Mirrored Medicine Cabinet Doors

Cabinetmakers discuss the details of mirrored bath cabinet doors. November 12, 2005

Iím doing a set of medicine cabs for a client in bubinga, and this is the first time I've been called on to put a mirror in a door. I've seen it done with just the mirror and another method using a 1/4" ply back. Which method do you use? Do you apply any silicone between the mirror and the ply?

Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
From contributor A:
I put myself in the shoes of the guy that has to replace the glass. I would paint the back of the mirror with a spray paint that would compliment the finish, and use fillets of the same wood. Tack them in, using no glue or silicone. I see no need for plywood.

From contributor B:
We would back it with 1/4" matching panel, and set the mirror and ply in from the back and retain with wood stops and little brass nails. Don't forget to black the mirror rabbet. There is no need for caulk if you bear down on the stops while nailing. We have used thin beadboard or a thin shallow raised panel also. Not only does the back panel look nice, but the practical part is that if the door closes on anything protruding from the cabinet, the mirror silver wonít get scratched.

From contributor C:
What about a peel and stick veneer before you install the mirror?

From contributor B:
I forgot to add that you should get some mirror backer from your glass supplier to isolate the mirror from the wood or whatever. This keeps the silver from reacting with finish. Thatís the reason why peel and stick will not work.

From contributor D:
Contributor B is right about being careful about what you put on the back of a mirror. It seems like I have heard that silicone will eventually leave rings on the mirror that will bleed through. There is a mirror mastic that you can use that will not affect the backing. I use backs on my doors. It's a nicer finish and protects the back.

From the original questioner:
I just talked with the client and I am going to apply a 1/4" back in that I will ebonize.

From contributor E:
The other reason to use the stick on mirror backer is to hold the glass together if it should break.

From contributor F:
I use 1/8Ē mirror on both sides set into a rabbet. They are siliconed together with a clear silicone glue special for mirrors that will not affect the silver. Women love this feature as they can open two doors and see their hair from the back as well.