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joeyboy 08-05-2007 08:14 PM

Running into difficulties installing bathroom mirror (pics of the nightmare incl.!)
3 Attachment(s)
You may all have seen my threads on removing the medicine cabinets, replacing the drywall, and removing the mastic from this mirror. Finally, I got all that done, the wall is ready for the mirror, which is roughly sized against the wall in the first picture.

Upon going to install it, I ran into a major problem - the wall it's going onto is not flat. It is tilted towards me (top of the wall is closer to me than the bottom), and has other imperfections. Horrible surface to mount onto.

So, I find my studs, put the clips in (see second picture), and went to put the mirror into the clips. The clips accomodate 1/4" thickness, which is what my mirror is. However, because the wall bows out towards me the higher it goes, the clips won't work.

Went to home depot and got an array of mounting products, but I really am not sure how to approach this for the best results. The third picture shows my potential hardware options (mastic not shown - really don't want to use mastic unless I absolutely have to).
(in the pic, I labeled the options, (a) is the standard clips which were not working, (b) is the metal ones that you really should slide the mirror into from the side (which we can't, as the mirror is too large to go in at any angle but straight onto the wall), and (c) is these other mirror clips.

I really don't know what my best option here is. I've been trying to get this up for days (removed the medicine cabinets, filled the hole with drywall, prepped the mirror, which was a nightmare), and now that everything seemed about done, it's not going up right.

I know that with all the clips shown I can rig it up, but it will look like crap. Also, the studs run horizontal AND vertical (I don't know if that's the way it's normally done or not, but my guess is that the framing was done by someone who didn't know what they were doing, but who knows).

I was thinking of maybe using a bunch of the (c) clips, but the thing is that most will have to just be drywall anchored, not directly into studs. I don't like that, I really like to do things as best as they can be done, and anchors just don't feel right for something like this. I also thought about using the (a) clips with washers to extend them from the wall, but that feels kind of half-assed and I don't like that.

Any tips would be greatly appreciated. If I need to use mastic I will, but really, really don't want to go that route. Maybe the answer is right in front of me and I'm not seeing it because I've been working on this for days. Any recommendations on how to put this mirror up would be greatly, greatly appreciated.

MinConst 08-05-2007 08:44 PM

You problem is more than likely the excess mud you have on the patch. Sand it flush with the old wall and you will be flat again. The tile in the shower looks good so I would say it's the excess mud. Sanding it will get you there.

joeyboy 08-05-2007 09:19 PM

That's what I thought at first, but then I grabbed my level and checked like 10 spots on that wall, and it definitely is angled forward at the top. I leveled all parts of it (nowhere near my mud job), sides, bottom, top, etc, and every level measurement told me that the top of the wall protrudes farther than the bottom. It's damn uniform too, the whole wall is just tilted foward from the top a little bit. (oh and the level is a new one, and I double checked its accuracy while doing this) **should add, for general knowledge's sake, a trick to tell if your level is accurate - just use it on something, and then flip it. It should be reading precisely no matter which side you're using (I'm gonna have to credit contractor talk with that tip :yes: )

(But about it being the mud, that's an entirely possible culprit, but it's not the only one. Even if I sanded that mud to flush with the wall, the wall's definitely still tilted slightly forward from the top! AHAHHAHHHHHHH!!)

joeyboy 08-05-2007 09:21 PM

(MinConstr - is this just turning into the project from hell or what? you'd think this would be so simple, yet every part of the project has hit problems - mastic on the mirror that took a day to remove, dealing with all the cleating for the drywall, priming, etc. You'd think it'd be so simple, but it's been days and I'm still not done!!!! This is driving me insane!!)

MinConst 08-06-2007 05:21 AM

Best your going to get is to make the wall FLAT. Remove the excess and hang the mirror.

joeyboy 08-06-2007 01:16 PM

1 Attachment(s)
I'm gonna remove the excess, because I'm sure that will be an issue, but it wasn't what was causing the problems yesterday. I just figured out what was causing yesterday's problems (see pic). The wall bumps out (shown in pic between the red lines) and then back in, like there's an extra ~1/8" thick strip of drywall or something. Even flattening all the mud I put up, it's still gonna have that problem.

I think I'm just gonna go sand the living hell out of the wall, try to reduce the bump, reduce my mud, etc. (even in spots nowhere near the mud, the wall is wavy, and not just the main bump I showed in the picture. You can't hold a straight-edge vertically against the wall anywhere with full contact, it's ridiculous!)

joeyboy 08-06-2007 01:18 PM

(upon looking at my pic, you can see there's some spackling putty in the area I'm saying is bumping out - I used a flat edge between those spots, so I'm not just finding bumps from my own work, it's definitely the wall (although my mud certainly bumps out as well). Just thought I'd point that out, because if I saw that pic I'd assume whoever did the check with the flat edge had it against the spackle or something. When I checked it I was only putting my flat edge (true flat edge, it's an aluminum yardstick that i just bought yesterday lol) on spots that had no spackle/mud/etc)

UPDATE - I was about to head to home depot for sanding stuff, and just thought of something so crazy it could work. Hear me out! What if I were to just use 1"X2"s to make a rectangular frame, sized to the mirror? I could easily work with the wood with shims and stuff, prime/paint it, and then I'd have a totally flat frame to mount the mirror onto? My only concern is it may look, well, kinda dumb!)

zel 08-06-2007 05:31 PM

I think you should spend the extra time flattening the wall first. If that mirror were to break and you want to put something else up there, you will have to fix it right anyway. Sand the hell out of it. Is the wall drywall or plaster/lathe? Seems odd that its that bad.

joeyboy 08-06-2007 06:48 PM

4 Attachment(s)

Originally Posted by zel (Post 56426)
I think you should spend the extra time flattening the wall first. If that mirror were to break and you want to put something else up there, you will have to fix it right anyway. Sand the hell out of it. Is the wall drywall or plaster/lathe? Seems odd that its that bad.

I don't even know how to flatten such a warped wall, I guess joint compound (that's what they said at home depot, but I don't have the first idea how to fix it - the problem doesn't seem to be cavities, it's large humps, so I don't see how bringing the rest of the wall out further to match the lumps made sense, but oh well).

But yeah, I don't really know how to make the wall flat, short of ripping it out and doing over (which I'm really not interested in doing!).

I know that most pros who are reading this probably are thinking that the wall's fine and I must be misreading it, or that the problems were the mud I put in. I've looked at this wall sooo long now, with multiple straight edges, level, etc, the wall is definitely not 100% vertical, and it absolutely has humps in areas I never even touched. I included some pics to show the wall, perhaps another DIY'er lived here before me? I'd be interested to know if these shots will show any of you pros that there was something wrong with the wall.

1st picture:
this is a closeup of where two sections (each has a different texture) meetup, I think this is a tape line? Either way, if you look close you'll see a horizontal line where 2 different 'walls' meet (or 2 finishes maybe?)

2nd picture:
closeup of where I started sanding (earlier in the day when I figured I could sand away the hump). I think this may show something, but either way I was sanding like crazy with 60 grit and reduced the hump a bit, but it was just too big / long so I decided to look for alternatives. But the sanding revealed 'behind the paint', so maybe this shows something?

3rd picture:
before putting this up, there were medicine cabinets on that wall, which I removed / replaced drywall. This pic shows a good cross section of the sheetrock/drywall they had used - it's like it's 2 separate layers. Even the guys at home depot didn't understand it (lol I know that doesn't mean much). The closest match I got for drywall was *slightly* thinner than what I had removed (but thinner than paint should've accounted for).

Maybe those pics will show someone something I (in my amateur diy'ish mode) can't see.

Either way....
4th picture:
I walked home depot for almost an hour today and found a bigger bracket that had a slightly angled spot. Between the slight angle, and using washers behind it, I'm able to make it work. I've got the bottom 2 in studs, and already placed the mirror to make sure it would make flat contact up top, and it did. Now I'm just waiting for the primer (re-primed because of all the sanding...) to dry, then he's going up!!

zel 08-06-2007 06:55 PM

I know this is not going to help and its not what you want to hear, but the correct fix would have been to remove a larger section, possibly the whole wall, maybe just enough to run a tape joint along that tile and replace it with new drywall. Other then that, hang the mirror, you did the best you could with what you had to work with. Sometimes, you just have to compromise.
I really think you should consider some type of frame around the mirror though. It really cleans it up, it will hide more of the bad wall and its easy to make. Plus, you wont see the brackets.

joeyboy 08-06-2007 07:07 PM

That's a good idea, definitely will look into that (dunno which subforums you stroll, but I'm in the middle of a million projects right now lol). I dunno what kind of framing you mean though - something that I place over the mirror, or remove the mirror and frame it?

Either way, that won't be for a bit. I know the right way to do this would've been to rip that wall off. But, as I said, I'm in the middle of a million things right now with this house, and the goal was to get that mirror up. I thought it would take a day, and it turned into many days. If I ripped the wall down and started over, hell, that may've turned into weeks (replacing the drywall for the hole from the medicine cabinets was the first time I touched joint compound lol).

In the end, that mirror covers 90% of the surface area of that wall. I'll know that the wall isn't perfect behind it, but for all intents and purposes the final result will look the same. I HATE taking shortcuts, I sincerely do, but this mirror literally covers that whole spot on the wall. I just couldn't imagine ripping the wall apart and learning how to do all that if I could somehow find a way to get the mirror up with the wall 'as-is'.

I'll prolly have the mirror up tonight (really want someone else to help hold it while I secure the top anchors), I'll have some finished pics up a little later or tomorrow morn.

Thanks again for the help everyone, as usual!! I'm making awesome progress on this place, and I'm someone who had no clue about anything related to houses/repairs. I can't wait for a few weeks / month from now, when everything's done, there's gonna be some awesome before / after pictures. We (uhh... I) did the entire gamut of 'basic' renovations - landscape, stucco, paint, tiling, plumbing, masonry, etc. I didn't do any real 'remodeling', but virtually every room/spot on the property has been upgraded. Can't wait til this is done!!!!!!!!!

jiggyjack 08-06-2007 07:42 PM

Demo the upper part of the wall down to the studs. Then rerock and tape.

I've run into this before, and now I just base my bids on demo and rerock. You could spend days messing with this, actually you have.

Bite the bullet and start over.

joeyboy 08-06-2007 08:28 PM

4 Attachment(s)

Originally Posted by jiggyjack (Post 56450)
Demo the upper part of the wall down to the studs. Then rerock and tape.

I've run into this before, and now I just base my bids on demo and rerock. You could spend days messing with this, actually you have.

Bite the bullet and start over.

Appreciate the advice, but no thanks. It's up, it looks good, I can't see a single rational reason to remove it, rip the wall apart, learn how to redo the wall, do it, then re apply. I'd do all that, and aesthetically/visually, the result would be practically the same. Doing what you suggested would waste time, money, and give me almost zero benefit.

Anyways it's up and done (well, not totally done, I do plan on adding 1 additional plastic support to each of its sides, but saving that for tomorry).

Here's dem pics!!! (it's amazing, because this was such a small bathroom, the mirror makes it look so much bigger!! And, this isn't done yet, the mirrored medicine cabinets I removed to place the mirror will be re-installed on the opposite wall, so it'll be even better then!)

zel 08-06-2007 10:18 PM

Looks fine. What I mean was, go buy some of the prefinished foam casing. Its very light weight. You could literally cut it to fit and hot glue it to the mirror, or even use foam mounting tape (probably better). Attach it right to the mirror surface, make sure each piece is level, plumb and cut to fit perfectly. It would change that mirror from "industrial" to "finished", IMO.

zel 08-07-2007 06:26 AM

One more thing...If you arent too confident or have a good mitre saw, you can use rosettes in the corners of the frame and all your frame pieces will have straight cuts.

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