Add mirror to the backsplash in kitchen or bath.

How to Add Mirrors to a Backsplash

by Wade Shaddy

Mirrors add character to your kitchen or bath while providing functionality. They make your kitchen or bath appear larger, and they clean easily with a waterproof surface. The typical backsplash on most kitchens and bath vanity cabinets is between 4 and 6 inches wide. That's about perfect for a strip of mirrors across the backsplash.

1. Backsplash

The backsplash is the horizontal piece along the back of your kitchen cabinets or bathroom vanity, where the countertop meets the wall. It's typically 4 inches wide, but can also be 6, 8, 12 inches or even full length between the top of the countertop and the bottoms of the upper cabinets. A backsplash is usually made from plastic laminate, but it can also be tile, finished hardwood or composites such as stone or glass. If you're tired of your backsplash or consider it boring, add mirror to completely cover it -- recommended for a 4-inch-wide backlsplash -- or add a strip in any width along the bottom edge for an accent if the backsplash is over 6 inches wide.

2. Mirror

Basic mirror glass is 1/8-inch thick. If your backsplash is laminate -- typical on modest homes -- there is likely a metal band or rib at the top and bottom. When you order the mirror for this type of backsplash, order the strips to fit inside the metal bands or ribs. If the existing backsplash is any other material, it's OK to order the mirror to cover the backsplash completely. Measure the backsplash to width in sections about 18 inches long. If you need to span across outlets or fixtures, order smaller strips or blocks if necessary and butt everything together; you'll never notice the seams. Almost any glass shop will sand and smooth the edges for you. Other mirror choices include double-strength glass which is 1/4-inch thick. This glass looks fantastic if you're going for an opulent look. It's slightly more expensive but adds that extra touch. Order salvage mirror glass of either thickness for economy. It's a fraction of the cost and allows you to try out the look without spending too much.

3. Glue

Use mirror adhesive or silicone glue to attach the mirror to the backsplash. Silicone glue is typically used due to its affordability, longevity, and the fact that it stays pliable and allows you to reposition the mirror for up to 20 minutes or more to fix mistakes. Mirror adhesive works similar to silicone, but only lets you reposition the mirror up to about 10 minutes after the initial application. If you're in a hurry, or only have a small section of backsplash, spray adhesive or construction adhesive also works for this purpose. Check the manufacturer's directions to ensure that the adhesive is compatible with glass, as some types of adhesive can remove the backing from the mirror. Also known as desilvering the mirror, it removes the paint that makes the mirror work. Avoid this type of adhesive.

4. Place the Sections

Dry fit the sections before adding glue. When you have the pieces ready, place them in order on the backsplash one by one. If some of the pieces don't fit, it's not difficult to trim them with the proper tools. Simply measure and use a glass knife to score along the front of the mirror, and then snap the mirror off at the line. When everything fits, place one piece at a time by first running consecutive beads of silicone glue along the back of the mirror spaced at 3/4-inch intervals. Press the individual section in place, squaring it on the ends, bottoms and top. Press it into place with your fingers to flatten out the silicone. Hold it there for a minute and let go. Glue the next section, butt it into the first one, and repeat. Check your work every few minutes for alignment, and adjust sections if needed to get everything straight. When all the glass is in place, run a bead of silicone caulk around the perimeter where the glass contacts the backsplash to seal it.

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