A gym mirror is what makes a room full of weights or a treadmill in the corner a legit home gym. Most fundamentally, gym mirrors make it possible to track your progress, observe your form, and improve your fitness routines. As an added bonus the mirrors reflect light, brighten up the room’s ambiance, and give a home gym a more professional feel.
Adding large mirrors to your home can seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Let’s walk through the essential steps from selecting your mirrors to taking care of them.
If your workout routine was disrupted by gym closures, you’ve probably been thinking about adding a home gym for a while. On the other hand, you might be considering exercising regularly for the first time in a while. Either way, finding or making a space for this can take some creativity. If you’re fortunate enough to have an unfinished basement or unused garage stall, then all you need to do is outfit it for your preferred forms of exercise.
But what about apartment dwellers or families with no extra space? Claim part of another room or upgrade a space that is currently unsuitable.
Once you have a space designated, you’ll need to decide on the layout and pick a wall for the gym mirror. Since large mirrors are glued to the wall and not easy to remove, take the time to thoughtfully consider the ideal placement of the mirror. Here are answers to home gym mirror FAQs:
Can a mirror be installed on a wall with ridges or humps?
Yes, it can. However, keep in mind that a large ridge or hump will mean that the rest of the mirror needs to shimmed out from the wall. This won’t impact functionality, but will detract from the aesthetic since the mirror won’t be flat against the wall when viewed from the side. For maximum convenience AND appearance choose a wall without such significant ridges or humps.
How should safety considerations impact my choice of mirror placement?
Choose a wall that will allow you to view yourself, but that’s far enough away from weights and the rack where they are stored. Also, if there’s a risk of the mirrors being kicked during an exercise routine, you’ll want to avoid extending them so far down. Bottom line: Glass is inherently fragile, so be aware of your closeness to the mirror when exercising.
Where should I place the gym mirror so it will reflect natural light from a nearby window?
Your first thought might be to install the mirror on the wall directly across from the window. However, this can simply bounce the light right back outside. Place the mirror on a wall perpendicular to the window instead to maximize natural lighting.
Repurposing part of your house as a home gym might mean working with wall space that’s not optimal for a mirror. A professional glass company can custom cut the mirrors to accommodate the reality of the space you’re working with and still achieve the look and functionality you want.
Installations already present on the wall, irregular corners, and even surfaces that aren’t perfectly flat can be worked around by adding cutouts, tweaking the mirror dimensions, and using correct installation techniques.
Mirrors can also be cut into non-standard shapes in order to cover a section of wall or achieve the desired look.
At the same time, you can save money and simplify the process by choosing the most mirror friendly wall in your workout space, especially with regard to cutouts. Bottom line – find the right balance between ideal mirror location and how much customization will be needed.
When choosing the number and size of your gym mirrors, here’s what’s important:
It’s natural to assume that gym mirrors need to start at the floor or trim so that you can fully observe yourself working out and make corrections to form. This is definitely one option, and it’s true that you can save on the cost of J-channel or L-bar by resting the mirror on an existing surface rather than having metal installed. On the other hand, the total cost might be higher if you need to have cutouts put in so that the mirror will go around any outlets on the wall near the floor. A final consideration is that, depending how you like to exercise, mirror glass down near the floor might be at risk of being kicked or scuffed.
The truth is that for many kinds of exercise the mirrors can start just above the outlets. You’ll still be able to see yourself from head to toe, unless you’re sitting on the floor. For yoga or other types of exercise where you’re down on the floor, you’ll want the mirrors to go lower.
How tall the mirrors are is largely a matter of preference. Extending them up to the ceiling will make the walls seem taller and create a sense of spaciousness. This is not necessary for any strictly practical reasons, so feel free to save some money by choosing a large mirror or mirrors without having them literally cover the wall from floor to ceiling.
If you do want the wall basically covered with reflective glass, you still have two choices for the precise mirror size(s). Complete wall to wall installation is when the mirror glass reaches from wall to wall and/or ceiling to floor with no gaps between the mirrors and the adjacent surfaces. Short of wall installation is when the walls are covered with mirrors, but there are small gaps of your chosen width between the glass and the adjacent surfaces. The cost will be somewhat more for complete wall to wall mirrors due to the labor involved in cutting and installing the mirrors with such precision.
The purpose of a gym mirror is primarily practical, but it will also impact the look and feel of your home workout space. The most commonly used style is standard polished edge mirror glass. With this option, homeowners have either one large mirror installed or a few mirrors installed adjacent to one another. This is the look typically seen in commercial gyms. Since this is your home gym, you may want to give the space more personality with one of these variations:
Designing your own home gym or exercise nook means you get to make the space attractive and pleasant to be in. The gym mirrors are part of this and should complement and enhance whatever theme or style you’ve chosen.
Home gym mirrors will be adhered to the wall with glue called mirror mastic. This powerful adhesive is applied at numerous points of contact, and then the mirror is pressed onto the wall. Mirror mastic reliably keeps the mirror in place on the wall, but the weight of the glass also needs to be supported in one of these four ways:
1. J-channel: This metal channel has a profile like a capital “J.” It is screwed onto the wall where you want the bottom edge of the mirror, and the mirror is set in it.
2. L-bar: This product is just like J-channel except that its profile resembles a capital “L.” It is used in the same way but offers a frameless look.
3. Trim: When desirable, gym mirrors can rest on the floor trim that’s already in place.
4. Floor: If the mirrors are going all the way down to the floor and trim isn’t present, the mirrors can sit directly on the floor.
Not sure what installation method is best for your situation? Ask a glass professional for help and suggestions.
When it comes to gym mirrors, cutting corners can compromise their look, safety, and usefulness. You wouldn’t buy flimsy glass, and you don’t want to work with a questionable business. Here are some things to check on before choosing a glass company:
Many glass companies offer a free in-home consultation and quote for possible customers. Taking advantage of this offer allows you to meet and personally evaluate the professionalism of one of their staff members. It’s also nice to get a price quote based on actual measurements and conditions in your home gym area.
Keep in mind that an unusually low price quote can be a red flag. Will the quality be up to industry standards? Is the company reputable? Will the price “evolve” as the project approaches completion? In addition to these considerations, many prefer to support local businesses and family companies. Your friends and neighbors may have worked with these businesses already and can share their experiences with you.
A reputable local glass shop like ABC Glass & Mirror will have the products and services you need, and your project won’t be a meaningless number in the system. You will be able to work with the same team throughout your project for easy communication and coordination.
The larger and heavier your gym mirrors are, the nicer it is to have them put in place by trained professionals. Once your custom mirrors have been fabricated, an installation appointment will be made, so you might have questions about this process. A few FAQS:
How should I prepare for the installation appointment?
Prior to the installation, move any furniture away from the wall where the mirrors are going. You’ll also want to have a wide clear pathway from the home’s entrance to this wall.
How will these large mirrors be safely installed?
Trained installers will carefully bring the mirrors into your home, install the J-channel or L-bar (if using), apply mirror mastic to the walls, set the mirrors on the channel or other surface, press them onto the glue, and then install mirror clips if needed at the upper corners.
Will my home be dirtied in the installation process?
ABC Glass & Mirror is committed to your complete satisfaction, and we take the utmost care to treat your home with respect. Precautions taken include booties to go over installers’ shoes, drop cloths, and after-install cleanup.
Once your gym mirrors are put in place, you can start benefiting from them right away. As time goes on, wall mirrors inevitably fall victim to fingerprints and dust. Cleaning your gym mirrors regularly is part of keeping the workout space pleasant and inviting, but make sure you don’t accidentally damage the mirror’s delicate surface in the process.
Clean the mirror regularly with an appropriate glass cleaning agent.
Use scrubbing powder or harsh chemicals. (It is best to avoid ammonia based cleaners. If you choose to use one, never apply the cleaner directly to the mirror glass. Apply the cleaner to a paper towel or soft rag and then wipe the mirror, carefully avoiding the edges as ammonia will damage the mirror backing.)
Remember that the mirror backing can be damaged by moisture and chemicals.
Let liquid run down the front of the mirror as it can seep behind the mirror and damage the backing.
Use a microfiber cloth, paper towel, or other soft material to wipe the mirror.
Use anything scratchy or abrasive on the mirror surface.
ABC Glass & Mirror is happy to set up a free in-home consultation for your gym mirror project. Give us a call at (703)257-7150 to schedule a visit from one of our wall mirror estimators. Our estimator can provide product information, answer your questions, and show you samples. The estimator will also measure and inspect the space, making notes of all the data needed for us to work up a quote. Within 24-48 hours, we’ll email you the quote. Once you’ve made your selections and placed the order, we’ll prepare your mirrors and hardware, contact you to schedule our next visit, and then professionally install the mirrors.