Tile Time!

So we just finished a wonderful new project that I am SUPER excited to share with everyone!  We have been wanting to dress up our very builder-grade guest bathroom.  We had already painted the bathroom blue, hung some accessories, and added a new shower curtain, but the bathroom still lacked some major pizazz…


Guest Bathroom Before Tiled Mirror, but After Paint, New Shower Curtain, and Accessories

This brings us to my “lucky break!”  A wonderful friend of ours, local contractor, Doug Tolson (of Doug Tolson Construction) had some left-over Recycled Aluminum Tiles.  Lucky for me, I snagged them right away!  Really… I was speedy, and it was a close-call even getting them.  Unfortunately, while I was stoked to get them, I was smack-dab in the middle of studying for law school exams, so I had to put off creating with my gift.  But, finally we had time, so, after much thought and deliberation, we decided to make a tile-framed mirror for our bathroom!  Sure, we could have used our existing mirror for this project, and just tiles around it, but we really just wanted more BANG for our buck effort.  Here’s the final product:

Mirror Updated!

We are sooooo thrilled with the results.  Unfortunately, pictures were just really hard to snag because of the dimensions of our bathroom, but hopefully you get the gist.  Also, by no means is this bathroom complete.  Next on the TO DO list for this bathroom-

  • changing out the awful bar-light fixtures to something more sleek and modern
  • stain/paint the vanity either chocolate or black
  • change out the countertop to some kind of light color stone, like this
  • and then finally, use the remaining aluminum tiles as the backsplash to play off the light countertop!!!

I’m soooo excited… can you tell?!?!?! :)

In case you were wondering how to make a tile mirror (it took me a lot of online research to find the right method for us), this is how we did it… STEP by STEP:

  1. Buy the proper size mirror for your space (we went with a 24×36, beveled edge mirror from Lowe’s).
  2. Lay out the tiles around your mirror to determine best layout and proper spacing.  For ours, we decided to do a double row around both mirrors, with a married center row (we didn’t have enough width over the vanity to do a double row around each mirror separately).
  3. Once you have the layout down, choose the proper mounting method!!!  Choosing the proper method is essential to the project.  After much back and forth, we decided to go with a plywood mounting method.  To do this, cut a sheet of plywood down to size (to allow for a quarter-inch of the tiles to hang over on each side) and then primer the wood on both sides for moisture protection- see the primered wood below.
  4. After the primer dries, snap a chalk-line down the middle to properly align the tiles down the center.  Start by tiling the middle two rows along the chalk line.  To secure the tiles to the wood, we used Liquid Nails, as we were butting the tiles up to one another with no space between.IMG_1349
  5. Next, place the mirrors onto the plywood using Mirror Adhesive by Liquid Nails.  This is absolutely essential because if you do not use the proper adhesive when mounting a mirror, the adhesive will eat away at the coating on the back of the mirror and it will look very bad.IMG_1353
  6. After both mirrors are place, then tile the remainder of the frame using the Liquid Nails and the tile pattern that you’ve already laid out in Step 2.IMG_1360
  7. Allow to cure for at least 24 hours.
  8. After curing, flip the mirror over and apply a line of liquid nails to the back of the tiles and the edge of the plywood for extra security.
  9. Lastly, secure proper hanging hardware.  We went with the new Hangman Track System!  Traditional hardware was not strong enough in the plywood, nor secure enough for the weight of the newly mounted mirrors.  But, the Hangman system was perfect and extremely easy to use!!!  For the Hangman system, you will mount the hanging hardware on the back of the mirror and then on the wall.  Afterward, we just set the mirror on the wall-mounted track and we were all DONE!!! :D  We are so thrilled with the result.  It made such an impact and was a wonderful D-I-Y project!113

This project is being linked up with these wonderful blogs…

DIY Club

Somewhat Simple
House of Hepworths
Yesterday on Tuesday
The Shabby Creek Cottage
What Allie’s Making Now
A Glimpse Inside
Everyday Tastes
Momnivore’s Dilemma
Home Stories A to Z
Thrifty Decor Chick

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  1. Ashley, this is amazing! I never in a million years would have thought to do this and it is just stunning. We are about to put in an offer on our first place and I would LOVE to do something like this. Genius!

  2. This project is awesome! This is definitely going to the top of “our” to do list. Was it very hard? It turned out great!!

  3. Hi Lauren- The project was NOT hard at all!!! It was really fun to do and see the transformation. It took a few days to do, but this was simply due to the dry times for the liquid nails and mirror adhesive. Otherwise, it could all be done in a single day. :) If you do the mirror project, please share your pics. We would love to see the results!!!

  4. Great mirror! Love it! Thanks for stopping by my blog. Best of luck to you in your new blogging journey!

  5. LOVE the tiles! They look sleek and wonderful!

  6. Love it!

  7. This is a fabulous makeover! very unique!

  8. I just came across your post on the tile mirror! I LOVE it! We have a basic builder home with a similar mirror in your “before” bathroom picture (one large mirror across both sinks). After reading your post, I wanted to pick you mind with a few questions! Couldnt you have done the same thing with the mirror you already had on the wall? Why did you choose to buy new mirrors? Our mirror is so large and I hate to buy new ones when mine is less than a year old! What’s your thought on this? Any advice? Thanks so much, keep up the great work!

    • Hi Tonya! Thanks for checking out our blog and I am so glad you love the mirror! It was a room changer for sure for us! Here’s the answers to your questions: We absolutely could have done something with the builder’s mirror, but we found mirrors for cheap at Lowe’s that gave us a little more height and would break up the space a little more. We definitely like the height aspect of the new mirrors, so that is part of the reason we chose to get them, but we also like the beveled edges, and we figured we could take the large builder mirror and move it into the gym at our home and hang it on the wall. :) If you do not want to buy new mirrors, but you still want the look of two mirrors, it is very easy to cut a mirror into two pieces using a glass knife (which can be purchased at any home improvement store), but you just have to be careful. OR you can take your mirror to a glass shop and have them do it for you, but it’s just up to you and whether or not you want the separate mirror look. No matter what, large mirror or two separate mirrors, it will look great!!!

      I hope this helps! I’m happy to answer any other questions you have at all! :)

  9. LOVE your mirror.

  10. Wow! I love that mirror!!! Such a cool and fun project. Thanks for linking up to my house tour party again!

  11. I love the frame! The aluminum tiles look fantastic, what a great way update the mirrors!

  12. Hey, guys big up I really loved your project. I love glass and mirrors. Right now I have stocked many clear glass shelves that I wanted to do something on walls with them, I was thinking of walls panels. I got them as a gift including loads of mirrors from a friend who was liquidating their business. They are more than what I would need. What advice would you give me to create a wow look of my house. Oh the mirrors have hanging steels at the back it was one of the reason that put my project on hold.

    Once again your project is fabulous fresh and WOW.

    • Hi Eunice! Thanks for stopping by our blog and the sweet comments! Mirrors can add tons of visual interest and are great at bouncing light around. If you’d like some input on your decor issue, post a picture of the mirrors on our facebook page and a picture of the area you are thinking of using them and we can totally give you some feedback!!! :) Hope that helps!

  13. What a beautiful idea! I just came across this post… I have been brainstorming for months about what to do with our builder grade mirrors. Looking at the link to the hanging system you used, it looks like it attaches to the back of the mirror with screws? Was the plywood thick enough without them having to go into the back of the mirror? That has been what has stopped me from moving forward on my project – I’m not sure how I would hang it. Thanks for your help (and inspiration)!

    • Hi Kristy- Thanks for the sweet compliment about our mirror! We couldn’t be happier and unfortunately, my camera skills really don’t do the mirror it’s full justice! I promise that if you do this project, you WILL NOT be disappointed with the results! As for the hanging system, it does attach to the plywood and to the wall. We used 1/2 inch plywood and the screws were the perfect size- aka, they did NOT go into the mirror at all! :) This hanging system is literally the easiest thing I’ve ever used to hang large pieces and is super sturdy! Let me know if you end up doing your project! I’d love to feature it as a reader-inspired project!!! :D

  14. Awesome…I am so stealing this idea for my bathroom!

  15. Your hard work paid off – it’s beautiful!

  16. that is awesome!!!! i love the pearly tiles- they are glamorous and dramatic!

  17. Your bathroom is beautiful and that mirror is fantastic!! Thanks for sharing the how to!! Would love if you would come share at Feathered Nest Friday sometime! :)

  18. Hi there- just stopping back by to say thanks so much for linking this up at Feathered Nest Friday! Hope you’ll come share again soon! :)

  19. Absolutely lovely! Really appreciate you linking up this great bath post at the Roomspiration blog party. Btw, I am admiring all your creativity in your blog so may I invite you also to join us at Creative Bloggers’ Party & Hop? Hope to see you there at the party :)

  20. please consider painting the cabinets beige. Would preserve the light/airy feel.

  21. Thanks for looking at my tiled mirror. I absolutely love the tile you used and it was so smart to tile down the center too. I think my mirror is cemented to the wall. There are no clips or anything visibly holding it to the wall. Ahhh, law school exams…I am an attorney and sooooo glad those days are behind me! BTW, did you end up painting your vanity? That is next on my “to do” list.

    • Thanks for returning the blog love!!! Good to know about the mirror- I was very curious since that was one of the reasons that I took my route for tiling a vanity mirror… I had those pesky clips that were in the way. :( Your’s is just so gorgeous!

      Really?!?! You’re an attorney! I absolutely LOVE meeting attorney home/craft bloggers! Melissa @ Houseography is also an attorney who blogs about her family and home! It totally makes me feel like I have something to look forward to- a wonderful career and still having the ability to play with project around the house! Can I ask what type of law you practice?

      I haven’t yet painted my vanity… I was too busy for a while, but I expect to do it soon! :) Probably going with semi-gloss white so I can get a sharp, clean color in the bathroom.

  22. You rock so I featured you this week at my Hookin Up with HoH Link Party!

    Feel free to stop by and grab a button if you’d like.


    Allison @ House of Hepworths

  23. What an impressive transformation. I am tempted to give it a try, but this one might be beyond my talent. But I admire your work!
    Meredith From A Mother Seeking Come find me on my blog, A Mother Seeking…

    • Thanks for stopping by our blog Meredith and for the sweet compliment! I absolutely assure you that this is NOT beyond anyone’s level of skill! All it required was a little visual arrangement and a lot of gluing!!! I even had Lowe’s pre-cut the plywood to size for me so I didn’t have to deal with that! :)

  24. What a transformation! You did an amazing job :)

  25. Thank you, thank you for this great post and the step by step instructions. We are renovating our bathroom and putting in a new tub and tile. I’m trying to save money where I can (nabbed a fabulous recycled vanity!) I decided to get some extra of the glass accent tile that we are using and frame a basic builder’s mirror. I was hunting everywhere online for instructions when I happened on this blog. Your instructions are perfect for my application and VERY clear. Thanks!

    Do you think the liquid nails would work for glass tile or will it show through the glass?

    • Oh good! I’m sooo glad that you found us and that our tutorial was so helpful! As for using glass tiles, I would make sure and paint your plywood white and then use a white adhering product (liquid nails has a bit of grit in it, but I don’t think it would be too noticeable)- I’m sure there are lots of them out there… otherwise you might see through the glass to an unattractive backing… hope that helps!!!


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