Custom mirrors: The way you like them
Custom mirrors are just a small part of the customization trend that is all the rage these days. From sports cars to business cards, and knick-knacks to nose jobs, every consumable item (and some disgusting ones) on the planet is fair game for the customization juggernaut. Not that there's anything wrong with adding a personal touch to a vanilla world, but the overkill mode that custom creations are in is, well, overkill. However, on the bright side, there's always making your mark on the world and all that profound 'good stuff'; besides, how are you going to know which car is yours in a parking lot of 3000 similar looking cars if we didn't have some kind of customization in this world.
Custom mirrors: What the term might indicate
Obviously, a "standard custom mirror" would be an oxymoron, to say the least. Because of the availability of a vast array of shapes, types, edges, frames and finishes, it's hard to say what the most popular kinds are. However, manufacturers have found that bathroom mirrors are generally the most-requested in terms of specific custom needs. A single sheet, according to one manufacturer, can be as long as 130 inches, or about ten something feet â that's the kind you might see in a dance studio or a barber shop. They can also be made much larger depending on the need, but around 10 feet is the usually requested length. The world's largest (and obviously custom-made) mirror is a part of the Large Binocular Telescope on Mount Graham in Arizona. The diameter of this single mirror is 8.4 meters, or 27.6 feet.
Custom mirrors: A mere sample of customizations
Having established the futility of trying to pinpoint the most popular types of mirrors, here's a look at some of the family members in the extensive clan of custom mirrors. Even though the shapes may be standard, there are numerous customization options when it comes to the type and thickness of glass, the reflective surface, the edge patterns, the framing and the installation. For example, you could have a thickness as fine as an eighth of an inch for a clear mirror, though typically, quarter inch mirrors are more durable.
For the reflective surface, silver is the coating of choice. Aluminium is also used, and in 16th century Venice, mercury for used for more than a hundred years as an exclusive product of the island of Murano, still famous but no longer exclusive. Of late, however, Mercury has been banned as a reflective material for mirrors due to its high toxicity. The actual process of coating a mirror is far from a simple application of molten metal; there are a minimum of 5 layers of various compounds before a mirror-maker can say "finished".
Edge patterns are a fascinating subject on their own. At least a dozen different types of edgework patterns are possible, including the classic bevel, pencil polish, ogee, half bull nose and waterfall. All these are more popular with plain glass, but can be used as options for custom mirrors as well.
As for the frames, they range from the subtly expensive plain polished wood finish frames to the obviously lavish wrought metal ones with intricate designs of your choice. Any design that you provide can be replicated on metal and wood, and sometimes even plastic.
Mirror thicknesses are also a highly customizable feature, with a starting thickness of about an eighth to three-eighths of an inch, until 'sky's the limit' thickness. Of course, you want to balance durability, cost and weight, and any mirror-maker worth his salt should be able to guide you to the right combination.
With regards to installation, you can have a free-standing custom mirror, or a wall mirror, or even a floating mirror with a hidden bracket behind to give a 3D effect. Swivel stands are also popular for round or oval mirrors.
Be yourself through custom mirrors
A mirror is a reflection of your personality and can be a fashion and style statement. With all the choices, it might be hard to settle on the one perfect for you, but a little time spent here can get you compliments galore from your guests. Use your instincts and pick a combination of features that best defines you.