Have you noticed mirror tiles are quite a bit cheaper than larger mirrors and are wondering if they would work well as a cheap gym mirror? There are some important drawbacks of mirror tiles to be aware of.
Mirror tiles can be used as cost-effective gym mirrors, but they have drawbacks such as distortion, visible seams, and reduced durability compared to large mirrors. Glass mirrors offer better reflection quality, while acrylic mirrors are lighter and more impact-resistant.
The material of the tile is one of the key factors in getting a good gym mirror. Let’s dive into the details of using mirror tiles as a gym mirror.
Do Mirror Tiles Make Good Gym Mirrors?
Mirror tiles can make decent gym mirrors although they’re not as good as large mirrors. The main benefit of mirror tiles is that they are cheaper per square foot than larger mirrors. Putting many tiles next to each other will create a cheaper mirror of the same dimensions than just buying one large mirror sheet. You do need many tiles. One or two mirror tiles are not enough in a gym setting.
I’ve written an article that ranks types of gym mirrors from best to worst, click the link if you’re interested.
The main drawback is that mounting has to be very precise to get straight seams. And that leads to the next drawback which is that tile mirrors create gaps between the tiles. This creates a distorted reflection. Also, if one tile is mounted at a slightly different angle, it can give very weird reflections.
Large mirrors are better than tiles but tiles can work if larger mirrors don’t fit your budget. However, it’s not only about large mirrors vs tiles. The material of the tiles makes a huge difference in if they’re any good or not.
The two materials used to make mirror tiles are glass and acrylic. They are both mirrors and square but that’s about where the similarities end. One is a good choice for creating a large gym mirror while the other is best ignored.
Deciding if you should use tiles or larger mirrors isn’t the only factor in choosing the right gym mirror. Here’s a gym mirror buying guide that outlines 7 important factors for choosing the right mirror.
Glass vs Acrylic Mirror Tiles
It’s important to make a distinction between glass and acrylic mirror tiles. Both are about the same size (12”x12” or close to it), but the different materials mean they are very different products with different characteristics.
- Reflection Quality: Glass mirrors generally provide a higher-quality reflection compared to acrylic mirrors. They offer a clearer and more accurate reflection, which can be beneficial for activities that require precise form and technique, such as weightlifting or yoga.
- Durability: Acrylic mirrors are more resistant to impact and shattering than glass mirrors. If you anticipate a higher risk of accidental impacts in your home gym, such as from weights or equipment, acrylic mirror tiles might be a safer option as they are less likely to break or cause injury. Glass mirrors can shatter if subjected to significant force or impact.
- Weight: Acrylic mirrors are lighter than glass mirrors, which can make installation and handling easier, especially if you plan to install the mirrors yourself. Glass mirrors tend to be heavier and may require additional support or professional installation.
- Installation: Both glass and acrylic mirror tiles are relatively easy to install, often coming with adhesive backing. However, glass mirror tiles may require more care during installation due to their weight and fragility.
- Cost: Acrylic mirror tiles are generally more affordable than glass mirrors. If budget is a significant consideration, acrylic mirrors can be a cost-effective option. Click here to find a price comparison between types of gym mirrors.
- Longevity: Glass mirrors are more resistant to scratching and fading over time compared to acrylic mirrors, which can be prone to scratches and may become cloudy or yellowed with age. If you prioritize long-term durability and aesthetics, glass mirrors may be a better choice.
All-in-all, glass is a much better choice than acrylic mirror tiles. Glass might not be as shatter resistant but it lasts longer, looks better, and has a better reflection. And while Acrylic tiles are cheaper, the difference isn’t that big, especially if you compare it to the cost of other gym equipment.
I can recommend glass mirror tiles for making a large home gym mirror but not acrylic tiles. Large glass mirrors are the best choice overall but tiles are cheaper. So if your budget doesn’t stretch to large mirrors, glass tiles are a decent choice.
Find which specific gym mirrors I recommend here. There are both large mirrors and tiles so you can pick the one that’s best for your needs.
Pros and Cons of Mirror Tiles For a Home Gym
There are some pros and cons to using mirror tiles in a gym. These pros and cons go for ALL mirror tiles so both glass and acrylic.
Or go more in-depth by reading this large mirror vs mirror tiles article.
Pros of Using Mirror Tiles for Gym Mirrors:
- Cost-Effective: Mirror tiles are typically more affordable compared to large custom-cut mirrors, making them a budget-friendly option, especially if you have a large area to cover.
- Easy Installation: Mirror tiles are relatively easy to install, especially compared to large, heavy mirrors. They often come with adhesive backing, allowing for simple application to the wall.
- Customizable Layout: Mirror tiles offer the advantage of being able to create various configurations and layouts to fit your gym space. You can arrange the tiles in different patterns or shapes, providing flexibility in design.
Cons of Using Mirror Tiles For a Home Gym
- Distortion: Mirror tiles are generally thinner than standard gym mirrors, and this can result in slight distortions or warping of the reflection. While this might not be a significant issue for most gym activities, it could affect your perception of form and technique during exercises that require precise positioning.
- Durability: Mirror tiles may not be as durable as large, single-piece mirrors. The adhesive backing on the tiles may degrade over time due to moisture or temperature fluctuations, leading to the tiles falling off the wall or losing their reflective qualities.
- Seam Visibility: Mirror tiles have visible seams between each tile, which can create a fragmented appearance. Some people find the seams distracting, especially if they are trying to focus on their form or technique.
Mirror tiles (especially glass ones) are suitable to be used as a home gym mirror if used properly. In a commercial gym, tiles have no place. Large mirror sheets are still better and if those fit in your budget, they are the right choice.