Is the framed mirror you’ve got laying around going to work in your home gym or should you get a frameless mirror? We’ll go over what is best and the pros and cons of both.
Frameless mirrors are better for a home or garage gym since they are available in more appropriate sizes, are available with tempered glass, and create much smaller gaps if multiple mirrors are used. Framed mirrors are much more affordable.
Below you can find out exactly why the right frameless mirror is a much better choice than a framed mirror as well as what you can do with your framed mirror.
Framed vs Frameless Mirrors For a Home Gym
Full-length framed mirrors are much cheaper than frameless gym mirrors. That makes them an attractive alternative for people that are building a garage gym on a budget. This price difference comes from somewhere though. There are actually quite a few differences in construction between framed and frameless mirrors.
Framed and frameless mirrors are just two types to be aware of. Find more types of gym mirrors in this article.
Dedicated gym mirrors are virtually always frameless. A big reason for this is so that they can be mounted on a wall with minimal seams between two mirror sheets. This creates a much cleaner appearance and gives you a better view of your body while exercising.
The seams don’t seem like such a big deal, in a home gym you’re working out alone and a single mirror is enough, right? However, framed mirrors are often narrower than the minimum width of a proper gym mirror (36”).
Framed mirrors are virtually always 24” wide or less. That’s enough to see your outfit but not on many exercises where you keep your hands further apart. To get a mirror that’s wide enough for a workout room, you’d need two framed mirrors next to each other. But that’s where the problem of seams comes in. The frame creates a gap in the reflection. This means you can’t fully see what your body is doing to check your form and technique properly.
Other features of good gym mirrors are; thicker (5mm+), tempered glass, a safety backing, larger sizes, and better mounting solutions.
Especially the safety features are lacking in most framed mirrors. In a gym, there is a chance something hits the mirror. Framed mirrors will simply break more easily and when they do, they break up in large, sharp shards.
Gym mirrors should be made from tempered glass which is harder but also breaks up into smaller, less sharp pieces which is much safer.
To summarize, framed mirrors are too narrow and too vulnerable to make good gym mirrors. Frameless mirrors are a much better choice in this case.
Framed Gym Mirrors Pros and Cons
To make the point above extra clear, here is a quick rundown of the pros and cons of framed mirrors for gym purposes.
- Generally more affordable than frameless mirrors: Available in a variety of styles and designs to match the gym decor.
- Can be easier to install due to the frame providing additional support.
- May offer some protection to the edges of the mirror.
- The frame can limit the viewing area, especially if the mirror is narrow.
- Framed mirrors are usually too narrow for gym purposes.
- Frames may create gaps or obstacles in the reflection, affecting the overall aesthetics.
Not sure how to pick the right gym mirror? Here’s a buying guide that helps you find out what’s important when shopping for home gym mirrors.
Frameless Gym Mirrors Pros and Cons
- Provide a seamless and continuous reflection without any obstructions.
- Offer a sleek and modern look, enhancing the overall appearance of the gym.
- Can give the illusion of a larger space due to the absence of a frame.
- Generally more expensive compared to framed mirrors.
- May require more careful and precise installation techniques.
- Without a frame, the mirror edges may be more vulnerable to damage although the edges of frameless mirrors are often treated to reduce vulnerability.
Can You Remove The Frame From a Framed Mirror?
If you have a framed mirror in your garage gym and are now noticing it’s not quite what you like? Is it possible to remove the frame from your mirror so you can mount another one next to it with a much smaller seam?
It is possible in most cases but there are some drawbacks. Here’s how you can do it;
- Assess the construction: Examine the frame and mirror to understand how they are connected. Look for any screws, brackets, or adhesive holding the mirror in place within the frame.
- Prepare the workspace: Lay a soft cloth or blanket on a flat surface to protect the mirror from scratches or damage during the process. Make sure you have a clear, stable area to work.
- Detach the frame: If there are visible screws or brackets holding the mirror in the frame, carefully remove them using appropriate tools (such as a screwdriver or pliers). Be gentle to avoid putting too much pressure on the mirror.
- Separate the mirror from the frame: Once any visible fasteners are removed, you can attempt to separate the mirror from the frame. Depending on the construction, the mirror may be secured to the frame with adhesive. In this case, you can use a thin putty knife or a similar tool to carefully pry the mirror away from the frame.
- Take precautions: While removing the frame, ensure you have a firm grip on the mirror to prevent it from falling or slipping out of your hands. Consider having someone assist you during this process to ensure safety.
There is however one main drawback of removing the frame from a framed mirror. Deframed mirrors are more vulnerable than purpose-built framed mirrors:
- Structural Integrity: Purpose-built frameless mirrors are typically designed and manufactured without a frame from the start. They are engineered to have a specific thickness and strength to support their own weight and withstand handling and installation. On the other hand, deframed mirrors were originally constructed with a frame, and the removal of the frame may compromise their structural integrity to some extent.
- Edge Protection: Purpose-built frameless mirrors often undergo processes like polishing or beveling to protect their edges. This helps reduce the risk of chipping or cracking. Deframed mirrors, however, may not have undergone these treatments, leaving the mirror edges more vulnerable to damage.
Framed mirrors aren’t great as gym mirrors to begin with for the reasons mentioned above; Shatter resistance, size, and seams. Removing the frame solves the problem of large seams but increases the vulnerability, which is not something you want in a gym setting.
Check out glass mirror tiles if you want something cheaper than frameless gym mirrors. They come with their own downsides but are generally a better choice than removing the frame from a standard mirror.