Doing a bath remodel, and found this photo of a backsplash that appeals to me. I like the built-in tile-framed mirror.

Seems easy to achieve. I would appreciate some input on my plans:

  • Install 1/2" cement board on studs above vanity. Install 1/4" cement board exact size of mirror on top of 1/2" cement board. E.g., cut a 18" by 24" piece of 1/4" cement board.
  • Attach mirror to cement board using adhesive.
  • Frame around mirror with something like pencil molding.
  • Tile the wall.

enter image description here

  • 1
    Questions asking for "some input" can be considered too broad. What particular aspect of your plan has you concerned?
    – isherwood
    Apr 5, 2019 at 18:13
  • I'm not sure I'd bother with the 1/4" layer. Wouldn't you want the mirror flush with or behind the tile plane?
    – isherwood
    Apr 5, 2019 at 18:17
  • @isherwood. You’re probably right about that.
    – Buck
    Apr 5, 2019 at 19:05

1 Answer 1


Mirrors get broken. Mirrors lose their silvering on the back. Neither is a likely event, but in this case a very expensive or time consuming one. As a general rule I hate to create situations where fixing it later is difficult.

For this reason were it my project:

  • Don't attach the mirror to the substrate with adhesive or thinset. I don't know what the chemistry between either and the thin layer of aluminum on the back of the glass would be. If you do removing the mirror will be difficult.

  • Buy a mirror with holes drilled in it. Buy a set of the cute rosettes and attach the mirror directly to the wall.

  • Frame the mirror in a complementary wood, and attach THAT to the wall. The outer edge of the frame should be raked about 5 degrees so that it can be removed from the tile when necessary.

  • Oh, but the fully integrated look is so cool it's worth the risk.
    – isherwood
    Apr 5, 2019 at 19:53
  • 1
    I hear your concerns, and those went through my mind. But the previous mirror was there for 35 years without a problem. Maybe the solution is to not skimp on the mirror.
    – Buck
    Apr 5, 2019 at 22:21

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