 inches.
Similar rules will apply to oval mirrors as for rectangular and round mirrors.
Take into account the width of the frame while selecting your mirror size! The wider the frame, the smaller the usable part of the mirror. When you have plenty of wall space, you might opt for a model with a remarkably wide frame. For a small room, it’s better to choose a mirror without a frame or with only a narrow frame.
If you have a small-sized vanity, pairing it with a vertical mirror is a great option. The vertical mirror is by no means wider than a small vanity, and it also takes up all the wall space behind the vanity area.
On the other hand, if your vanity is large, the mirror should be as wide (but not wider than) the vanity. This is to prevent the mirror from appearing too narrow.
These days, interior designers do not adhere strictly to the vanity-wider-than-mirror rule and very often design a mirror that is larger. This solution is most often used when the vanity is small. The larger the mirror, the more functional and the more effective it looks. It also makes the interior optically bigger.
A mirror smaller than the sink itself is the rarest solution, but it also happens. If you have another large mirror in the bathroom, for example in a recess on the adjacent wall, a narrow mirror will be more than enough above your sink.
Having a large mirror above two sinks or one double sink is a convenient and quite popular option. In this case, it’s worth selecting a mirror that has the same width as the sink or vanity.
If you opt for two mirrors over two sinks, it’s important to install them symmetrically in relation to the sinks. In addition, keep the distance between them, and make sure the larger the mirror, the greater the gap. If the sinks are not too big and are positioned close to each other, narrow models of mirrors will work best.
If two round mirrors are your thing, it’s best to adjust their diameters to the width of the sinks. However, if the sinks are too small, the mirrors need to be spaced wider. This will allow two larger mirrors to be mounted over them.
How Do You Size A Bathroom Vanity Mirror?
Proper alignment is critical to the functional purpose of the mirror. What you want is the bathroom mirror to be positioned in such a way that it gives maximum reflection. The dimensions of the mirror would influence this aspect. With a large mirror, you can have it cover a significant part of the space across the vanity.
However, it would be advisable to have the mirror mounted as close to the sink as possible as this can allow you to have a closer look when using the mirror.
It’s recommended to place a mirror between 5 and 10 inches above the sink, and also a few inches above the top of the faucet.
You will be using the mirror for a variety of purposes and most of them, such as applying makeup or shaving a beard, require you to be closer to the mirror. It is therefore important to make sure that the mirror is fitted as close to the sink as possible.
This aspect should take into account who is going to be using the mirror as well. The position of the mirror should be within the height of those who use it.
This should go hand in hand with the level of your sink as well. If it’s low, the mirror should be set to the same level for easy use. Having it far away will not work well for some tasks that require the help of a mirror.
When positioning your bathroom mirror you need to ensure that the space on the wall behind the sink is sufficient to accommodate the mirror size you want to fit.
The level is a crucial aspect when it comes to the sizing of your bathroom mirror. You need to leave enough space for tiles and any other fittings on the wall space of the sink. This will ensure that you get the mirror in the right place within the sink space.
It doesn’t matter too much if the mirror is narrower or wider, more important is that it is mounted in the axis of the symmetry of the sink. The human eye likes symmetry and subconsciously, everything symmetrical seems pretty and harmonious to us. When deciding not to use symmetry, it’s very important to find the optical balance of the space because the lack of symmetry and balance will spoil the entire effect.
Should A Bathroom Mirror Be Centered Over The Sink?
Whether to center your bathroom mirror or not, will be determined by various factors such as the shape of the mirror, the design of the sink, and the need for additional lighting.
As a rule of thumb, a bathroom mirror will be in the ideal place if it’s centered over the vanity. But this may vary based on the design of the vanity and the usage of the mirror.
As people use mirrors for different purposes, it is expected that some mirrors may be centered while others may not. Centering your bathroom mirror should be appropriate for your needs so be sure the mirror is placed in a perfect spot for you.
You need to consider issues relating to the shape of your mirror as well. For a round convex or concave mirror, it may not need to be centered and will still offer a great experience.
However, most mirrors will need to be centered directly over the vanity since they give maximum reflection from that position. The mirror should be installed in the center, between the sink and the vanity lighting. Centering your mirror within the width of your sink will give you good visibility when using it for any need.
When it comes to the mirror, its size is a major factor to think about when decorating your bathroom. You need to find the ideal dimensions to have a perfect experience using the mirror as per your requirements. The mirror should serve every purpose it is designed for in the bathroom.
To make it easy, you first need to measure the sink and vanity, and then use the measurement as the basis to determine the ideal size of the mirror you need to buy.
This process requires an artistic approach since there are no specific rules to get the ideal solution for your mirror size. However, it is important to ensure that the bathroom mirror is positioned correctly as this is crucial to your needs.