How to remove a mirror

We have a flat plain 3x4 foot mirror in the bathroom, it's thick, at least 1/4 inch, and corroding. We took off the wall clips, and to our surprise, the old contractor GLUED the mirror to the wall. It's glued solid, no amount of prying will get it off without shattering. The only idea I can come up with is 1) Tape the mirror, put tape all over it, on every square inch. 2) Hit it with a hammer while wearing gloves and goggles - thinking he tape will keep glass from flying off 3) prying it piece by piece.
A royal pain and dangerous - anyone have other ideas?
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read in a newgroups somewhere to try fishing line....heavy gauge as you can get started behind the mirror a little and with sawing motion (this will take two people) & it might start to loosen the mirror.
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snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (Muvin Gruvin) wrote:

Clever use of an air hose might blow it off.
--
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Here's what WORKS. Forget the wire idea. Even using stranded "picture hanging" wire, it quickly becomes clogged, therefore smooth, therefore useless.
Use the previously suggested shims along the top and sides to apply (moderate) outward pressure. Then pour a small amount of solvent between the mirror and the wall. "Goo Gone", paint thinner or even turpentine. Kinda depends on the adhesive that was used. As the mastic is weakened by the solvent, the mirror will separate from the wall a small amount. More pressure with shims is called for at that point. Perhaps, then, some add'l solvent. Be prepared for the mirror to separate from the wall. Some are quite heavy.
Note - some solvent is going to emerge from the bottom edge of the mirror and will discolor the wall.
read in a newgroups somewhere to try fishing line....heavy gauge as you can get started behind the mirror a little and with sawing motion (this will take two people) & it might start to loosen the mirror.
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Forget the solvent, since it will likely cause a mess.
Use shim shingles and force them in from the sides and top if accessible. Tap them in with a rubber mallet until they are tight. Wait a bit and tap a little more. You can feel the tension release as each adhesive portion gives way, even a little. Add more shingles as the gap opens.
Have help to "catch" the mirror as it finally leaves the wall.
--
charles


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Bring in your mother in law and let her see her reflection? Should break it into a lot of pieces.
Steve ;-)
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Tom Malcolm, 10/15/2005,10:50:18 PM, wrote:

Do you think maybe a heat gun on the edges might loosen up the glue enough to allow you to pry it from the wall slowly?
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My contribution, the mirror in the first place was not intended to come off otherwise the builder etc would be liable for heavy law suites
My solution, if the mirror is on a sheetrock wall cut the sheetrock with a utility knife around the mirror edge and remove the sheetrock and mirror in one piece, and then put a new piece of sheetrock up, even if you manage to pry the mirror off the mastic the wall is going to be ruined anyway so you have nothing to loose. Whichever way you do it the danger is the mirror falling and shattering .Whatever method you choose make sure the mirror is supported and handleable when released.....mjh
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Tom Malcolm wrote:

I've researched the same problem before and have found no good solution. Among the suggestions I've seen:
1. the method you described 2. call a glass shop 3. slide a thin wire behind the mirror and saw off the mastic (which are supposedly normally applied in spots) 4. heat gun 5. pry the mirror off the wall by inserting shims of increasing thinkness behind the mirror
In all cases, the suggestions came with the warning that the mirror may break, and that the wall will likely get damaged.
I haven't tried any of the methods, so I don't know if any of them actually works.
If you have success removing the mirror, I'd be very interested in hearing how you do it.
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On Sun, 16 Oct 2005 03:24:14 GMT, All Thumbs

I tried this awhile ago in a misguided attempt to save the mirror on a bathroom renovation. My problem was that the sawing generated enough heat to partially melt the glue. So the wire basically got coated and would no longer cut. After an hour of so of different ideas and different wires and maybe going through a 1/2" of the stuff, I just taped the mirror and hit it with a crowbar. Done in 10 minutes. I then scraped the adhesive off the wall, refinished the area with some wall compound and put up the new mirror.

Gary Dyrkacz snipped-for-privacy@comcast.net Radio Control Aircraft/Paintball Physics/Paintball for 40+ http://home.comcast.net/~dyrgcmn /
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Well, the last 3 or 4 times this question came up, all sorts of ideas were posted, like using a wire behind mirror to saw through the adhesive. Are you putting up another mirror the same size? If not, even if you get it off, the wall surface will be trashed anyway. In that case, I'd cover the mirror with contact paper (aka shelf liner, cheaper than tape), and cut the drywall around the mirror, and pry the whole mess off the wall. Yes, it will break, but hopefully not too many glass shards will get loose. Patching drywall is easier than scraping construction adhesive and skimcoating a ragged surface. If you want to save the wall surface, after covering the front as above, along with the rest of the bathroom and yourself, start prying away. Wide putty knives and a pair of the baby-size Stanley wonder bars would be my tools of choice. Leather gloves, goggles, long-sleeve shirt, etc, are indicated. Have shop vac in the room for cleanup, and do the dark-room flashlight at a low angle trick to look for sparklies when you think you are done.
If you are buying a replacement mirror, I'd ask the glass company for an installed price. Some things are worth paying for. They have the tools, maybe solvents to dribble behind the old glass, and most importantly, the experience.
aem sends....
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> We have a flat plain 3x4 foot mirror in

Update, I aimed a radient heater on the mirror - already covered with a lot of clear tape, after a few hours, tried peeling it back, it cracked - but the tape prevented any glass from escaping. Turns out it cracked right where just a bit of glue was used, minimal damage to wall, mirror was breaking into chunks, slipped a large plastic garbage bag over it, then 4 more on top of the first, leaned back the glass/tape/bag mess, got it right side up, one more bag - and success! A bit of spackle and repainting and I'm in business. thanks for the suggestions.
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On Sun, 16 Oct 2005 05:20:34 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (Tom Malcolm) wrote:

Congratulations!
Several years ago i was wallpapering the upstairs bath and went to take the mirror down by the 4 florettes and screws through it and found that it was also glued -- so I guess that is not an unusual way of securing bathroom mirrors. In fact, i put up a mirror in a bedroom and put a few lines of white caulk on the back of it to hold it flat in place on the wall besides being otherwise secured. Worked great. I am thinking if i ever want to get it down then steady pressure will defeat the caulk before it breaks the glass.
FACE
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On Sun, 16 Oct 2005 09:38:58 -0400, FACE

I will never be defeated.
Andrew Caulk

Remove NOPSAM to email me. Please let me know if you have posted also.
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wrote:

LOL!
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Tom Malcolm wrote:

I had to remove some window panes when I was ready to paint, because the glazing was hard and I didn't want to put my hand through the window trying to chip it away......so, went to hardware store and bought some Contact paper. I covered the panes with Contact, put a tarp on the ground below, and gave them a smack with a 2x4. One pane popped out, unbroken, and leaned itself on the sill against the window frame :o)
If you try breaking it, be sure to contain the mess with a heavy tarp so you don't have broken glass in the drain and the bathtub. Use leather gloves, eye protection, etc. If space allows, it may come loose by sliding something behind to pry it from the wall, providing you have room to stand aside to it doesn't land on you. Might even score it into manageable size pieces with a glass cutter before you apply the contact paper.
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the mirror will never come off whole. I've probably installed a few hundred bathroom mirrors. We use whatever tube of adhesive we may have about at the time - anything from painter caulk to deck adhesive. Bottom line line is, whatever was used, after a couple of years its hard as cement. Slipping a wire behind won't cut the glue. Heat *might* soften it, but it will still be a semi-gooey mess stuck to both the mirror and wall.
The easiest way to get it off is to accept the fact taht the mirror is history, adn break it. Use whatever precautions your comfortable with - contact paper is a good one. I don't bother, and just clean up when I'm done.
If you don't mind doing alot of drywall repair, you can score around the edge of the mirror, and see if you can get the paper on the outside of the drywall to peel off. I don't bother. here's my method:
slip something thin under the edge of the mirror - a putty knife, a painters shield, some flashing, whatever - the wider the better. Start prying it up. A chunk of the mirror will break off. Slip your shim back under the newly exposed edge, and keep breaking off pieces until as much as will easily come off has done so. If you're luck, most of the mirror came off. If you're not lucky, there are stil lbig blobs of mirror stuck to the wall where the glue was.
NOW you can score the drywall - if you want. No matter what you do, you're going to damage it. scoring it will hekp keep the damage more localized. You're going to pry the glue out of the wall, and in the process, remove the top layer of the drywall (at least - maybe more if the glue wasa type that soaked in). Accept it. Hopefully, you're replacing the mirror witha new one thats at least as big as the damaged area.....
good luck --JD

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Here's what WORKS. Forget the wire idea. Even using stranded "picture hanging" wire, it quickly becomes clogged, therefore smooth, therefore useless.
Use the previously suggested shims along the top and sides to apply (moderate) outward pressure. Then pour a small amount of solvent between the mirror and the wall. "Goo Gone", paint thinner or even turpentine. Kinda depends on the adhesive that was used. As the mastic is weakened by the solvent, the mirror will separate from the wall a small amount. More pressure with shims is called for at that point. Perhaps, then, some add'l solvent. Be prepared for the mirror to separate from the wall. Some are quite heavy.
Note - some solvent is going to emerge from the bottom edge of the mirror and will discolor the wall.

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Whatever you do, DO NOT BREAK IT !!!! Seven years bad luck, and this is for real.
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