We seem to get a ton of questions on installation and many of the questions for me are quite repetitive. This is information that you will need PRIOR to starting to install the tiles or panel to the wall.
Q: What is the best substrate to adhere the mirror(s) to?
A: This answer is simple but there are many answers. For the most part your #1 substrate is the drywall you already have. The reason for this is the same reasons you will need to ask yourself about all other substrates you are thinking about.
Drywall does not warp, shrink or expand or contract making it your best substrate. There are a few HOWEVERS, if the house is NEW (less then 1 year old) drywall is only as tough as the framing. If the framing was wet or damp when the drywall was installed that wood will shrink causing the wall to move and the possibilities of mirror cracks increase. In addition houses that are newly built tend to settle which also can cause the wall to move and the mirror to press together hard enough to crack.
With that said, this instances are very rare if a tiny space is left between them. The tiles get butted together however once you touch them together you bring them back apart about the width of a piece of printer paper (very tiny gap). Because you do this it will require you to paint the area behind the mirror black (lets get into this next but right now finish about substrates). Other substrates that are ok:
Solid wood tables and table legs. Formica, MDF and MDO being your best choices as they do not warp or expand or contract
In frames - most all frames are NO ISSUE
In a metal channel - make sure the metal is smooth
Cabinet doors - never an issue
On wood in the back of the cabinet - normally this wood does not move
end of substrates......
PAINTING THE AREA BLACK
I'm going to guess that by now you can fully understand why the background needs to be black, but in case you are still confused here is why:
With the knowledge that you need to have a tiny gap, if you leave the wall WHITE those little gaps are going to magnify. In addition unless your wall is perfectly straight and smooth tiny gaps will be there no matter how perfect you install. By having the background area black it will appear perfectly installed.
CORRECT CUTTER - NO OTHER!
This is the glass cutter we suggest as well as sell. Why? Its top notch and made for exactly what you need. This is a Toyo self oiling glass cutter. Below is a video of Rob cutting 4" x 8" subway tiles so you can get a quick view of how to use it.
At NO time let your installer use a wetsaw on the mirror tiles as these are NOT tiles in a traditional sense. These are mirror cut into tile sizes which require them to be cut exactly like I've shown in the video.
CORRECT ADHESIVE - MIRROR MASTIC
Available at Home Depot and Lowes in the paint department next to the caulk. Must say either MIRROR MASTIC or MIRROR adhesive, if not do not use!!! Also a side not is check the "best if used by date", do NOT buy this from Amazon, Ebay or local guys selling it on Facebook or Craigslist because normally its been frozen, past its date or just junk.
Things not to use: EVERYTHING THAT DOES NOT SAY MIRROR!!! NO EXCEPTIONS - DONT EVEN CALL ABOUT THAT ONE.
TAPE YOUR MIRRORS TOGETHER UNTIL DRY
The importance of this is to keep the tiles from slipping, by taping them together they stay in place.
FINAL THOUGHTS FROM ROB
When in doubt, call BEFORE you start (not after), if you call after then its TOO LATE! Make sure you get references on your installer as I will not replace mirrors because you hired the wrong installer.
Installers are free to call Rob 815-663-8148 if they have questions however if after reading this they should have the information they need to install.
Thank you for reading and I hope all jobs turn out like you dream them up.