Antique (or distressed) Mirror Glass can be used for most of the applications considered for standard mirror glass, from simple frames to kitchen work-tops, and furniture to wall-cladding. Where standard mirror glass offers a fairly glitzy if predictable material, antique mirror glass offers a depth and richness which enhances any application.
As you might expect there are a variety of different distressing styles available, from reproduction antique mirror glass to marbled and mottled styles with warmer hues.
Most distressed mirror glass is offered in 4mm or 6mm thickness, but most techniques allow for greater thicknesses, although the range of styles may be restricted.
Health and safety requirements mean that all mirror glass must be either safety-backed with safety tape or toughened. Toughening antique mirror glass is definitely worth considering over safety-backing as the replacement costs are high.
As with standard mirror glass, edges can either be polished or bevelled to a depth from the edge of the glass. Both techniques reduce the risk of injury as they remove the sharpness of the cut edges.
Given the value of antiqued mirror glass, it's often worth thinking through the fixing options carefully. Mirror adhesive is the straightforward, permanent option for most flat walls, but if you want the flexibility of moving the panel(s) to another location then screwing them to the wall is a good alternative. This requires holes to be made in the glass when it is first being cut. Once in situ, the screws themselves can be covered with coverheads.
As most distressed mirror glass is hand-finished, the lead times are much longer than for standard mirror glass, and can range from 2 weeks up to 6 weeks depending on a number of different factors, not least the quantity required.
The hand-finished unique style of distressing mirror glass means the cost is considerably higher per square metre than standard mirror glass. Typical prices range from Â£350 per square metre plus VAT, with additional costs for toughening and bevelling.
The costs of antique mirror glass mean that getting the measurements right first time is more important than usual. If you're putting a number of panels together, particularly on a wall, it is worthwhile commissioning a survey to ensure all the measurements are accurate. Some of the companies offering distressed mirror glass offer such a service.
Depending on the complexity of the project, it is well worth using the services of a professional installer to ensure the panels are aligned and flush.