Mirrors play a crucial role in design projects, whether for interior decoration, retail displays, or art installations. They reflect light, create an illusion of space, and enhance the visual impact of any setting. However, traditional mirrors can be heavy, fragile, and expensive, limiting their practical applications in design.
Acrylic mirrors offer a great alternative that combines the benefits of traditional mirrors with additional advantages such as durability, flexibility, and affordability. As a result, they have been gaining popularity in the design industry – from interior projects to architecture, signage, and more.
How Are These Mirrors Made?
Acrylic mirrors are thermoplastic sheets. This material is lighter, more shatterproof, and more flexible than glass, making it an ideal choice for mirrors. The shape and size of thermoplastic sheets can be customised since they are made of a plastic polymer, which hardens when cold and melts to a liquid when heated. It is also known by other names that you might be more acquainted with, such as plexiglass.
Additionally, these sheets undergo a vacuum metallising process that gives them their reflective appearance. This procedure of finishing coats the material in a shiny, reflecting metal coat.
What Are Their Advantages Over Traditional Glass?
There are many reasons to purchase acrylic mirrors for your project instead of regular glass. Let’s explain the main ones.
Lightweight and Easy to Handle
Because they are essentially plastic sheets, they are significantly lighter in weight compared to glass. This makes them much easier to handle and install, especially when working with large mirrors or when mounting them on walls.
The lightweight nature of acrylic sheets also means that they can be transported more easily, reducing the risk of breakage during transport.
These sheets are safer than glass because they are shatter-resistant. Unlike glass, acrylic is a type of plastic that is not prone to breakage, making it a safer option in areas where there is a risk of impact or damage.
If an acrylic mirror panel were to break, it would not shatter into small, sharp pieces that can cause injury. Instead, it would break into larger, duller pieces that are less likely to cause harm.
Customisable and Versatile
These plastic panels offer a high degree of customisation and versatility. They can be easily shaped, cut, and moulded to fit any design requirement. They are also available in a wide range of colours, finishes, and textures, making it easy to find an acrylic mirror cut to size that complements any interior design scheme.
That said, these panels can be used in a variety of applications, including home décor, retail displays, and stage and film sets.
Durable and Weather Resistant
Acrylic is a highly durable material. As a result, these sheets are resistant to scratches and other types of damage, making them ideal for use in high-traffic areas.
These panels are completely capable of withstanding all weather conditions, including rain, due to their extreme durability. To do this, they are sealed around the edges in order to prevent water from penetrating the sheet’s backing, which would result in serious harm. Pre-backing is strongly advised for garden mirrors as it can prevent the sheets from becoming wet.
These plastic sheets can also withstand UV light, which can cause fading or discolouration over time. And with proper care and maintenance, they can last for years.
These mirrors are popular in home decor for their lightweight, shatterproof, and scratch-resistant properties. They are used for various applications, including:
- Wall mirrors: Decorative acrylic panels can be easily mounted on walls without the need for heavy-duty hardware, making them an ideal choice for renters or those who prefer to avoid drilling holes in walls. They can be used to line the walls of a room to reflect light and create a sense of openness.
- Furniture accents: These plastic mirrors can be incorporated into furniture pieces, such as coffee tables, end tables, and shelves, to create a sleek and modern look.
- Decorative accents: Acrylic can be cut into various shapes and sizes to create decorative accents, such as wall art, photo frames, decorative tiles, mirrored backsplashes or accent walls.
Commercial and Retail Design
Acrylic plastic mirrors are also commonly used in commercial and retail projects for their versatility and durability. Some examples include:
- Display cases: They are often used as a lining for display cases to create a reflective surface that enhances the visibility of products on display.
- Signage: These sheets can be used to create signs and promotional materials that are both stylish and functional, such as storefront signs, directional signs, and product displays.
- Point-of-sale displays: They can make eye-catching point-of-sale displays that showcase products in an attractive and engaging way.
Hospitality and Event Design
Some examples of how these mirrors are used in hospitality and event design include:
- Wall and ceiling treatments: These plastic sheets can be used to create visually stunning wall and ceiling treatments that add depth and dimension to event spaces.
- Table settings: Acrylic sheets can be used as table runners, placemats, or charger plates to create a sophisticated and modern table setting.
- Photo backdrops: These mirrors can be used as photo backdrops that add a glamorous and reflective element to event photos.
In architecture, these sheets are often installed as façade cladding, skylights, and window glazing.
How to Extend the Lifespan of Your Sheets?
To keep your acrylic mirror sheets looking their best, it is essential to properly care for and maintain them. Here are some tips:
Cleaning and Polishing
When cleaning, it is essential to use a soft, non-abrasive cloth, such as microfiber or cotton, to avoid scratching the surface. Avoid using paper towels or rough materials, as they can damage them.
You can use a mixture of mild soap and water or a specialised acrylic cleaner to clean the surface. Be sure to rinse the surface thoroughly and dry it with a soft cloth. To remove scratches or scuffs from the surface, you can use a specialised acrylic polish or buff the surface with a soft cloth and toothpaste.
Proper Handling and Storage
When handling these sheets, be sure to wear gloves and handle the sheets with care. Avoid placing heavy objects on top of the sheets or dropping them, as this can cause them to crack or break. When storing your acrylic mirror sheets, keep them in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and extreme temperatures.