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Small Bathroom Solutions: Why You Might Want To Replace Your Frameless Mirror

If you have a slightly too-small bathroom, you probably know all too well what a struggle it can be to keep your space both tidy and usable. When there isn’t much storage space to go around, entropy starts to take over and your already cramped bathroom can get really cluttered really fast. If you don’t have much floor or wall space to spare for supplemental storage, this can feel like a losing battle. The good news? If your bathroom has a frameless mirror, replacing it is one easy way to add a lot of accessible storage space without making your space feel messier or more crowded.

Why Have A Frameless Mirror?

Bathroom Mirror WA2140-M from Legion Furniture
Bathroom Mirror WA2140-M from Legion Furniture

Many bathrooms come standard with large, frameless mirrors. They’re simple and uncluttered looking, and can help make a small bathroom feel a little less cramped. That said, they take up a lot of wall space that could be dedicated to small, supplementary storage cabinets and caddies, and don’t offer any storage of their own. Taking one down will mean sacrificing a good chunk of your reflective surfaces and losing some of the reflected light, but it opens your bathroom up to a whole lot of smart storage alternatives.

A Basic Medicine Cabinet

Tiempo 48" Bathroom Medicine Cabinet with LED Lighting and Defogger FMC014830 from Fresca
Tiempo 48″ Bathroom Medicine Cabinet with LED Lighting and Defogger FMC014830 from Fresca

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Upgrading from a frameless mirror to a medicine cabinet is one of the simplest but most significant changes you can make to your small bathroom. While the humble medicine cabinet is easily overlooked, in a space where you’re starved for small item storage (like pill bottles, hair care products, and so on), having those few extra shelves stored at head height can make a huge difference. Bonus: most medicine cabinets have fully mirrored surfaces, so while you might be losing a little bit of width, you’ll still have a similar mirror quality and quantity.

A Simple Shelf

Krom 30" Mirror with Shelf M-KROM-30BK from Ryvyr
Krom 30″ Mirror with Shelf M-KROM-30BK from Ryvyr

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Large, frameless bathroom mirrors are often fitted to your space, extending the full length of your vanity (and sometimes more), up well above head height and down either to the level of the vanity or backsplash or at least to the height of the faucet. Switching to a framed mirror trims the mirror down in all dimensions, opening up just enough wall space to add some basic storage – like a simple shelf beneath the mirror, which is perfect for storing toiletries and clearing off your counters.

Built In Mirror Ledge

Aurora 24" Illuminated Rectangle LED Mirror FMR-AURORA-2432-LED from Finesse
Aurora 24″ Illuminated Rectangle LED Mirror FMR-AURORA-2432-LED from Finesse

Some smaller framed mirrors even have built in shelves (or at least narrow ledges) at the bottom of the frame, which again can go a long way towards keeping your vanity clear and uncluttered. Bathroom mirrors with this type of frame are often bundled with matching bathroom vanities, but you can certainly find them on their own as well. If you do a little looking, you can even find more upscale versions with built-in lights that not only look great but can provide a little extra much-needed illumination for a smaller space – especially a windowless one.

Built In Cabinet

Mirror Cabinet WA3129-C from Legion Furniture
Mirror Cabinet WA3129-C from Legion Furniture

If you want something with a little more personality than a plain mirrored medicine cabinet, look for mirrors that have cabinets built into the frame instead. These will have a little less total storage, but they sit closer to the wall and have the aesthetic appeal of a wood frame. While medicine cabinets are probably a better choice if you have a lot of pill bottles to store, mirror cabinets are great if you have just a few things you want to get up off your vanity and don’t want seams running through the center of your mirror.

Divided Mirrors For A Double Vanity

Bellezza 54" Natural Wood Mirrors With Shelf Combination FMR6119NW-SHF from Fresca
Bellezza 54″ Natural Wood Mirrors With Shelf Combination FMR6119NW-SHF from Fresca

One place where upgrading from a frameless mirror can make a really big difference is in bathrooms with a double vanity. While frameless mirrors give you a seamless surface across the whole vanity, scaling back to having one smaller mirror above each sink allows you to put a pretty significant amount of storage in between. Whether you opt for a double mirror with a bridge of shelves in between, combine more than one of the other options above, or even put a wall mounted cabinet between two mirrors, reducing the amount of mirror above your double vanity can make a huge difference in the amount of storage you have at your disposal.

It can be frustrating to work with a bathroom that’s not quite as big as you wish it were, or one that just doesn’t have storage adequate to your needs. But replacing your frameless mirror with a more functional one is a simple cosmetic change that can really transform the way you use your space.

Shop Bathroom Vanities and Vanity Sets with Mirrors: