Design and layout
Photo 1: Dry-set the tile on a flat surface
I used paper-faced glass mosaic tiles. They’re a little harder to work with than mesh-backed glass tiles, but they’re typically cheaper and you can’t see the mesh backing through the glass. Working on a slab of 3/4-in. MDF, I fit together the tile border. This meant cutting the tile sheets to fit. Remember to leave grout spaces between the sections of tile. The MDF later became the base of the mirror.
Vern Johnson, TFH art director extraordinaire, is a hands-on fellow who’s addicted to glass tile. He was itching for a new tile project that wouldn’t break the bank. So he came up with this glass tile border and frame that transforms a plain mirror into a stunning work of art. Big impact—small price. Here’s how he did it.
Set and grout the tile
For this project, I used a tile adhesive mat—a mat that’s sticky on both sides (sold at home centers and tile stores). You stick one side to the frame and then stick the tiles to the face. It’s easy to use, you can grout it right away and there’s less mess than with mastic. But mastic would definitely be cheaper and it would work fine too.
Attach the mirror
Use special mirror adhesive (available at home centers) to bond the mirror to the MDF backer. Carefully set the mirror in place, then let the adhesive set overnight.
After the glue has dried, turn the mirror over and mark locations for two hanger straps at the top of the mirror. If possible, match these hanger locations to the studs on the wall, but if the spacing doesn’t work out where you want to place the mirror, use heavy duty drywall anchors.
Rout channels for the hanger straps with a dado bit set to the depth of the hanger. Screw the straps to the MDF backer, then hang the mirror.