Poor mirror installation should be remedied with bolts, brackets

Last month I heard from two Tristate families whose large bathroom mirrors suddenly fell off the wall. In both cases the mirrors had been installed about 10 years ago by the home's builders, and both families have young children who could have been severely injured by the falling mirrors.

Unlike safety glass, which shatters, when a mirror breaks it splits into sharp pieces of glass that can be very dangerous.

Donna Cox, of Lebanon, said, "In my case, I have five children, and if my children had been standing there they would not have had a chance - it would have sliced them to pieces."

In Cox's case, the glue used on the back of the mirror didn't hold because it appears the builder didn't follow the manufacturer's installation guidelines.

The manufacturer of a widely-used mirror adhesive told me there could be any number of factors why the mirror didn't hold. But, he said, the company's guidelines call for using brackets, or clips, around the mirror edges to help hold it in place.

Cox said all homeowners need to protect themselves from poor installations. "It's just a warning for people to please put those clips on your mirrorsÊÊ to bolt the mirror to the wall if you don't see them there;

"When this happened to us I called all my neighbors and said, 'Check your mirrors.' Three of them did not have any bolts on them at all, no clips. So they immediately went out to get them. I tell this story to anybody I see."

Kim and Roy MacCutcheon, also of Lebanon, were shocked when their bathroom mirror fell while their 11-year-old daughter, Mollie, was in there taking a shower.

"I got really scared," Mollie said, "and my heart raced really fast, and then my mother and father started beating on the door." They broke down the locked door and found the floor was covered with broken glass. Kim said, "If she would have gotten out and had been standing there drying herself, I don't think she would be with us or she would be very badly injured."

The MacCutcheon's mirror is estimated to have weighed at least 100 pounds, but we found it was only being held on the wall by two small wall brackets - there was no glue used at all. So, the weight of the mirror, along with the moisture in the bathroom, caused the brackets to come loose over the past 10 years - just as they have on their towel rack.

We checked the large mirror in their master bath and found it, too, was very loose. Kim said, "This is something that maybe is going to happen more and more as time goes on."

Bottom line, if you have large bathroom mirrors that were installed by your builder, check to make sure they are securely on the wall. If they're loose, you need to install strong brackets to make sure they remain in place.Ê

Troubleshooter Howard Ain answers consumer complaints and questions weekdays at 4 p.m., 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. newscasts on WKRC-TV Local 12.

600450 Poor mirror installation should be remedied with bolts, brackets glassonweb.com

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