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  1. #1
    Registered User vmpolesov's Avatar
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    home gym wall mirrors - what are my options?

    Having finally ditched the crummy chain gym membership, I'm equipping my home gym better. I have half of a ~140 sq. foot room (11x13) to work with (will have the whole room later after cleaning out some non-exercise related junk).

    To start with I would probably want to mirror all or most of the 11foot x 8foot high back wall. What is the cheapest and easiest way to cover large square footage with mirrored surface? Small 1footx1foot adhesive squares may be easy or cheap but would look like crap. Large mirror panes may be a PITA to handle, etc. Would appreciate feedback from anyone who has done this.
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  2. #2
    Cutting since 10/20/2014 Brackneyc's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by vmpolesov View Post
    Having finally ditched the crummy chain gym membership, I'm equipping my home gym better. I have half of a ~140 sq. foot room (11x13) to work with (will have the whole room later after cleaning out some non-exercise related junk).

    To start with I would probably want to mirror all or most of the 11foot x 8foot high back wall. What is the cheapest and easiest way to cover large square footage with mirrored surface? Small 1footx1foot adhesive squares may be easy or cheap but would look like crap. Large mirror panes may be a PITA to handle, etc. Would appreciate feedback from anyone who has done this.

    I have the cheapest ones they offer at Target or Menards. They are about 12 inches by 48 inches. Bout 5.00 - 6.00 a piece. Don't have a whole wall done with them, but have enough to consistently remind myself why I do this.
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  3. #3
    198 or bust Getsum's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by vmpolesov View Post
    Having finally ditched the crummy chain gym membership, I'm equipping my home gym better. I have half of a ~140 sq. foot room (11x13) to work with (will have the whole room later after cleaning out some non-exercise related junk).

    To start with I would probably want to mirror all or most of the 11foot x 8foot high back wall. What is the cheapest and easiest way to cover large square footage with mirrored surface? Small 1footx1foot adhesive squares may be easy or cheap but would look like crap. Large mirror panes may be a PITA to handle, etc. Would appreciate feedback from anyone who has done this.
    The mirror I use from an old dresser I was getting rid of...nothing fancy.
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  4. #4
    Finally accused of juicin Corbi's Avatar
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    You can see a few of the mirrors I hung up in my avi. I think there were 6 or 7 total that came with the rest of the gear bought off a private party. Ended up breaking one during the move.
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  5. #5
    Registered User vmpolesov's Avatar
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    well i tried one thing - happened to have the materials lying around:

    mirror film mylar
    3M spray 77 adhesive
    poster board.


    About all I can say is it reflects light, and if you hold it REALLY close the distortion is not too bad. But at any distance it's not really usable. I guess the trick to this material is you've got to have the mylar sheet and back substrate REALLY clean, cleaner than I can get them in a home workshop. Probably not practical for home-type setup, too bad though because it promised to be a cheap source of mirrored square footage.
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  6. #6
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    Originally Posted by Brackneyc View Post
    I have the cheapest ones they offer at Target or Menards. They are about 12 inches by 48 inches. Bout 5.00 - 6.00 a piece. Don't have a whole wall done with them, but have enough to consistently remind myself why I do this.
    i use these too. I put them on one wall, about 6 of them side by side. Works just fine for the price.
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  7. #7
    Registered User jdtemple's Avatar
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    I just don't use mirrors. That's pretty cheap.
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  8. #8
    Moisture farmer desslok's Avatar
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    I got my mirrors at Home Depot, seemed to be the best mirrors for the lowest price. The cheap fun house mirrors are pretty aweful, except for ego if they bend just right. I know some people in the equipment section found good deals on CL from gyms that were closing or people with home gyms moving, etc. I spent more for the smoke system.
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  9. #9
    Registered User Old-Time-Lifter's Avatar
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    If all you want is regular old mirror. Call a glass company from the yellow pages. Tell them you want to buy scrap 1/8" mirror and see what they have laying around. If you call several shops you're likely to find somebody who has some odd ball pieces laying around that they'll sell cheap.

    Heck you can buy a full sheet for not that much and they likely will even cut it into pieces for you to fit it in the car.

    1/8" mirror isn't that heavy, 1/4" will give you a lot less distortion but obviously it's twice as heavy to deal with. I wouldn't think that the weight of the product would put off anyone in this forum however.
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  10. #10
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    I ended up buying 12" x 12" mirror tiles. The ones I got were from Ikea and came with double sided adhesive foam tape, but I'm pretty sure you could find them through a building supply store too. In the first week, I had a couple of them break free of their adhesive and jump to their deaths, but haven't had any problems since. I considered trying to go for a custom glass route too but, in the end, I went for the tile option because I saw them at Ikea and made an impulse buy.
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  11. #11
    Registered User vmpolesov's Avatar
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    I went to homer's and looked around. They had mirrors but $$. I asked the guy if they had any damaged goods they want to unload cheap and he said no, they throw them out.

    I went with 'mirror doors' (like closet doors on tracks) from Lowe's. I had more luck there, the guy sold me two 36"x80" mirrored door panels, 'damaged' because the roller track frame (which I would have thrown out anyway) was missing, for a special damaged price $25 for both. I lucked out there!

    I also picked up some of the cheapo $6 rectangular mirrors which I will put in various spots.

    One thing I have noticed with the new mirrors, is while lifting shirtless (advantage of home gym, right up there with no lady gaga), you can get a better idea of how your muscles are activating. For example the anterior delts are activated during bicep curls. It makes sense, but I was just never aware of it.
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  12. #12
    Bigger! Stronger! BAMA! bamazav's Avatar
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    I need to get some mirrors for home gym and gym at the church. You guys have given me some great ideas. Thanks.
    David, a 50 year old pastor, husband and father.

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  13. #13
    Registered User Old-Time-Lifter's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    Originally Posted by bamazav View Post
    I need to get some mirrors for home gym and gym at the church. You guys have given me some great ideas. Thanks.
    You have a gym in your church building?

    Cool!!!









    How did the sermon go btw?
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  14. #14
    Canis Belli Whiskeyjack's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by jdtemple View Post
    I just don't use mirrors. That's pretty cheap.
    ^^^
    My view of the thing. Spend the money or effort on the gear.
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  15. #15
    Registered User tnthudson's Avatar
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    If you're looking for inexpensive, there are some good ideas on this thread. What I did was go to Lowe's and purchase the 3' x 4' (I think, it was the largest in the rack), but that involved purchasing the spring clips since they're so darn heavy. Bright side of it (pun not originally intended) was that they look nice and provide all the coverage I need as far as seeing myself go through the reps. If you put one in front of where you lift and one on a side wall, you can check out your form very well and see muscle activation, etc.
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  16. #16
    Gettin' back up again Rowyn's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by desslok View Post
    I got my mirrors at Home Depot, seemed to be the best mirrors for the lowest price.
    Originally Posted by tnthudson View Post
    If you're looking for inexpensive, there are some good ideas on this thread. What I did was go to Lowe's and purchase the 3' x 4' (I think, it was the largest in the rack)
    I got mine from a home improvement store too, each is perfectly big enough when hung in from of the squat rack that you can see your whole body. I brought them home myself, so they aren't that hard to deal with, and while it does take two people to put them up, it was pretty easy and quick. MUCH better than several smaller mirrors to cover the same space.
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  17. #17
    I'll Mod Til I'm Dead ironwill2008's Avatar
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    I bought all these mirrors at Lowes, on sale. The 30x36 over the dumbbell rack were about $25 each, IIRC:









    The mirrors behind the power rack, Smith, and Lat Pulldown machine are 36x48, and were about $40 each, again on sale:




    These are thick (1/4") and heavy, and show a clear image with no distortion, of importance for gym use, IMO.



    And remember, if there were no mirrors, there'd be no bodybuilders.
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  18. #18
    Canis Belli Whiskeyjack's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ironwill2008 View Post
    I bought all these mirrors at Lowes, on sale. The 30x36 over the dumbbell rack were about $25 each, IIRC:
    What a great gym you've got Bill! Like a regular commercial gym. Big big envy.
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  19. #19
    Moisture farmer desslok's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ironwill2008 View Post
    These are thick (1/4") and heavy, and show a clear image with no distortion, of importance for gym use, IMO.
    I agree, if you try and save money by getting 1/8th inch, you end up with a funhouse. I had 2 cheap framed door mirrors next to each other. One made my arms look 22", the other next to it made me look 60 pounds.
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    I'll Mod Til I'm Dead ironwill2008's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Whiskeyjack View Post
    What a great gym you've got Bill! Like a regular commercial gym. Big big envy.
    Thanks, WJ. Around here, it's pretty much a necessity rather than a luxury.







    Originally Posted by desslok View Post
    I agree, if you try and save money by getting 1/8th inch, you end up with a funhouse. I had 2 cheap framed door mirrors next to each other. One made my arms look 22", the other next to it made me look 60 pounds.
    ^^^^This. The up-front cash outlay for heavy mirrors is a bit more, but it's a one-time deal; they don't wear out. And looking in a distorted mirror drives me nuts.
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    Registered User tnthudson's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ironwill2008 View Post
    Thanks, WJ. Around here, it's pretty much a necessity rather than a luxury.









    ^^^^This. The up-front cash outlay for heavy mirrors is a bit more, but it's a one-time deal; they don't wear out. And looking in a distorted mirror drives me nuts.
    I'm with you on this Bill. Unfortunately I didn't get mine on sale (about $10 more than you paid) but I love them now that they're up and I'm glad I got the good quality. Makes my little room look bigger, too. I fit all my stuff into approx. the area that your dumbbells fit in.
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    I was able to purchase a couple large mirrors from a men's clothing store that was going out of business. I got them real cheap and they were in great shape. There was also a hotel doing remodeling in the area, and they were buying all new. If I needed more mirrors, I could have gotten some from them for cheap (ended up not needing them). Just a couple other ideas!
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    I'll Mod Til I'm Dead ironwill2008's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by swimmer32 View Post
    I was able to purchase a couple large mirrors from a men's clothing store that was going out of business. I got them real cheap and they were in great shape. There was also a hotel doing remodeling in the area, and they were buying all new. If I needed more mirrors, I could have gotten some from them for cheap (ended up not needing them). Just a couple other ideas!
    ^^^^This.

    If you live in a large-market area, remodels and building demolitions can provide some great bargains. Even after hiring a pro glass company to remove/transport/install commercial-size mirrors, you may still be way ahead, money-wise.
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    We are replacing the bed room slider closet double mirrors. They are about 120 bucks for a new closet system. I will recycle the old mirrors for my workout room at home. One cool place to find free stuff for the El Cheap'o is Freecycle.com

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    Bringing back an older thread, hope nobody minds...


    Thanks IronWill for posting and nice looking gym you've got there.

    Yep, these seem like the best deal on new 1/4" mirrors. I'm going to check them out at Lowes this weekend. I see they are still about $25-$30 on their website. Hopefully I can fit them inside our jeep grand cherokee or ontop of the roof rack. I certainly do not want to break them as I drive them home.


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    Originally Posted by ironwill2008 View Post
    I bought all these mirrors at Lowes, on sale. The 30x36 over the dumbbell rack were about $25 each, IIRC:









    The mirrors behind the power rack, Smith, and Lat Pulldown machine are 36x48, and were about $40 each, again on sale:




    These are thick (1/4") and heavy, and show a clear image with no distortion, of importance for gym use, IMO.



    And remember, if there were no mirrors, there'd be no bodybuilders.
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    I bought 2 old sliding mirror wardrobe doors. Cost me $100 on ebay. All I had to do was take the frames off and silicone them to the wall.
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    NAS Strongman bigtallox's Avatar
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    Looks like a great gym, ironwill.

    Originally Posted by ironwill2008 View Post
    And remember, if there were no mirrors, there'd be no bodybuilders.
    Yeah, we'd all be doing strongman. DOWN WITH THE MIRRORS!
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    I've got 3 huge mirrors in my home gym. They were all previously large bathroom mirrors for above a vanity. I got mine from the days I use to work as a mover. People were always trying to give away stuff. That's how I got my pull-down machine as well.
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    I always imagine Ironwill charging his friends $25 monthly so they can visit his basement and workout.
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