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A User's Guide to Flat Mirrors

A flat mirror is a smooth mirror that produces a virtual image which is often referred to as a one to one reflection.  A virtual image tricks your eyes (and mind for that matter) into thinking the bouncing light (or image) coming off the mirror is coming out in a straight line. Flat mirrors are composed of a hard surface back (typically stainless steel) with the mirror being constructed of acrylic, glass, polished stainless steel, polycarbonate or a polycarbonate material.  The reflective image of a flat mirror is much different than the image reflected by a convex mirror.  Images in a flat mirror are always the same shape and size of the object being reflected, and reversed. The images are never distorted. In a convex mirror, the image is somewhat distorted by design producing a bulging effect to cover a greater area. If you are in need of the best safety mirror which does not distort images and offers a “true” image, the flat mirror fits the bill. A really good example of a flat mirror that you probably use on a daily basis is a bathroom vanity mirror. Flat mirrors are also known as a plane mirror, industrial mirror, bathroom mirror, theft proof mirror, or lavatory mirror. The frame around a glass mirror is stainless steel for sturdiness and durability.   

Uses of flat mirrors vary drastically. They may be used in indoor or outdoor locations. Flat mirrors are most often used in bathroom facilities in industrial and public locations because of their durability and desired reflection properties. 


Flat mirror suppliers usually offer models in either a swivel mount or a locking keyhole style, flush wall mount. The best flat mirror, especially in applications where theft or vandalism may be a problem, is the locking flush mounted flat mirror. The locking keyhole design prevents the mirror from being removed from a sturdy, immobile surface such as a concrete, block, brick or stone wall. Flat mirrors are also used along assembly lines and production areas where a safety mirror or security mirror with the best reflective image is needed. As mentioned before, a flat mirror will not curve or distort images as a convex mirror would.  When items or objects are traveling down a conveyor belt or production area a flat mirror can be useful in assisting with inspections or assemblies of manufactured goods. In such instances, the flat mirror with an adjustable mount is preferred because it allows the mirror to be angled for the best available view. Laboratories use flat mirrors because of their chemical resistance when the glass or stainless steel lens is used.  Showrooms, salons, and jewelry stores prefer flat mirrors to demonstrate their products in detail and clarity.

Here's an image of a typical flat mounted mirror located in a public restroom.  The features of these flat mirrros make them perfect for this sort of application.  The way the mirror mounts makes them extremely hard, if not impossible, for vandals to remove, as well as indestructible. 


Although the flat mirror has a stainless steel base and frame, the lens can be constructed of shatter proof acrylic, glass, polycarbonate or polished stainless steel.  Choosing the correct lens type for your application is paramount. Flat glass mirrors have a plate glass lens and offer the best reflection of all flat mirror types. Flat glass mirrors are scratch resistant as well as chemical resistant to most solvents.  But use of flat glass mirrors should be with caution. If the flat glass mirror were to receive a damaging impact it could result in potentially dangerous shards causing harm to people or contamination of material. An acrylic flat mirror lens is shatterproof with great reflection characteristics.  Acrylic flat mirrors should be used in applications where a superb reflection, shatterproof lens and a light weight mirror is needed. The stainless steel flat mirror has a solid stainless steel frame and a polished stainless steel lens. They are relatively heavy and extremely durable. The lens of the stainless steel flat mirror goes through an extensive and cumbersome polishing process to ensure a brilliant reflection. Being scratch resistant, easy to maintain and virtually indestructible, the stainless steel flat mirror is ideal for use as a theft proof mirror in public restrooms, industrial restrooms, parks, convenience stores, or any harsh environment.

For more information about flat mirrors, please visit the category page for these products by clicking here: flat mirrors

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