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How Do I Choose the Best Mirror Adhesive?

By Anna B. Smith
Updated May 16, 2024
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To choose the best mirror adhesive, installers should select the type of adhesive that works best with their chosen project surfaces. Not all adhesives are approved for use with every type of surface. Installers can thoroughly inspect the area where they will install their mirror first, and choose the best adhesive accordingly. This type of product is typically sold at local home improvement stores and through Internet ordering.

The type of wall where the new mirror will hang will help determine the type of mirror adhesive needed. Most adhesive product packages provide a list of the different surfaces with which they will work. Indoor adhesives are designed to adhere to drywall, concrete, plaster, and wood. These surfaces can be sealed and painted, but should not be chemically treated or wallpapered.

Consumers can benefit by avoiding general purpose adhesives and epoxies when attempting to hang indoor mirrors. These products are not usually guaranteed for use with reflective surfaces, and have the potential to damage the silver reflective backing of the mirror over time. Some mirror adhesive manufacturers are willing to guarantee that their products will not de-silverize mirrors, and typically provide this type of product labeling on the outside of their packaging.

Large mirrors which will be mounted outdoors usually require the use of heavy duty bolts for securing purposes. Most forms of mirror adhesive are not designed to interact with weathering elements, and can weaken over time when they are exposed to moisture, wind, water, and ice. Small mirrors, such as those that might be mounted on the outside of a car, or that weigh less than 5 pounds (2.3 kilograms), can be attached with a multipurpose epoxy.

The best mirror adhesive should be able to sustain large weight loads. Multipurpose epoxies are also not usually intended for use with products that weigh more than 10 pounds (4.5 kilograms). Medium to large mirrors, which are made primarily of glass, can exceed 50 pounds (22.7 kilograms) or more in weight. To determine whether an adhesive can support heavy weight loads, consumers can check the product labeling to determine if it is approved for use with mechanical support equipment. This type of equipment is used to hold the mirror in place while the adhesive is allowed to dry, usually overnight or for up to 24 hours.

A different type of product can be used when mounting interior car mirrors. This type of glue, often labeled as rearview mirror adhesive, is designed to work specifically with glass and the form of metal used on the back of rearview mirrors. This product is usually sold in a two-step format. After the interior windshield has been cleaned and dried, one adhesive is applied to the area where the mounting button will be placed. The second adhesive is applied directly to the metal mounting portion of the rearview mirror, and the two products are pressed together and held until dry, usually for several minutes.

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Discussion Comments

By Animandel — On Jun 12, 2014

Finding the exact spot where I want to hang a picture or a mirror is a process of elimination for me. I usually try a dozen different places before I finally pick a spot and stick with it. So whenever I am using a adhesive to hang an item I make sure I am happy with the place I am going to hang it before I actually put it in place.

By Sporkasia — On Jun 11, 2014

I have used adhesives before that were supposed to be strong enough to hold the mirrors I was hanging. Most of the adhesives worked for a while and then at some point when I was no longer thinking about them I would hear a loud smashing and shattering sound. I am at the point now that I don't trust any adhesive to hang any type of glass.

For a light weight mirror, a picture hook is all you usually need, and I feel more at ease with the hook than with adhesive. With a larger mirror you can make a sturdy hanging fixture with several hooks and a piece of wire. This way the weight of the mirror is evenly distributed and it will probably stay on the wall.

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