When designing your bathroom, adding a mirror above the sink is one of the final steps that adds both functionality and aesthetic appeal. A mirror not only serves the practical purpose of allowing you to see your reflection, but can also be a statement piece for the room. However, you may wonder if it’s necessary to tile the wall behind the mirror since it won’t be visible anyway.
You should tile behind a bathroom mirror because it will make future decor updates and renovations easier. If you decide to replace your mirror down the road and you haven’t tiled behind your original one, you’ll be limited to choices that cover the untiled portion of your wall. Consider it a necessity for both your own convenience and if you decide to sell your home in the future.
In this article, I’ll talk about why you should tile behind your bathroom mirror, including some things you should be aware of and be prepared for, such as covering up drilled holes. I’ll also discuss alternatives for affixing a bathroom mirror to your tiled wall if you want to steer clear of those unsightly holes. Let’s start!
Why Tiling Behind a Bathroom Mirror Is Recommended
Tiling behind a bathroom wall is not essential, but it is recommended because it helps make the room look more polished and sleeker. It also makes it easier for you to renovate or redecorate later on. Imagine deciding on changing your bathroom mirror or moving it elsewhere only to find the wall utterly bare as you remove it!
In most bathrooms, you’ll find the mirror hanging over the sink. Moving the sink to a different location in the room would be impractical, given the effort required to install it. However, over time, you may find yourself wanting to replace the mirror.
Bathroom mirrors come in different shapes and sizes, so if you decide on a completely different look for a new mirror, you’ll certainly encounter problems with covering up the unsightly bare patches that might peek out behind your new mirror. The exact tiles on your bathroom walls may no longer be available, so you’d be stuck with replacing ALL of the tiles or settling for one that’s close enough to what you already have. But let’s be honest — it will be a pretty obvious patch job.
It would be smarter and more cost-efficient to entirely tile your bathroom walls so that you’re better prepared for various scenarios in the future. Here are other advantages of tiling behind a bathroom mirror right from the start:
- Simpler to clean. You can simply take down your bathroom mirror to clean the wall behind it. If the walls are completely tiled, you will have no trouble cleaning the entire surface.
- Prevention of fungal and mold growth. Damp and humid areas, such as your bathroom, provide ideal scenarios for mold and fungal growth. Additionally, rough, dusty surfaces, such as untitled walls, support the growth of these harmful organisms.
- Better control over dust accumulation. Dust adheres and accumulates quickly on rough, unfinished surfaces.
How To Hang a Bathroom Mirror on a Tiled Wall
Typically, a bathroom mirror is installed on a tiled wall by drilling holes from which to hang the mirror’s hooks. It is a pretty straightforward process that most homeowners can do by themselves. Here’s how to go about it:
- Take measurements. Measure the area where you intend to place the mirror. Make sure it hangs squarely above your bathroom sink.
- Make your marks. Mark the area where the mirror will be placed using a pen or masking tape. Take note, as well, of the exact locations from which to hang the mirror hooks.
- Start drilling. Drill carefully into the marked spots. Ask someone to spray water as you work to prevent cracks. Be sure to use a special drill bit meant for tile, like this set of carbide drill bits from Amazon
- Install masonry wall anchors. Use a rubber mallet or hammer to position your masonry wall anchors securely into the holes. Mirrors tend to be heavy, and these anchors help keep them from falling.
- Get hanging. You can now hang your bathroom mirror on your wall.
We’re all probably thinking the same thing — what about those small holes on the tiles from drilling holes to hang mirror hooks from? Tiny holes may be easy to mend or patch up, but if the holes are pretty large, you might have to replace the tiles altogether. However, if you don’t have a few tiles set aside from the original batch, sourcing those with the exact shade as the rest of your wall can be pretty tricky.
The good news is that drilling holes isn’t your only option. There are other ways to hang a bathroom mirror on a tiled wall. Here are some suggestions:
Use Adhesive Tapes
You can affix your bathroom mirror to the wall by using adhesive strips. Make sure to choose a proven reliable brand for holding up heavy items, such as mirrors or large picture frames. Command 20lb Heavyweight XL Picture Hanging Strips (available on Amazon.com) are great options because they can be used on various surfaces (including tiles) and do not leave any residue when taken off.
Here’s how to hang a bathroom mirror using adhesive strips:
- Take measurements. Measure the area where you want to place the mirror, ensuring that it hangs squarely above your bathroom sink.
- Make your marks. Using a pen or masking tape, mark the area where the mirror will be secured.
- Determine how many strips you need. Adhesive tapes indicate how many strips you need to support the weight of your mirror.
- Clean the tile surface. Ensure the surface is free of moisture, dust, and grime to ensure a secure hold. Consider using rubbing alcohol for more effective cleaning, and make sure to dry the entire surface.
- Affix the adhesive tapes to your bathroom mirror. Turn your mirror over and secure the correct amount of strips on its edges and center. Make sure to get rid of air bubbles for a firmer hold.
- Stick your mirror onto the wall. Peel off the protective strip from the adhesive tapes and carefully affix your bathroom mirror to the tiled wall.
Be sure to carefully follow additional instructions on the package to ensure the most secure grip.
Use Silicone Caulk
Silicone caulk will allow you to essentially glue your bathroom mirror onto the tiled wall. Note that this method is applicable only for mirrors that are pretty light and are not made of bulky, weighty material.
The Permatex 80050 Silicone Adhesive Sealant (available on Amazon.com) is an excellent buy because it’s durable, waterproof, and can be used with other materials, such as plastic, fabric, metals, and vinyl.
Here’s how to do it:
- Take measurements. Measure the area where your mirror will be placed, ensuring that it is stationed squarely above your bathroom sink.
- Make your marks. Using a pen or masking tape, mark the boundaries of the mirror placement.
- Fire away. Using a caulk gun, squeeze out substantial amounts of silicone glue on the marked tiles. You can make lines that go along the mirror’s edges, or you can make big globs that will go on the mirror’s corners and center.
- Glue your mirror to the wall. Hold your bathroom mirror up to the wall, ensuring that it aligns with your markings and your silicone glue. Press it into the adhesive until you feel that it is no longer sliding or wobbling.
- Secure your mirror with adhesive tape. Affix adhesive tapes along your mirror’s edges to help secure it to the wall as the silicone glue dries. This safeguards your mirror from falling while waiting for the silicone glue to fully dry. Leave the tapes on the mirror for at least 24 hours.
The caveat is that you’ll be leaving a substantial amount of residue on the wall when the time comes that you want to replace your bathroom mirror. Furthermore, you might damage your mirror or tiles during removal. Essentially, using silicone caulk to affix your bathroom mirror to a tiled wall offers a more permanent alternative. Hence it is not a good idea if you’re like me and like regularly redecorating spaces in your home.
Adding tiles behind your bathroom mirror can be a great way to give the room a polished look and make it feel more cohesive. A tiled wall is also easier to clean than an unfinished surface. Plus, tiling gives you the flexibility to be more creative when decorating your bathroom.
If you’re worried about drilling holes in your tiles, don’t be. There are other secure ways to hang your mirror on the tiled wall, such as using adhesive tape or silicone caulking.