Last Updated: January 8, 2022
Mirrors are a critical part of our lives due to the tremendous role they play in building and ruining our confidence.
Because they’re strictly indispensable, you’ll find their useful application in almost every single household you come across.
We find mirrors becoming a staple in different sections of the house for example in the bedroom, the dining room, various corners around the house and even the bathroom.
Because mirrors are quite a big deal in many places of residence, their placement and arrangement subsequently impacts on the overall aesthetics.
How big of a mirror to be placed over a vanity is a question that strictly circulates around the “aesthetic factor”.
In this article, we’ll discuss just that and also provide answers to other questions such as how high a mirror should be over a vanity, the best type of lightening for different types of vanities and where to place mirrors in the room to get the most reflection.
Without wasting time, let’s get to it.
Mirrors alongside their frames (if any) should be a few inches shorter than the entire width of a vanity and positioned at the middle. This placement not only guarantees the best value of aesthetics but also ensures that the mirror doesn’t end up overpowering the entire space.
As for the height of a mirror, it really depends on its use and personal preference and can also be cramped by the amount of space you’re working with.
Decorative mirrors placed over vanities don’t need large size of mirrors whereas the bathroom or bedroom vanities may require slightly bigger and taller mirrors.
To better understand how to place mirrors over vanities, let us discuss the different types of vanities that exist out there.
Consider the Type of Vanity
Sink vanities have sinks embedded into them and they are commonly referred to as bathroom vanities. They come in different shapes and forms with each variety requiring a different kind of placement for the mirror in order to build on the overall aesthetics of the space. A quick list of them is as follows.
- A Single Sink Vanity
- A Double Sink Vanity
- An Offset Sink vanity
Single sink Vanity
This type of vanity has only one single sink on it which is embedded at the middle. It can come in different widths and height and can also be made to float around the space i.e. affixed to a wall. Single sink vanities will almost always benefit (aesthetically) from having their mirrors (whatever the shape may be), placed at the middle.
Additionally, these mirrors must be at the same width as the sink itself or slightly more but never as wide as or wider than the vanity itself. This will make them a decent focal point for a viewer, and at the same time prevent the dilution of the overall prominence of the vanity.
For whatever size single sink vanity you have, place the mirrors (with their frames) at the center and ensure they are a few inches shorter than the width of the vanity.
Double sink vanity
These as the name suggest are vanities having double sinks typically for use by two people simultaneously. This is a great option for a large family as it helps save a lot of time.
Double sink vanities should either be treated as single vanities and thus each sink be treated with its own mirror, or as a whole in which case a wide mirror is placed so that the width from each end extends at least halfway over each sink.
The ideal placement is as such: more than halfway over each sink, and in fact, just like single vanities, the width should cross over the sink area but maintain few inches less the entire width of the vanity. These spaces left by the sides of the mirror will be utilized for scones.
Offset sink vanity
For this type of vanity, the sink is offset to either the right side or the left side. To place the mirror, you should ignore the placement and go for the center. Place the mirror in such a way that it’s width doesn’t run over that of the vanity. At most two-thirds the width of the vanity should do. That’s just the general rule, and it’s the most important!
These are vanities you find in bedrooms or certain corners around the house. They do not have sinks because they serve a much different purpose than sink vanities.
For these type of vanities, consider the width of the vanity and don’t go with mirrors that are wider than the vanities. Depending on the purpose, you may choose different sizes of mirrors, i.e. smaller mirrors for decorative vanities and much bigger and longer ones for makeup vanities.
The distance between the top surface of the vanity and the mirror should be no more than a few inches for make-up vanities. Whereas decorative vanities can have the mirrors placed a decent inches, around 6 to 12 (depending on the height of the vanity) from its surface.
How high should my mirror be over a vanity?
How high a mirror should be over a vanity of course depends on the type of vanity, space you’re working with, height of the vanity, and height of the mirror as well the average height of those using the vanity.
It’s a safe rule to place mirrors destined for sink vanities at quite some generous inches from the table. The tallest person in the house, if taller than most members by a significant margin, doesn’t have to be considered. Better he/she dunks to catch a glimpse of his reflection than for a shorter persons to stack up for the same purpose.
So this means you place the mirror such that the eye level for the average member of the household is almost at one third the height of the mirror starting from the topmost part.
That should give the best view of the face and body.
What kind of lightening should I use for my vanity and where should I place it?
Again this will depend on the size of the space you’re working with, the shape, size, style of the mirror and the type of vanity you have; either bathroom, make up or decorative.
It’s more aesthetically pleasing to have fewer lights in my opinion. So for me, if I have a smaller space, a single sink vanity and narrow rectangular mirror, I’ll go with two decent “see fit” bathroom scones placed at both sides of the mirror. They should be aligned at exactly eye level and complete the width of the mirror to match it with that of the vanity. They’ll provide decent illumination for the head and face and eliminate shadows.
If I have a round mirror, I’d go for globular shaped scones and for a longer mirror (widthwise), I’ll hang multiple vanity light fixtures across the top. For double sink vanities, I’ll go for the scone setup as above if I considered each one of the sinks separately, otherwise, I’ll just hang a couple vanity fixture across the large mirror to provide illumination.
For makeup vanities, natural lightening is the best and so you should take it into consideration when positioning your vanity in the room. You should place it opposite skylights and windows for illumination.
However, that might not always be an option, and for cases like that, an LED Lighted mirror is you second best bet. Bulbs having no colored tint will provide a decent lightening for you to work with.
As for decorative vanities, they may only be paired with lightening for aesthetic reasons. So you have the liberty to place it anywhere that makes sense.
Where should mirrors be located?
Generally speaking, mirrors should be adjacent the window as that provides the most reflection. However if you’re using artificial lightening like scones and vanity light fixtures, you wouldn’t need to worry much as they’ll take care of the problem of illumination for you.
Aside adjacent, mirrors would also benefit greatly from opposite placement with respect to windows. This gives so much reflection that you wonder if at all you’re not transparent.
Choosing mirror for the vanity
There are a variety of factors to consider when it comes to choosing mirrors for a vanity. We’ve talked about the height and maximum width to preserve space and boost aesthetics. Now here’s the next thing you need to consider.
When choosing mirrors for you vanity, make sure to consider the design. Choose a frame that blends seamlessly with the vanity design and doesn’t consume a lot of width space. That’ll give you those inches for your scones and vanity light fixtures to sit on and be fixed.
Mirrors over vanity can be of any size so long the width isn’t rivaling that of the vanity itself, there is enough space to work it, and the actual purpose of the mirror calls for it. The standard is to have few inches of space at the end of the mirrors width on either side. This could be utilized for scones that provide extra illumination.
That’s as far as any mirror width can go, as for the height and how small, it depends on the purpose of the mirror, personal preference and the available space to work with.