While there are continual advancements in the machinery used to manufacture mirrors in volume, the basic process of producing mirrors has stayed the same as that developed in Europe in the 1800’s. Mirrors are created by “silvering” clear glass to create a reflective surface. Silvering is the process of applying a liquid-based silver solution (wet disposition) onto clear glass using a plating/galvanic process involving tin, iron, copper, and deionized water. Upon silvering, a variety of additional coating options are available to enhance the end product such as paint protection, stability products, and breakage safety protection.
Once the glass/mirror is produced, the below fabrication options can be applied to functionally or cosmetically dress the glass or mirror product.
All of Gilded Mirrors’ products are produced from glass that varies in thickness from 3/32" (~2.5mm) to 3/8" (~10.0mm)*. Our glass is procured directly from large US-based float glass manufacturing plants (i.e., the manufacturers of raw glass) in large sheets and smaller common cut sizes. Once the glass sheets are procured, Gilded Mirrors cleans, cuts, and fabricates the glass to our customers’ specifications.
For customers requiring non-common cut sizes or specific patterns, Gilded Mirrors uses modern computer controlled (CNC) cutting equipment to produce the ordered cut glass. The equipment scores the glass per the electronic file of the desired shape/size and then the scored glass is manually broken to create the final cut glass product. All glass scrap material is collected and recycled per Gilded Mirrors’ Environmental Policy.
For customers requiring a complex pattern, our computerized equipment can scan a paper template of the desired shape and produce a file which is used by the machine to cut the glass perfectly to shape.
The edge of the glass/mirror after the cutting process results in a “clean cut” edge — typically for a product that will be installed so that it does not have exposed edges (e.g., inside a picture frame). However, if the glass/mirror is going to be used in an application where the edge will be exposed (e.g., furniture shelf, exposed edge mirror), then the “clean cut” edge will need to be edged. Edging is the process of grinding and polishing the edge of the glass/mirror product in varying degrees to eliminate the sharp clean cut edges created during the cutting process.
Beveling is the process of applying a decorative angled edge around the perimeter of the glass/mirror piece. Bevel widths can range in size from 1/4" to 2" and are only available on straight line pieces (i.e., not pattern cut pieces)*.
Grooving is the process of applying a decorative v-groove or plate groove within the glass/mirror piece. Application examples include decorative mirrors with imprinted v-groove designs and china hutch shelves with plate grooves for displaying plates. We can apply any customer furnished v-groove design utilizing our computerized (CNC) v-groove equipment. V-groove widths are typically 5mm to 20mm and can be applied to glass/mirror thicknesses of 5/32" to 1/4"*.
Some commercial mirror applications require meeting breakage protection code restrictions (e.g., hotel bi-fold mirrored closet door). As mirrors cannot be made from tempered glass, we can apply a specially manufactured safety tape to the back of the mirror to meet the ANSI Z97 standard (i.e., Safety Glazing Materials Used in Buildings).
Gilded Mirrors uses a software-based service to ensure the most economical shipping method is utilized for every order — ultimately saving our customers money with lower shipping costs. Each order is appropriately packaged to minimize breakage and to ease customer handling.
Typical packaging includes:
All of our raw
proudly sourced domestically.