Go to any commercial gyms—what do you see? Various exercise machines and equipment. What about those on the wall?
Yes, I’m talking about gym mirrors!
A gym does not feel quite finish or complete until you have installed a large mirror on the wall. And no, they’re not for vanity or taking mirror selfies to boast about your current body achievement. Okay, I’m kidding, they are great spots for a whole, sweaty bod selfies to flex on social media or staring and falling in love with your new shape.
Take note, however, that gym mirrors aren’t going to be cheap. Plus, the wide array of options and technical specifications can make your mind swirl. Not to worry though, we made the effort to put together a comprehensive guide to help you along your gym mirror buying journey.
But first, do you really need a gym mirror?
6 Benefits of Installing Gym Mirrors
1) FORM CORRECTION
The main reason why most people install mirrors in their home gym is to help them check their forms and movements during their workout. It is quite easy to slip into poor habits and do the easy ways during your workout, causing you to get poor results and another day away to your fitness goal.
An incorrect form means that you’re not properly targeting the muscle groups that you want and instead of using other groups to compensate. Thus leading to overall weakness and less efficiency during movements.
2) MEASURING PROGRESS
You should be able to see the physical improvements and benefits of your regular training whenever you look in the mirror. Not only can you see the muscle definition and gain, but you also see how much smoother and effective you are doing the movements compared to when you first started working out. Being able to see the results visually as you work out can be an effective motivating factor, pushing you to do better and with more determination.
3) LESS INJURY RISKS
At best, having the wrong forms or doing the wrong movements is useless. At worst, these can lead to injury as a result of overworking other tendons, muscles, ligaments, and bones.
By checking your movement and form in a mirror, you can see where your weight is and what muscles are being overworked. Thus, you can correct the mistakes and dramatically lowering the risk of injuries.
4) TRAINER REPLACEMENT
Although it is always beneficial and recommended to have someone train with you and guide you in improving your movements, most of the time you’ll be training all by yourself in your home gym.
Thus, there won’t be a personal trainer or spotter to point out when you’re doing something wrong or something is out of alignment. However, with the best home gym mirrors, you should be your own spotter, seeing and pointing out when you are cutting corners in your workout or bending the wrong way.
5) A BIGGER, BRIGHTER ROOM
Everyone knows that mirrors can make a room look brighter and larger. And most home gyms tend to be the garage, basement, or the smallest room in your home. Thus, these spaces could use some brightening up. A better-looking workout space can make you want to train, so adding a few mirrors around can make the difference between loathing and loving your home gym.
Of course, mirrors are for looking at yourself. With the best gym mirror, you get to stare at yourself and be proud of what you’ve achieved. A little vanity is not a bad thing. It helps boost your self-confidence and the motivation to keep it up!
Factors To Consider When Choosing The Best Gym Mirrors
Finally, convinced to get a gym mirror? But before you splurge your hard-earned money at checkout, you need to take the following factors into consideration first. You don’t want to experience the whole returning process, especially with a huge mirror purchased online.
With mirrors, you get two options: Acrylic or Glass.
Acrylic gym mirrors are not only cheaper, but they are also about half the weight of their glass counterpart. They can be great for the heavily used areas since they do not attract dirt, grime, and dust the way glass mirrors do. Plus, you can find shatterproof acrylic mirrors that are resistant to impact or will not have those super shards of glass scattered on the ground when you’re prone to swinging kettlebells anywhere.
Now, if acrylic mirrors are so great, then why don’t all commercial gyms and even dance studios use them? Well, it’s because of their reflection quality that degrades over time. Also, they can sometimes distort because of their thinness, something you don’t want when checking yourself out.
Glass mirrors may be heavier and more expensive, however, if you want something to look at yourself for years to come and don’t want your reflection to look like something from a circus hall of mirrors, then you should go with these ones.
TEMPORARY OR PERMANENT?
You also need to consider if you want a mirror to be temporarily or permanently attached to the wall. If you are renting, then you will need to go for standing or hanging mirrors.
Standing mirrors can be easily placed just about anywhere. However, they tend to be more expensive and heavier as well as not having the right height or shape for seeing your whole body during working out.
Hanging mirrors, on the other hand, are easy to put up and take down so you can also bring it wherever you go. However, you will need something to hang it on, otherwise, you will need to ask your landlord’s permission to install a fixture on the wall.
For a more permanent solution, mirrors can be fixed to the wall with channels or screws. Some mirrors even come with self-adhering backing.
LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION
You also need to consider where you will place the mirror. It should be where you do most of your workout, however, you also need to consider if there is enough lighting to see yourself or if there is any direct light that reflects on the mirror and makes it frustrating.
You also need to think about how close your mirror will be to your workout equipment and the types of exercises you do around it. For instance, placing it close to where you swing barbells or a power rack could cause problems. Choose a location where there is plenty of space so that you will not be worried about hitting the gym mirror with your equipment.
EASE OF INSTALLATION
The ease of us should always start with its installation. The gym mirror should come with the necessary hardware to put it on the wall effectively and safely. The brackets should also be easy to install and easily fits the mirror. If it comes with an adhesive back, then it should stick easily to any wall and stay there for years to come.
For the gym mirror to be effective, you will need to easily see your reflection as your workout so you can monitor your forms and movements and get the most out of your activity. Thus, you will need a mirror with crystal clear reflection. You want something that will not distort or get all scratched up too easily.
As mentioned before, most acrylic mirrors won’t shatter if you accidentally hit it with one of your workout equipment. However, glass mirrors also offer a protective coating on the back for durability. Most of them have a vinyl backing that makes them shatterproof, while others have a silver coating that helps protect against corrosion for durability.
The Top 5 Best Gym Mirrors 2020
Gatco 1802 Beveled Mirror
Gatco features a broad range of large rectangular mirrors. It is a reputable US manufacturer who’s been around for over 40 years. This gym mirror features a minimalist flush design with smooth beveled edges and frameless construction. It is of artisan quality, handcrafted and polished for lasting sheen and timeless beauty.
Not only that, but this home gym also boasts sleek diamond-cut float glass that promises durability, longevity, and reliability. It also features the Gatco patented Hang-It wall mounting systems fully equipped with level for effortless installation in just
10 minutes or less. Easily mount it in landscape or portrait on various surfaces including drywall, wood, or tile. Promising excellence and quality, Gatco offers the mirror with a 100-year warranty to back it up.
Premium silver coating
A patented mounting system for easy installation
Refined beveled edges
Backed with a 100-year warranty
Better Bevel Frameless Mirror
Another reliable US manufacturer, Better Bevel has over 50 years of expertise in building premium framed and frameless mirrors. They come in a variety of sizes so you can find the right one for your home gym.
These mirrors offer a classic rectangular and frameless design that is both sophisticated and simple, making it a statement on any wall in your home, most especially on your home gym wall. The mirror has a finely crafted 1-inch bevel while the polished edges provide a finished appearance and safe handling.
The authentic ¼ inch thick glass promises no reflection distortion, while the premium silver backing helps improve durability, especially in high-humidity environments. Furthermore, the innovative Z-bar mounting brackets with the included drywall anchors and screws allow for a secure, quick, and easy horizontal or vertical installation
Comes in various sizes
Beveled edges for safe handling
Innovative mounting brackets for secure installation
Backed with manufacturer’s guarantee
A bit difficult to handle
Marketing Holders Mirror Sheet
With half the weight of glass, this mirror acrylic sheet from Marketing Holders offers extensive design flexibility and shatter resistance. This acrylic mirror is vacuum metabolized in a vacuum chamber with the front surface finished with clear polyethylene film to ensure a highly reflective function.
All mirror sheets are protected on the back with the durable coating that can withstand accidental knocks or bumps. Super easy to install, this mirror can be mounted with screws or suitable adhesive backing.
These mirror sheets are available in various sizes. So you can find the right size for your needs or even get several mirror sheets to cover your gym wall. The corners f the mirror sheets are also rounded in order to prevent injuries when handling and installing them.
Comes with a protective film
Made of premium acrylic
Lighter and cheaper than glass mirrors
Available in various sizes
Rounded edges to prevent injuries when handling
Comes as sheets so you can buy multiple sheets to cover an entire wall
Prone to distortion
TroySys MiraSafe Gym Mirror Kit
Here’s a specialized mirror for home gyms—the MiraSafe gym mirror from TroySys is designed to be shatter-resistant, making them the best choice for commercial gyms, fitness centers, garage, and home gyms, and yoga studios.
It comes as a kit, so it has all the materials you will need to install the mirror on your own. These include the ¼ inch thick mirror with flat polished edges, mirror clips, 2 tubes of glue, and a J-Bar that can be cut to size. For superior clarity, this mirror features low iron content without the green tint or distortion found in most home gym mirrors.
Crystal clear reflection due to the low iron content and absence of green tint
Available as a kit so it comes with all needed installation hardware
Made from real glass
Specially designed for gyms
Fab Glass and Mirror Activity Gym Mirror
Last but not the least, we have another great gym mirror from Fab Glass and Mirror. Like the previous mirror offering, this gym mirror also comes as a kit. So, it includes all the needed hardware to install it by yourself including 60 inches J bar 4 mirror clips, J-bar screws, and the specialty mirror adhesive.
The mirror itself features a frameless design for a clean and seamless look. Meanwhile, the flat polished edge provides safe handling and installation of the mirror. This mirror is guaranteed 100 percent shatterproof which helps minimize the risks of injuries.
This is because f the safety film backing that strengthens the glass surface and making it less prone to breakage and shattering. Not only that, but this gym mirror is also lightweight and even absorbs sound. They are even super easy to clean and maintain.
Superior safety film backing
Flat polished edge
Frameless design for a clean look
Quite difficult to install
Installing Home Gym Mirrors
Once you have purchased the best gym mirrors, it is time to put it to use. The question now is, how are you going to mount the mirror? Here are various ways to install a large gym mirror and the following steps
Assuming that you are not renting, self-adhering mirrors are one of the easiest and fastest options. For this to work, you will need a non-porous, clean, and even surface. So, yes, no brick walls. The adhesive can take a while to set, however, once it is on properly, the mirror won’t be moving for a long time. Not, this can be a problem if you wish to move your mirror elsewhere or when the mirror itself gets damaged.
By screwing the gym mirror into place, you will be able to move the mirror, albeit with 4 holes left in the wall. The walls should be strong in order for the screws to hold. Also, mirrors weakened when holes are made in it. Not only that, screwing too tightly into the mirror can cause cracks. Thus, it is most recommended that you leave it to the professionals.
3) J CHANNELS
If your wall is not perfectly smooth or flat, then you can try J Channels to attach the mirror to the wall. J Channels are aluminum channels drilled into the walls where your mirror is then slotted into.
You drill in the bottom rail then slot the mirror in for quick reference for where the top railing should go. Take the mirror out and drill the top rail into position and sliding the gym mirror in between.
Just make sure that the wall itself is strong so that it can hold the weight of the gym mirror and the J channels. This is a relatively cheap and quick process, leaving a high-quality look. Also, the gym mirrors can be replaced easily when one gets damaged.
Cleaning and Maintenance
Mirrors are notorious for attracting dirt, grime, and dust. And even if you regularly clean them, it is hard not to leave streaks and some lint. This is especially true if you have a garage or basement gym. The key to a shiny, gleaming gym mirror is the right cleaning techniques and tools:
Prepare your cleaning solution and tools. Don’t even think about those harsh and expensive mirror cleaners from your local supermarket.
Spray bottle filled with 4 parts water to 1 part white vinegar
Cotton swabs (for getting into those hidden corners)
Prepare the area. Place a few pages of newspaper under the mirror in order to catch any drips.
Start cleaning. Spray the solution onto the mirror or onto a microfiber cloth. Rub in a circular motion in order to remove the grime. Follow up with vertical strokes, then horizontal swipes.
Put your focus now on the corners. If your gym mirror uses J-channels or is framed, then you will need cotton swabs in order to get right into the edges and corners.
Lastly, buff for gleaming perfection. Use the newspaper to buff the mirror and give it a nice shine.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Does the mirror need to be a ceiling to floor?
A: No. Your mirror could be at least 1 ½ feet above the floor and still allow you to see everything when you’re standing in front of it. It should be between 48 and 73 inches tall. Any less or more than that is a waste of money and effort.
Q:Do the gym mirrors distort?
A: Yes, especially the acrylic mirrors that are 3mm thick. If you are considering acrylic mirrors, then you need to choose the thickest mirror you can find.
Q: Do I need safety backing?
A: Mirrors installed with adhesive will not need safety backing. All other mirrors installed with screws or J channels will have space behind them, making them less stable and safe, thus the need for safety backing.
Safety backing is a piece of protective film which goes at the back of the mirror. So, if the mirror is struck, the pieces will stick to the safety backing rather than shattering all over the floors and posing a safety risk.
Q: Can I polish the edges?
A: Most mirrors come roughly cut from machines that leave sharp edges. However, you can polish these edges in order to make them straight and smooth so that they are not dangerous to you or others. Or you can just find mirrors with polished edges.
And that’s a wrap!
We hope you are now more informed about gym mirrors and helped you find the right one for your home gym. Mirrors are indeed a great addition to home gyms, offering a complete feel and look that can help level up your workout determination. Continue bulking up and see amazing results as you stare at that man (or woman) in the mirror!