How to Install a Mirror With Mastic or Clips
While most people are familiar with mirror clips commonly used to hang or install mirrors on walls and doors. If you are looking for an invisible solution to hanging mirrors without the use of mirror clips you can mount the mirror using a specially formulated mastic or adhesive. The mastic comes in cans for larger installations or caulk tubes for smaller pieces. It you want to use the traditional mirror clips or frames, installation instructions will be included at the end of this article.
CRL/Gunther Ultra Bond Mirror Mastic
Frameless Mirror over tile
Mirror Installation using Mastic
Tools and Materials
Mirror Mastic, in a tube or can
Wood Strips, for support
Mirror Clips, for support
Note: Use caution when working with glass as it can break easily and cause serious injuries. Also remember that mirrors can be very heavy and they must be supported properly until the mastic is set.
Always measure the space carefully before purchasing mirrors that are to be installed wall-to-wall. Have the mirror supplier template the wall to account for and cut-outs in the mirror for electrical receptacles or switches.
Important: Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the mirror mastic or adhesive that you have purchased. Use only mastic that is formulated specifically for mirrors as other adhesives may damage the coating and bleed through the mirror.
1. Prepare the wall surface by washing the space where the mirror is to be installed to remove any dirt or grease. The wall must be thoroughly clean and dry before continuing. Remove any loose or flaking paint. You may also want to check to make sure that the drywall is tight against the studs. Use 1 5/8 inch drywall screws to attach any loose areas.
The mirror mastic takes several hours to cure so it is necessary to use mirror clips and wood support blocks to ensure that the mirror does not slip or slide while the mastic or adhesive is curing. Curing times vary by manufacturer, temperature, and humidity.
2. If you are installing a small mirror you can use mirror clips on the bottom and sides to temporarily support the mirror in its final position until the mirror mastic or adhesive has cured.
If the mirror is large, but does not go wall to wall, you can use mirror clips or a piece of wood on the bottom and use mirror clips on the top or sides, to temporarily support the mirror in its final position until the adhesive has dried. It is best to locate a stud to screw the clips or wood strips into.
A wood strip is often more convenient than using mirror since you can place you level on the edge of the wood when you screw it into place.
If your mirror is wall-to-wall and backsplash to ceiling you can rest the mirror on the backsplash to support the weight but you need to install clips temporarily to keep the top of the mirror tight to the wall.
You can also use a strip of wood that has a rabbet on the back to allow the glass to slide under the wood. You can usually find wood trim that will work in the millwork section of lumber yards or home improvement centers.
3. If the mirror is not wall to wall, place the mirror on the wall in its final position and make an outline of the mirror shape on the wall. Locate and mark studs with a pencil.
4. If your mirror is installed above the backsplash, position your mirror clips or wood strip along the bottom edge and screw into place.
5. Apply the mirror mastic with your caulk gun using a continuous “S” pattern to the wall and to the back of the mirror. Keep the mastic or adhesive at least 2 inches from the edges of the mirror.
6. Place the mirror in position and apply slight pressure to the center of the mirror to spread the mirror mastic. Repeat along the mirror surface working from the center to the edges.
7. Install the mirror clips or strips of wood along the top and sides to hold the mirror in position until the mirror mastic has cured.
Clean off any mastic that has squeezed out around the edges.
8. Allow the mirror mastic or adhesive to cure for at least 24 hours before you remove any of the temporary wood strips or mirror clips.
9. Fill in any screw holes that have been left from the wood strip or mirror clips after they have been removed.
Note: If you gave a light fixture mounted inside the mirror you may want to paint the inside of the fixture dark bronze or flat black so you do not see the reflection of the edge in the mirror.
Installation using Mirror Clips of Frames
The installation is similar to the mastic method only the clips will remain in place. Inexpensive plastic clips can be purchased, or more decorative clips that screw into threaded metal studs can be installed.
Mirror clips can have slotted holes, as seen below, to allow the screws to be concealed behind the mirror. The bottom clips are screwed tightly in place while the top clips are installed just loose enough to allow the clip to be slid out and then back down so the front edge of the clip holds the mirror securely.
Hidden mirror clips
Mirror clips should be installed into every stud, or 16 inches on center. If you are using plastic clips you should install them 8 inches on center and use expanding drywall anchors.
Mirror Clip with expanding anchor
Mirror channels or tracks are another option where a metal track is used to support the weight of the mirror at the bottom and clips are used on top to hold it in place. The mirror channel can be screwed into the wall studs after pilot holes are drilled into the portion of the track that is covered by the mirror.
With either method it is important to work safely around glass and do not over tighten mirror clips whether they are used temporarily or permanently.