Removing mirrors glued to a wall without breaking. Possible?

My spouse is replacing Formica countertops with granite on four vanities. Each has a mirror that was set onto the Formica top, glue applied to the back, then pushed to the wall. The new tops will be thicker and the mirrors must come off or cut shorter from the bottom. Two glass companies told me the only way to handle this is to smash the mirrors and pull the pieces off, and ruin the drywall in the process. Are there any other options? Thanks in advance.
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On 11/30/2008 5:59 PM Jim Sherman spake thus:

Short answer: no. But what's the problem? Are the mirrors somehow valuable to you?
By the way, instead of just smashing them, which is sure to generate lots of glass splinters and debris, better to score them with a glass cutter, then pry them off the wall (use a wide-bladed knife or a pry bar); that way, they'll break on the score lines and leave less of a mess. The underlying wall (drywall) should survive OK so long as you don't use the cave-man approach to removing the glass.
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powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral.
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As it should be...lest the gnats and ankle biters become truly irritating.
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Jim Sherman wrote:

Take a piece of piano wire and insert it along the top of the mirror. I wrap each end around a couple of sticks for handles. Place a couple of shims behind the mirror at the top and start sawing back and forth with the piano wire. The shims will help to hold the mirror away from the wall until you get started.
Be prepared with another person to hold the mirror because they tend to come off suddenly, due to the fact that the glue is pretty random. You may be several inches from the bottom of the mirror when it decides to let go.
Guitar strings work pretty well if the mirror is small.
--
Robert Allison
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Put some duct tape on the mirrors so they don't shatter, then try to pry off with a crowbar at one end. If it breaks, just take off in pieces. Its not rocket science.
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If you're SURE it's glued, proceed as the experts here have suggested. Mine had a combination of glue and the clips at the top of the mirror - the bottom of the mirror rested on the top of the backsplash. I didn't wanna handle the large full-wall mirror on my own, so for remodeling bathroom #1, I paid a glass company $175 to get the mirror off (it's heavy and awkward) - they wanted another $125 to put it back up after the countertop was replaced - I just had them take the mirror away. They offerred no guarantee that the mirror woudl survive being pulled off the wall.
For bathroom #2, the countertop company is only charging me $130 to pull the old countertop and backsplash, AND pull and replace the old mirror after tyey're done installing the new countertop.
Check with your countertop company - they may help you solve the mirror problem.
wrote:

Put some duct tape on the mirrors so they don't shatter, then try to pry off with a crowbar at one end. If it breaks, just take off in pieces. Its not rocket science.
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Yeah, just use a crowbar....(rolling eyes)
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I gave you the answer the first time you posted the question. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Those 2 glass companies must have a bunch of morons working there.
The mirrors can be removed and saved with piano wire and 2 pairs of vice grips.
Cut a piece of piano wire about 3 ft wider than the mirror, then slip the wire between the mirror and the drywall (preferably from top edge of the mirror). Now, clap the vise grips onto the ends of the piano wire. Have someone help you work the piano wire back and forth in a sawing motion, at the same time pulling downward. (if you start from the top)
This will cut through the mirror mastic and allow you to remove the mirror. Depending on the situation, you might need another person to help hold the mirror so it doesn't hit the floor.
I recommend using Equalizer brand braided wire that you can get at most autoglass shops. http://tinyurl.com/5zulxt If you talk directly to an autogalss installer they will probably just give you about a 20 ft piece - just slide the guy 2 or 3 bucks. Do NOT use regular piano wire, it gets hot and you have to stop every 2 seconds to let it cool or it will break in half.. A REAL pain in the ass!
BTW, I've removed MANY mirrors using professional suction cups only, because the drywall paper will come off with the mastic before the mirror will break. Sounds like they were just trying to sell you some new mirrors and didn't want just a labor job or like I said, they are morons.
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Ron wrote:

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
What do you do if the mirror runs all the way to the corner? Or all the way to ceiling?
-- aem sends...
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For the ceiling the same thing. You always have to have at least an 1/8 (I prefer 3/16) of an inch clearance to get the mirror in.
If a mirror is in the corner, than you cut from the side if possible. If not, then you call a glass company that KNOWS what they are doing and they will remove it with suction cups, or a combination of wire and suction cups.
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Put painters tape on the entire mirror. If it breaks, the tape will keep glass from getting everywhere. And painters tape comes off leaving nothing behind.
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After taping you have to use a putty knife, pushing it in gently between the wall and the mirror edge and then slightly twist the putty knife. You do they around the perimeter of the mirror and at one point the mirror will pull away from the wall. I just finished do a 50 by 30 in my bathroom and the only casualty is the sheetrock behind the mirror where the adhesive was.
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