The process of hanging a vanity mirror is not difficult. It consists of 1) Establishing the ideal height and center of the mirror, 2) Locating backing in the wall, and 3) Installing anchors and hanging the mirror.
With many styles of mirrors available, the easiest approach is to refine these into two, basic types of mirrors: mirrors that are set in a frame, and those that are affixed directly to a wall. Mirror frames can range from ornate hardwood and designer metallic, to a banded, stainless steel frame. Mirrors without frames can be affixed directly to a wall by means of mastic and anchors. With either type, the first step is to establish the height and center of the mirror for optimum viewing.
1. Establish the Height and Center
Ideally, a vanity mirror should be 5’ to vertical center, measuring from the finish floor, and it should be horizontally centered with the vanity sink. This is relatively easy to accomplish with a modest size mirror, since there is usually ample wall space above a vanity countertop to work with these canter points.
However, personal preference is a big part of establishing the ideal location, and the mirror can be located at any height, and set one way from center of the sink if desired. The best way to locate a modest size mirror is to have an assistant manipulate the location until the mirror looks best.
If the vanity has a taller back plash or a wall mount light fixture, these may be a factor in determining the exact location to hang the mirror. In some instances, it may be necessary to remove the light in order to install the mirror at the height that’s desired. Another alternative would be to cut a circle core in the mirror glass, and reinstall the light fixture once the mirror is in place. With a frame-less piece of mirror glass, the piece could be sized to rest atop the back splash, extend full-height to the ceiling, and have a circle core for the light fixture. With this type of installation, the mirror will often extend the full width of the vanity and create a stunning mirror wall.
2. Locate Backing
In order to support the weight of a vanity mirror, it is necessary to install the anchors into solid backing. A typical wood framed wall will have vertical studs, otherwise referred to as backing, at 16” centers each way, and these can be located by using a magnetic finder. This inexpensive device locates the screws or nails that were used to attach the plaster lath or drywall board to the studs, and it allows the stud locations to be marked. Two or more readings on a vertical line would indicate the location of a stud. Next, measure 16" each way from this point, and take additional readings to establish the exact locations of the adjacent backing.
3. Install Anchors and Hang the Mirror
A mirror should be suspended from a minimum of two points, so the ideal situation would be a mirror that is wider than 32” and spans more than two stud centers. Standard accessory kits include clips that attach to either side of the mirror frame, with a length of stranded wire that is strung between the clips. The ends of the wire pass though the clips and can be wrapped, or clipped back to the wire using crimps. The screw anchors are then installed into solid backing and the mirror can be hanged.
To hang the mirror to a specific height, pull the stranded wire toward to top of the frame in two places, and measure from the wire to the top of the frame. An example would be 3 inches. On the wall, mark the desired location for the top of the mirror, then install the anchors 3 inches below this mark.