A mirror can be a great addition to a home.
If appropriately positioned, a mirror can even make a room look bigger.
Mirrors are a favorite tool used by home decorators, and almost every house has one or more mirrors.
The problem with mirrors is that their price can add up quite quickly.
There are a few reasons behind this which are worth considering and investigating.
Why Are Mirrors so Expensive?
1. Type of Glass Used
Good mirrors are generally made with a higher quality glass.
The reason behind this is that the better glass tends to last longer and provide a more accurate reflection.
Mirrors made with cheap glass or imitation materials will be blurry, and sometimes they will be distorted as well.
There are two basic types of mirrors.
The two types are first surface mirrors and second surface mirrors.
The first surface mirrors are more expensive than the second surface mirrors.
A mirror for a vanity will most likely be a second surface mirror.
The quality is good enough for a bathroom vanity, but it may not be a very high-end fine décor-style mirror.
Still, you will quickly learn that even the mirrors made for a bathroom vanity can be quite expensive.
If the proper glass is not used to make a mirror, then the mirror itself will not turn out correctly.
If you are looking for a high-quality mirror, it makes sense to understand the different types of glass involved and how it affects the cost and the quality.
2. Frame Costs
Sometimes you will purchase a mirror that is frameless.
Other times, the mirror could have a beveled edge or a frame.
When you are looking at a mirror that comes with a frame or a beveled edge, you will probably notice that the cost is quite a bit higher.
The frame of a mirror can significantly increase the overall cost of the mirror.
Some frames are made of wood, and others are made of metal.
The more ornate and detailed the frame is, the more it will generally cost.
Your alternative here would be to create a frame yourself and insert a mirror.
The problem with this is that, by the time you create a frame, it will probably cost you just as much as it would to purchase the frame and mirror combination.
A mirror frame is sometimes quite heavy as well.
When a manufacturer has to make both a mirror and a frame, they will need other equipment and potentially other employees as well.
This is also going to add to the cost as there will be more staff involved.
Some mirrors are relatively small, but the frame takes up a large portion of the wall space the mirror occupies.
Other mirrors come mounted to a medicine cabinet.
Essentially, most of the time, when you are buying a mirror, you are buying something that is more than just one product, but it is several products combined.
This will significantly increase the cost.
Not everyone can make a mirror.
In fact, you have probably noticed that many people talk about making mirror frames, but the mirror itself is always just dropped in.
As soon as you start talking about a product that takes a specific craftsmanship or skill to produce, the product is going to cost more.
In order for a mirror to be of very high quality, it must be flat, smooth, and polished as well.
The mirror manufacturer that makes custom made high-quality mirrors will make them by hand.
They will take the time needed to ensure that the mirrors are polished properly and that they are quite accurate as well.
Cheaper mirrors you may see on the market are not nearly as smooth, and therefore they will likely have quite a few imperfections.
A person who makes high-quality mirrors will know that ultra-low expansion glass will be a better material to work with.
The cheap mirrors are usually made with a plate glass.
These are not known to hold up over time, and they will easily crack and or break.
As part of the mirror making process, the mirror needs to be polished.
Polishing the mirror is an extensive process that takes quite a bit of time and effort.
Without craftsmanship and the skills needed to produce high quality mirrors, you will probably be looking at plastic mirrors.
A plastic mirror can be quite lightweight, and it is undoubtedly cheaper, but it probably won’t last.
A plastic mirror will scratch very easily, and this will result in its being a poor purchase.
The entire point of purchasing a high quality mirror is so that it reflects a high quality image.
If you end up cheaping out and purchasing a junky mirror, the reflection you see may not be accurate at all.
Although it can be a difficult thing to pay for, there should be some understanding that part of the price of the mirror you purchase is going to be paying for the craftsmanship.
4. Size & Weight
Most of the time, when you are searching for a great mirror, you are looking for something that is quite large.
If you need a small mirror for a makeup table or a purse, you will probably not be doing extensive research.
However, to purchase a mirror to hang over your dining room table, you will probably want to do quite a bit of research.
Many people have a large mirror somewhere in their home.
These large mirrors are intended to take up a large area on a wall, and they work as an art piece or a decoration as well.
Since the mirror needs to be a substantial size to make an impact, the pricing is going to increase.
To make a mirror that is rather large takes quite a bit of work, patience, and perfectionism.
A mirror of this larger size is also going to weigh quite a bit.
Not only will you need some assistance when it comes to hanging this mirror, but you will also pay some extra for shipping.
Shipping costs on a mirror can be very high, and there is no real guarantee that it will only take one shipment to get you a great mirror.
With the way a mirror can break, shipping them become quite complicated.
Of course, you can always go to a local store and pick up a mirror, but you may still need a friend to help you bring it home.
Mirrors can be expensive because they are large, and they weigh quite a bit.
5. Quality and Longevity
When you think about a mirror, you may not consider quality, but it will have an enormous impact on the pricing.
There is absolutely such thing as a cheap mirror and an expensive mirror.
The better quality mirrors will last a long time, and they will be resistant to scratches as well.
For some areas of your home, the mirror quality is probably not going to matter.
However, for other areas, like the bathroom, you have to be very careful that you choose a mirror that will hold up over time.
When people are using the sink, the mirror will probably get wet, and it makes sense to choose something that is easily cleaned without getting scratched.
When a mirror is scratched, there will be a very high likelihood that the entire mirror needs to be replaced.
When you are purchasing a high quality mirror, it makes sense to pay attention to the thickness of the mirror.
The thicker a mirror is, the better quality it is going to be.
Most experts will tell you that you need something that is at least ¼ inch thick.
The mirrors that are closer to ¾ inch thick are, of course, going to be heavier and more difficult to hang, but they should last you a long time.
Lastly, it is essential to remember that, when you purchase a mirror, it is very likely something you will hold onto for a long time.
There is really no reason to be changing a mirror in your home every year or two.
Mirror manufacturers know that you will probably be a one-time customer for them.
Therefore, they have to charge you enough to cover their expenses and make a profit on your purchase as well.
This is just a standard business principle, but it certainly comes into play with mirrors as well.
How Much Should a Mirror Cost?
One of the problems people run into with the cost of mirrors is that the price range is so broad.
Knowing exactly what a mirror should cost can be a little difficult.
Depending on the size, quality, and potential location of your mirror, you could spend anywhere from $20 to $2000.
Generally speaking, for a mirror for the bathroom that is a simple model with no frame, you should see pricing around $200–$300 for around six feet.
Of course, you will still have to decide if you are going to hang this directly on the wall or work around it and create your own frame.
This pricing is going to reflect a mediocre quality mirror.
Mirrors that are going to cover large amounts of wall space in your home could be thousands of dollars if they have ornate frames.
It is hard to say exactly what a mirror should cost.
With all the options out there, you have to find one that will work best for you.
Is There a Mirror Paint?
For those who simply refuse to pay for a mirror, you do have an option to use mirror paint on glass.
With this option, you will purchase a piece of glass and then get a mirror paint to spray on the glass.
The mirror paint does a good job of turning the glass into a mirror, and it makes a great do-it-yourself project.
Can we say that this mirror is as high quality or has as clear of an image as a high-end polished mirror? No.
These mirrors do the trick, and they look nice, but up close, you can certainly tell the difference.
Mirrors are quite expensive, and the pricing seems to just get higher and higher.
Although there is not much you can do about mirror pricing, at least you now understand why they are priced as they are.
It takes a lot of time and effort to create a great mirror, and they can still be quite fragile.
A mirror is a great piece to add to your home decor.
If you do a bit of shopping around, chances are you will find one in your price range.NEXT: Why Is Amtrak So Expensive? (Top 5 Reasons)