What’s Happening Behind Your Mirrors

At Harkraft, we usually focus on giving you concrete tips and pointers as how to best remodel your home, but this article is a bit of a departure from that. While it’s always good to know how to go about organizing and remodeling your home, it’s just as good to know the reasoning behind it. In this post, we’ll take a look at how mirrors are constructed, and why they have the effect in your home that they do.

Thousands of Years Ago…

The earliest mirrors were just reflections in things like water and shiny objects, like those made from obsidian. Some of the earliest recordings of mirrors were around 6000BC in what’s now known as Turkey, while polished stone mirrors came around 4,000 years later. But the most recognizable form of today’s mirrors—metal and glass—made their appearance in the first century AD.

Bathroom mirror

Fast forward hundreds and hundreds of years to 1835, when Justus von Leibig invented the silvered-glass mirror, which is a fancy way of saying it’s coated with a reflective substance. Because of his innovation, mirrors became advanced enough to undergo widespread manufacturing, and silvering is now seen with today’s mirrors.

Types of Mirrors Seen Today

Although there are many different shapes and sizes to mirrors, they essentially come in one of five forms:

  • Aluminum Glass Mirror: Aluminum powder is applied to the surface of the mirror, and then two coats of a waterproof protective paint are put on (sometimes more than two layers)
  • Silver Glass Mirror: Silver is applied to the back of the mirror, and the same two or more coats of waterproof protective paint are put on over top
  • Low Aluminum Glass Mirror: A sort of combination of the above two, with aluminum applied to the back, and then two coats of waterproof protective paint
  • Silkscreen Printed Glass Mirror: Just like a t-shirt, colors and designs are worked into the mirror itself by a process of printing inorganic color ink directly onto the mirror; these mirrors are incredibly durable and moisture-resistant
  • Safety Glass Mirror: The basic silver glass mirror, except with a protective film applied on the back that keeps pieces relatively in place if the mirror breaks and decreases injury
  • mirror installation

    Why They Work So Well in Your Home

    Even when mirrors first came into being thousands of years ago, they weren’t just used to look at oneself. People figured out pretty quickly that mirrors could be manipulated for light and aesthetic purposes, and easily brighten up spaces (an important concept when electricity wasn’t around to fill in the blanks).

    And now, even though we have electricity, we still use mirrors and their reflective properties in the home to brighten up spaces and make rooms look bigger. One of the easiest ways of doing this is to position a mirror across from the door, at the end of a long hallway, or tilted to catch the sun. This allows the mirror to catch the most amount of light possible, and reflect it back into the room.

    If you need more tips or ideas on how to strategically place mirrors around your home, be sure to visit our mirrors section on the Harkraft blog, too.


    When you’re ready to remodel your home, make sure you get Harkraft in there to help out with the mirrors. Our team of highly-skilled professionals will make your dreams become a reality, and all new customers get 25% off their first order.