Clever use of mirrors in your bathroom will create the illusion of more space than there really is, something that is pretty useful in what is quite often the smallest room in the house.
They are also rather handy for checking that you don’t have toothpaste smeared all over your face before you rush out of the door to work.
But when is a mirror not just a mirror? Well when it also includes an infra-red sensor, a steam-free heated pad, ambient lighting and a shaver socket of course! If that sounds like massive overkill, the great news is that you can stop reading, save some money and pop straight on down to our ‘standard mirrors’ section. If you like the sounds of any or all of those features – or if you’re wondering what on earth I’m talking about – read on.
LED mirrors are a stylish and environmentally efficient addition to a bathroom. The use of small but mighty LEDs within the mirror means that you can have attractive and practical lighting without the large energy bills. Because of the inherent economy of LED lighting, you will even find some LED mirrors that are battery operated, meaning no hefty electrician’s bills to have them installed – a great retro-fit option if ever there was one. This Bauhaus Radiance Mirror not only has lighting on the front, it has ambient back lighting around the mirror to create a warm and inviting feeling to your bathroom.
Fluorescent Backlit Mirrors
The backlit mirror is one of the most popular mirror types. Using fluorescent lighting tubes that sit behind the mirror teamed with etched glass to allow the light through, backlit mirrors give off a subtle but sufficient light that makes it easier to shave, apply make-up or do whatever it is that requires a well-lit reflection. If the word 'fluorescent' doesn't sound particularly attractive to you, this type of fluorescent bulb is a far cry from the picture of harsh flourescent lighting you are conjuring up in your head!
Infinity Mirrors popped up a few years ago and are either a great talking point or a less-than-practical gimmick, depending on who you ask. Using angled LED lights to create the effect of a never-ending series of light, the effect is impressive and they certainly create a stylish, modern look. From a practical point of view, the reflected view is not as clear as with a more conventional mirror, so bear that in mind when thinking about one.
Shaving Socket Mirrors
A practical design for the modern day gent, a shaving socket mirror typically offers the perfect lighting option, usually LED or fluorescent, teamed with a shaving socket for easy charging or operation of an electric shaver. Despite the name, the socket is just as often used for an electric toothbrush.
Heated Demister Mirrors
We’ve all been in that situation where you’ve stepped out of your bath or shower and your mirror is instantly unusable because of a swirling cloud of steam. Demister mirrors are a practical solution to this common problem. A thin demisting heat pad is placed behind the mirror which stops steam and condensation building up.
Simple, elegant styles are often the choice for a minimalist or contemporary look in a bathroom. Perhaps you’d rather not have LED or fluorescent lights attached to your mirror. If this is the case, go down the cheaper route of selecting a mirror without lights. They are available in a wide array of sizes, and some have integrated shelving to the side of the mirror area.
• Top Tip: Why not visit your local glass and mirror merchant and get them to cut a sheet of mirror to the exact size of one of your walls? You could tile to half-height behind the bath, for example, and then add a large mirror on the top half. Don’t be tempted to leave a border around the edges for ease of installation or because you’re scared of getting the measurements wrong. The effect is strongest if the whole wall is covered, and is one of the easiest ways to make a small bathroom look bigger and better.
Vanity Bathroom Mirrors
Vanity mirrors usually have some form of extendable ‘scissor’ arm that makes it easy to position exactly where required. They come in varying degrees of magnification, making them ideal for when you need a close-up view.
Worthy of an article all to themselves, mirror cabinets are essentially just mirrors with the extra practicality of storage. They are available in just as many types, including LED, fluorescent, and shaver socket, as well as a grand array of sizes and shapes. The best mirror cabinets are manufactured from aluminium, have double sided mirror doors and movable internal glass shelving. An infra-red sensor turns them on and off.
So there you have it – the choice of bathroom mirrors available can be overwhelming, but hopefully you can now make an informed decision about which mirror would be best for you and your bathroom.