Bathrooms, Design trends, Inspiration, Mirrors

Framed vs Frameless Mirrors – Which Suits Your Bathroom Best?

Framed vs Frameless Mirrors Round mirror grey bath

Framed vs Frameless Mirrors Key decision you'll face is whether to go for a framed or frameless option

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Mirrors play a crucial role in bathroom decor, serving both functional and aesthetic purposes. They not only reflect light and create an illusion of space but also add style and elegance to the overall design.

When it comes to selecting the perfect mirror for your bathroom, one of the key decisions you'll face is whether to go for a framed or frameless option. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the characteristics, advantages, and considerations associated with framed and frameless mirrors, helping you determine which option suits your bathroom best.

Understanding Framed Mirrors

Framed mirrors are a popular choice for bathrooms due to their versatility and wide range of design possibilities. These mirrors feature a surrounding frame that enhances their visual appeal and complements the overall decor. Framed mirrors come in various materials, including wood, metal, and plastic, each offering unique aesthetics and durability.

Wood frames

Wood-framed mirrors provide a warm and natural look, making them suitable for a variety of design styles. They can range from light-coloured woods such as pine and oak to darker woods like mahogany and walnut. Wood frames can be left natural for a rustic touch or painted to match your bathroom’s colour scheme.

Bathroom with oval wood mirror

Metal frames

Metal-framed mirrors add a touch of modern sophistication to any bathroom. Options include stainless steel, chrome, brushed nickel, and brass. These frames are sleek and durable, making them ideal for contemporary or industrial-style bathrooms.

Plastic frames

Plastic-framed mirrors are lightweight, affordable, and available in various colours and designs. While they may not have the same level of durability as wood or metal frames, they can still be a budget-friendly and stylish option for your bathroom.

Framed mirrors offer a wide array of design styles to suit different bathroom aesthetics. Some popular design styles include.

Grey bathroom with mirrors


These mirrors feature ornate frames with intricate detailing, perfect for classic and elegant bathroom designs.


Clean lines, minimalistic frames, and sleek finishes define modern framed mirrors, adding a contemporary touch to your bathroom.


Wooden frames with distressed finishes or natural textures create a warm and inviting look, ideal for farmhouse or cottage-style bathrooms.

Exploring Frameless Mirrors

Frameless mirrors, as the name suggests, do not have a surrounding frame. They offer a sleek and minimalist appearance that can create a contemporary and spacious feel in your bathroom. Frameless mirrors are available in different types, each with its unique features.

Two round lit mirrors in bathroom

Bevelled edge mirrors

Bevelled edge mirrors feature angled edges that add dimension and elegance. The bevelled edges can vary in width, allowing you to choose the level of visual impact you desire. These mirrors are versatile and can complement both traditional and modern bathroom designs.

Etched mirrors

Etched mirrors offer a touch of artistic flair with intricate patterns or designs on the mirror surface. These designs can range from simple lines to elaborate motifs. Etched frameless mirrors can become statement pieces, adding a personalized and decorative element to your bathroom decor.

Venetian mirrors

Venetian mirrors are known for their exquisite craftsmanship and intricate glasswork. They often feature delicate etchings, bevelled edges, and decorative shapes. Venetian mirrors bring a touch of elegance and sophistication to any bathroom, making them perfect for luxurious or vintage-inspired designs.

Grey framed mirror

Installation methods for frameless mirrors

Frameless mirrors can be installed using different methods depending on your preference and the mirror’s size and weight:

Adhesive installation

This involves using specialized mirror adhesive or double-sided mounting tape to secure the mirror directly onto the wall. The adhesive installation provides a seamless and clean look, as there are no visible brackets or clips.

Clips and brackets

Frameless mirrors can also be installed using clips or brackets. These hardware options hold the mirror in place while allowing it to float slightly off the wall, creating a visually interesting effect. Clips and brackets are available in various finishes to match your bathroom’s style.

Channel installation

In this method, a metal or plastic channel is installed along the edges of the mirror, securely holding it in place. Channel installation provides stability and support for larger frameless mirrors.

Regardless of the installation method you choose, it is important to ensure proper anchoring and secure attachment to the wall to prevent accidents and ensure the mirror’s longevity.

Black and white bathroom round mirror

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Mirror

When selecting a mirror for your bathroom, it’s important to take into account several factors to ensure that it suits your needs and enhances your bathroom’s overall design. Consider the following factors:

Size and proportion

Determine the appropriate size of the mirror based on the available wall space and the proportion to the vanity or sink. A mirror that is too small may look out of place, while one that is too large can overpower the space.

Style and design

Consider the overall style and design of your bathroom. Do you prefer a traditional, modern, or eclectic look? Choose a mirror that complements the existing elements in your bathroom and contributes to the desired aesthetic.

Bath two rectangle mirrors

Bathroom layout and lighting

Take into account the layout of your bathroom and the placement of windows, light fixtures, and vanity lights. Mirrors can enhance the natural light in the room and improve the overall lighting scheme. Consider how the mirror will interact with the available light sources to create a well-lit and visually appealing space.

Maintenance and cleaning

Consider the maintenance and cleaning requirements of the mirror. Frameless mirrors are generally easier to clean as there are no frame crevices to collect dust or dirt. Additionally, choose mirrors with high-quality glass that is resistant to fogging and water spots for added convenience.

Budget considerations

Set a budget for your mirror purchase and consider the range of options available within your price range. Both framed and frameless mirrors come in various price points, allowing you to find a mirror that meets your budgetary constraints without compromising on style or quality.

By carefully considering these factors, you can select a mirror that not only enhances the functionality of your bathroom but also harmonizes with its design and reflects your taste.

Slate wall with round mirror

Framed vs Frameless Mirrors – A Comparison

To help you make an informed decision, let’s compare framed and frameless mirrors across various aspects

Visual appeal

Framed mirrors offer a wide range of design options and can serve as a focal point in your bathroom. The frame adds a decorative element that complements the overall aesthetic.

Frameless mirrors provide a sleek and minimalist look, blending seamlessly with different decor styles. They create a clean and open visual impression, ideal for achieving a contemporary or spacious look.

Versatility and flexibility

Framed mirrors allow for customization with various frame materials, finishes, and design styles. You can choose a frame that matches your bathroom’s theme or acts as a contrasting element.

Frameless mirrors offer versatility in terms of shape and installation options. They can be cut into various shapes and sizes, allowing for more creative freedom in design. Frameless mirrors also lend themselves well to different bathroom styles, from modern to minimalist to eclectic.

Framed vs Frameless Mirrors

A choice often reflects personal taste and the design style of a space. Framed mirrors, bordered by materials like wood or metal, add an artistic flair and often evoke a traditional aesthetic. They’re perfect for classic decor schemes but can be heavier and more challenging to install.

In contrast, frameless mirrors present a minimalist, modern appeal. Ideal for contemporary settings, they give an illusion of more space, but their lack of protective frame may make them prone to chipping. Thus, the Framed vs Frameless Mirrors decision rests on your style preference and the practicality of your space.

Two round mirror with ladder rack

Durability and longevity

Framed mirrors, particularly those with high-quality frames, tend to be more durable and long-lasting. The frame provides added protection to the edges of the mirror and helps prevent chipping or damage.

Frameless mirrors, on the other hand, are more vulnerable to chipping or breaking along the edges since they lack the protection of a frame. However, when properly installed and maintained, frameless mirrors can still be durable and withstand everyday use.

Cost considerations

The cost of framed mirrors can vary depending on factors such as the frame material, design intricacy, and brand. Wood frames tend to be more expensive than metal or plastic frames, while ornate or custom-made frames can increase the price.

Frameless mirrors generally tend to be more affordable than framed mirrors, as they require less material and labour for manufacturing. However, certain types of frameless mirrors, such as those with intricate etchings or Venetian glasswork, can be more expensive due to the craftsmanship involved.

Two round mirrors

Ease of installation and maintenance

Framed mirrors are relatively easier to install, as they often come with mounting hardware, such as hooks or brackets. The frame provides additional stability and makes the installation process straightforward.

Frameless mirrors require more careful installation to ensure stability. The chosen installation method, whether adhesive, clips and brackets or channel installation, should be properly executed. Cleaning framed mirrors may be more time-consuming due to the frame, which can accumulate dust or require more attention to detail. Frameless mirrors, on the other hand, are typically easier to clean as there are no frame crevices to navigate.

It’s important to weigh these factors and consider your personal preferences, budget, and bathroom requirements when deciding between framed and frameless mirrors.

Case Studies: Bathrooms with Framed Mirrors

To inspire you, let’s explore a few case studies featuring bathrooms with framed mirrors:

1: Contemporary bathroom design with a sleek framed mirror

In a modern bathroom, a sleek framed mirror with clean lines and a metallic finish can elevate the overall aesthetic. The mirror serves as a focal point, reflecting the contemporary style of the space. The frame’s finish, such as brushed nickel or chrome, adds a touch of sophistication and complements other metallic accents in the bathroom.

White bathroom

2: Traditional bathroom design with an ornately framed mirror

For a traditional bathroom, an ornate framed mirror can enhance the classic charm of the space. Choose a mirror with an intricately designed frame, featuring elements like carvings or decorative motifs. A wooden frame with a rich finish, such as mahogany or walnut, can add warmth and elegance to the traditional decor.

3: Transitional bathroom design with a framed mirror as a statement piece

In a transitional bathroom, consider using a framed mirror as a statement piece to bridge the gap between traditional and modern styles. Choose a mirror with a unique frame design, combining elements of both classic and contemporary aesthetics. This can be achieved through a mix of materials, such as a wooden frame with metal accents or a frame featuring a blend of sleek and ornate details.

Case Studies: Bathrooms with Frameless Mirrors

Now, let’s explore some case studies featuring bathrooms with frameless mirrors

1: Minimalist bathroom design with a large frameless mirror

In a minimalist bathroom, a large frameless mirror can create a sense of openness and simplicity. Opt for a clean-cut, rectangular mirror that covers a significant portion of the wall. The frameless design allows the mirror to seamlessly blend into the background, emphasizing the minimalistic aesthetic of the space.

Large square mirror

2: Eclectic bathroom design with an etched frameless mirror

To add a touch of artistic flair to an eclectic bathroom, consider an etched frameless mirror. Choose a mirror with unique etching patterns or designs that complement the eclectic theme. The etched elements can incorporate a variety of motifs, such as nature-inspired patterns, geometric shapes, or even abstract designs. The frameless nature of the mirror allows the etchings to take centre stage, becoming a captivating focal point in the bathroom.

3: Glamorous bathroom design with a Venetian mirror

In a glamorous bathroom, a Venetian mirror can exude elegance and luxury. Opt for a mirror with intricate glasswork, bevelled edges, and decorative shapes. The frameless design allows the mirror to showcase exquisite craftsmanship and adds a touch of opulence to the overall design. This type of mirror pairs beautifully with high-end materials, such as marble countertops and crystal light fixtures, completing the glamorous aesthetic.

By exploring these case studies, you can gather ideas and inspiration for incorporating framed or frameless mirrors into your bathroom design. Remember to consider the specific style, theme, and ambience you want to create to ensure that the mirror aligns with your vision.

Venetian mirror

Choosing the Right Mirror for Your Bathroom

Selecting the perfect mirror for your bathroom involves thoughtful consideration of various factors. Here are some key steps to guide you in making the right choice:

Assess your bathroom style and decor

Evaluate the overall style and decor of your bathroom. Consider the existing colour palette, materials, and design elements. Determine whether you want the mirror to blend seamlessly with the surroundings or act as a statement piece that adds contrast and visual interest.

Determine your functional needs

Think about the specific functionality you expect from the mirror. Consider factors such as the size of the mirror relative to the vanity or sink, the desired viewing angles, and whether additional features like built-in lighting or magnification are necessary.

Large mirror in bathroom

Consider your budget

Set a budget for your mirror purchase. Determine the range of prices you are willing to consider and explore options within that range. Remember that both framed and frameless mirrors come in a variety of price points, so you can find an option that fits your budget without compromising on style or quality.

Evaluate the available space

Take measurements of the available wall space where the mirror will be installed. Consider the dimensions, height, and width restrictions, and the mirror’s overall proportion to the bathroom’s surrounding elements. This will help ensure that the mirror fits harmoniously within the space.

Explore mirror options

Research and explore various mirror options that align with your style, functionality needs, and budget. Visit local showrooms, browse online retailers, and consider reputable manufacturers to find a wide range of choices. Pay attention to customer reviews and ratings to gain insights into the quality and durability of the mirrors.

Seek professional advice if needed

If you are unsure about the best mirror choice for your bathroom, consult with a professional interior designer or bathroom specialist. They can provide expert guidance and recommendations based on your specific requirements and preferences.

Lit round mirror

Final Tips and Recommendations

To conclude, here are some additional tips and recommendations to help you make the most informed decision when selecting a mirror for your bathroom:

Consider the longevity of the mirror. Opt for high-quality materials and craftsmanship to ensure durability and longevity.

Pay attention to the mirror’s reflective properties. Choose mirrors with high-quality glass that provides clear and distortion-free reflections.

Experiment with different mirror shapes. While rectangular mirrors are commonly used, don’t be afraid to explore round, oval, or irregular shapes for a unique and visually appealing look.

Don’t overlook the importance of proper installation. Whether you choose a framed or frameless mirror, ensure that it is securely mounted and levelled to prevent accidents and ensure longevity.

Regularly clean and maintain your mirror to keep it looking pristine. Use non-abrasive cleaners and soft cloths to clean the mirror surface and frame (if applicable). Avoid using harsh chemicals that can damage the mirror’s coating.

Consider the lighting in your bathroom. Properly placed lighting fixtures can enhance the mirror’s functionality and overall ambience of the space. Install sconces or vanity lights on either side of the mirror to minimize shadows and provide even illumination.

Don’t be afraid to mix and match. You can create an eclectic or personalized look by combining framed and frameless mirrors in the same bathroom. For example, you can have a large frameless mirror above the vanity and smaller framed mirrors on adjacent walls to add visual interest.

Keep an eye on trends, but prioritize your style. While it’s important to stay updated on current design trends, choose a mirror that reflects your taste and complements your unique bathroom decor.

Remember, selecting the right mirror for your bathroom is a personal decision. It should reflect your style preferences, functional needs, and budget considerations.

By carefully considering these factors and following the tips and recommendations, you can confidently choose a mirror that enhances your bathroom’s aesthetics and functionality.

Twin sinks lit mirror

Final Thought

In the debate between framed and frameless mirrors, both options have their own merits and can greatly enhance your bathroom’s overall design. Framed mirrors offer versatility in design styles, materials, and visual impact. On the other hand, frameless mirrors provide a sleek, modern look and allow for creative freedom in shape and installation methods.

By understanding the characteristics, advantages, and considerations associated with each option, you can make an informed decision that suits your bathroom best.

Take into account factors such as size and proportion, style and design, bathroom layout and lighting, maintenance and cleaning requirements, as well as your budget.

Explore the wide range of framed and frameless mirrors available in the market, consider case studies for inspiration, and follow the tips and recommendations provided.

With careful consideration and attention to detail, you can select the perfect mirror that not only adds functionality but also becomes a stunning focal point in your bathroom, reflecting your unique style and enhancing your daily routine.


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