Reflecting on the Benefits: Acrylic Mirror Sheet vs. Glass Mirror
Acrylic mirror sheets are cast thermoplastic material featuring a highly reflective surface. The reflective characteristics of acrylic mirrors come through a finishing process that covers the cast acrylic in a shiny metal coating. And because they’re made of a plastic polymer, acrylic mirror sheet can be customized to almost any size and shape.
The use of acrylic mirror instead of glass for construction, consumer goods, and do-it-yourself projects is becoming more popular in recent years. They enjoy numerous advantages that make sense when looking for alternatives to glass mirrors, but how good of an option is it?
Acrylic mirrors are solid and durable but also lightweight—about half the weight of glass—making them easy to manipulate and fix into place. They are impact resistant and shatterproof, perfect for use in gyms, dance studios, martial arts schools, and malls where health and safety are concerned.
They’re also simple to maintain with easy-to-clean surfaces that don’t smear as easily as glass. Acrylic mirror is UV resistant and weather resistant when specially treated against moisture. Because the backside of acrylic mirror sheet can absorb moisture—particularly in damp or humid conditions—they risk getting warped and appropriately prepped. However, they stand up to weather, including rain and snow, quite well.
As far as utility goes, acrylic mirror is simple to cut, shape, and bend as needed without chipping or cracking. And because acrylic mirror is less expensive and lighter than glass, it’s ideal for uses that require mirroring a large surface like a full or half wall.
Glass is what most people think when it comes to mirrors, and with good reason. Glass doesn’t warp or distort and provides a perfect reflection. When thick enough, it can also be quite substantial.
When a mirror is needed for an ornamental or decorative purpose, it will most likely be made of glass as it’s a traditional material and won’t warp.
While glass can be cut with special tools, it can’t be cut as easily as acrylic, nor does it respond well to drilling. Its weight, compared to acrylic, also makes it more challenging to mount in large sizes. And perhaps most critical, when a glass mirror breaks, it can turn into shards that can cut and injure. If the breakage is severe enough, tiny glass particles can be challenging to clean up properly.
Common Uses of Acrylic Mirror Sheets
Acrylic mirrors are functional in various settings and have a clear benefit over glass. Its durability and impact resistance makes it safe for use in high-traffic regions. Additionally, the flexibility of acrylic mirrors makes them useful in applications where curved or bending mirrors are required, whether for functional or decorative reasons. They’re also simple to transport, install, cut, and maintain.
The most typical uses for acrylic mirror sheets include:
- Decorative windows
- Convention stands
- Gym mirrors
- Studio mirrors
- Art galleries
- Hallway trim
- Bathrooms and showers
- Supermarket aisles
- Road intersections
- Recreational vehicles
- Medical and dental instruments
- Scientific instruments
- Costume jewelry and other decorative items
Can Glass Mirrors Outperform Acrylic?
While the light weight of acrylic is often seen as a main advantage, many people find glass more appealing because of its rigid, unbendable nature. While acrylic may warp or bend over time or during installation, giving it a less-than-ideal appearance, glass will always remain straight and flat.
For pre-made decorative mirrors, glass mirrors provide superior quality and more precise reflection. Also, acrylic mirror may retain moisture that might cause them to become cloudy or distorted, whereas glass resists moisture, causing it to bead and roll off.
Key Advantages Of Acrylic Mirror Sheets
Where glass is known for its rigidity and clarity, acrylic mirror has several significant advantages.
- 20 times more durable than glass
- Less than half the weight of glass
- 17 times more impact resistant than glass
- Thermal insulating properties
- Significantly lower in cost than glass
- Simple to clean with common household materials
Acrylic mirror enjoys several additional advantages over conventional glass mirror. For example, it is easier to cut to size, simpler to install, and safer once in place, especially in public spaces.
Acrylic Mirror Sheet at Piedmont Plastics
Piedmont Plastics offers acrylic mirror sheet in a variety of colors, patterns, and grades. If you’re looking for specialty materials, our branches provide cut-to-size services for most products. In addition, our materials specialists are available to assist you if you have any questions.
Reach out to us today for more information.