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HOW CHANGES IN MIRRORS AND GLASS CAN UPDATE A BATHROOM

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NINE TRENDS IN MIRRORS AND GLASS

If you’re thinking about remodeling your bathroom, you probably know it means a lot more than installing new cabinets and countertops. Maybe you need changes in flooring and fixtures as well. But don’t think that’s all – now there are big changes in mirrors and glass as well that can add a clean and inviting feeling to the bathroom.

Here are new trends that might work in your bath remodel, as well as some ideas to avoid:

1 | Giant mirrors

Giant mirrors that cover acres of wall space in the bathroom are coming down and being replaced with smaller framed or unframed mirrors. Homeowners are also removing those out-of-date small medicine cabinets that have mirrored fronts. If two people are using a bathroom, you probably want two sinks with separate mirrors for each.

Removing a really big mirror glued to the wall has to be done very carefully to avoid the hazards of broken glass. Some homeowners take this on as a do-it-yourself project. But it involves using lots of tape to keep the glass from splintering when you pry off the mirror glued to the wall. You might want to get advice from a glass expert on how to do this, and be sure to wear safety goggles and protective clothing.

2 | Back-lit mirrors

One new contemporary look is back-lit mirrors so that a glow of warm light radiates all around the frame of the mirror. Lighting is done with LEDs for energy savings and heat reduction. The lighting system includes a dimmer switch on the wall so you can control the brightness.

3 | Towel bars

Towel bars hung on the wall outside the shower are being replaced with bars that are put on the outside of the glass enclosure itself. It’s a cleaner, less clunky look and frees up wall space to use for cabinets or for artwork. The towel thus becomes more accessible after a shower.

4 | Frameless shower

The current frameless look in showers is widely popular. Older homes often have a metal frame around the door and the rims of shower panels. Now just a few metal clips and hinges can hold the panels and door in place.

5 | Sliding door

You may have seen the “barn door” style used in homes with doors that slide across a doorway on a header mechanism. Now this method can be used for shower doors as well, according to Dennis and Lori Rusk of ABC Glass Co. in Phoenix.

6 | Walls and windows

Walls and windows of glass blocks in bathrooms were a major trend in the ’80s and ’90s. But no one wants to use them any more for shower stalls due to problems over the years with mold building up inside the blocks or on grout holding the blocks together. Glass blocks might still be used for windows, but not for building showers. Although many homeowners prefer clear glass windows that look out on a scenic view.

7 | Transparent glass

Clear, transparent glass is now more in style for panels and doors in showers. This type of glass might have been difficult to clean in the past. But during a remodel, you can have new, invisible coatings put on the glass before the shower is built. This treatment will prevent soap scum build-up and hard water marks on the glass.

“All you need to do is wipe off the shower walls with a microfiber cloth or a squeegee or a sponge after you use it,” Rusk said. “It’s especially important to do this coating treatment if you have hard water in your home and don’t have a water softener. Without it, the sparkle in the glass would be dulled and layered with white scale within six months.”

8 | Shelves

Glass shelves on mirrors are becoming popular as a place to store small items.

9 | Matching fixtures

Shiny gold, brass and silver looks in bathroom fixtures are on their way out. Replace them with oiled or rubbed bronze or brushed nickel. That includes the minimal pieces of hardware that hold glass shower doors in place because you want all the metal fixtures to match.

BONUS IDEA FOR YOUR HOME:

The sparkle of glass can be used to brighten up your kitchen as well. A glass company can take out the wood panels in the front of some cabinet doors and replace them with glass. Then you’ll have some great display cabinets where you can show off your prized china or other treasures.

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