How to use Mirror Tiles
All of our mirror tile products are made from real glass mirror, hand cut and fixed to a durable cloth backing material. The tiles are ⅛” thick with lightly filed edges for safety. There is no gap between tiles as they are all cut from a single large mirror.
We get a lot of questions about the overall size of our sheets, which are 23.5” x 23.5”. The reason is that they are often used as insets for pre framed areas that are 2’ x 2’ square. They are made a little smaller to avoid problems when the framing they are being placed into is not perfectly square.
Mirror tiles should be adhered with a tough adhesive. We recommend our own special formula of Mirror Tile Adhesive. Some have also used acid-free mastic adhesive with good results, available at your local hardware store. For temporary installations others have used hot glue. Hot glue is best for installing small areas such as thin rows, or putting the finishing touches on a larger job where you may want to adhere single tiles. Definitely not recommended for full sheets.
We suggest first carefully planning your installation by measuring the area you’ll be covering. Make sure you’ve got enough tile and adhesive for your project. One gallon of our Mirror Tile Adhesive covers 100 square feet (roughly 26 sheets). Lay out the mirror tile sheets on the floor, fitting pieces together and making cuts as necessary.
The sheets can be very gently flexed in a concave way to install on inside curves although we don’t recommend installing them this way because they can chip easily. Slowly and carefully press the tiles into place on inside curves while allowing the fabric backing to stretch slightly to allow the tiles to contact the mounting surface. Another way to do it is to put very thin strips of paper between the rows of tile before gently pressing into concave spaces to avoid chipping.
Once you are happy with the fit it is time to spread the adhesive and do the final application.
- Make sure the surface you are installing the mirror tile sheets to is clean. All unsealed surfaces must be primed and sealed with a good quality sealer or paint. Be sure to seal surface with an oil based primer as water based primers can eventually flake off. Drywall should be smoothed and sanded, then sealed with PVA primer sealer.
- Use our Mirror Tile Adhesive direct from the container. Apply with a regular paint brush or foam brush to the surface upon which the mirror tiles will be applied. A thick coat is not necessary, merely a covering is best. If the mirror tiles are to be used on a large area, be sure to start square and straight. You have about 30 seconds after the tiles have made contact with the adhesive to reposition them. Tap or ‘bump’ them with the palm of your hand to nudge them into place. Spread adhesive in an area you can complete within a few minutes rather than applying it to the entire area to be covered.
- After the sheets have been applied, use a dry cloth and press them to firmly secure them into place. It is a good idea to clean the tiles as you do the installation so no adhesive is allowed to dry on the surface. Our adhesive is water soluble while it is wet, but highly water resistant once cured. Use a lightly damp cloth to remove uncured adhesive. You can use Naptha as a solvent if the adhesive has dried on the surface. Please be careful when using Naptha as it is highly flammable!
If you are installing on a ceiling, we recommend that you apply adhesive to the back of the mirror tile sheets as well as to the surface you are gluing to. Some artisans tell us they mount the mirror tiles to a sheet of plywood, leaving out tiles in strategic places in order to screw the plywood to the ceiling, then replace the tiles using a hot glue gun to cover the screws. This will help you avoid having to work upside down with a bunch of mirror tiles draped over your head!
Routine cleaning can be done using a good glass cleaner such as Windex. Apply the cleaner to the cloth, not the mirror, as otherwise it will work into the joints and can cause discoloration over time.
Packaging & Shipment
If you need to repackage and ship sheets of mirror tile, it’s very important to pack them properly to prevent broken or chipped tiles. We’ve tested different techniques for shipping these fragile items and have found that the best way is to first tightly roll them with a layer of foam padding, then wrap them tightly with clear plastic wrap. The resulting bundle should be placed in a box filled tight with packing material around all sides. This is how we ship our tiles to you!
Mirror tile is commonly used as a wall and ceiling covering, but our ingenious customers have used it for architectural scale models, jewelry applications, display ground, furniture adornment and mosaic art among many other things, even motorcycle helmets! When applied to large areas it provides the same added light that a solid mirror would give, but with the added texture of rectangular tiles.
It works equally well both indoors and outdoors when properly adhered and cared for, although we advise that you avoid installing it in rainy and wet environments.
Some of our favorite examples of Kit Kraft mirror tiles in use: