General Questions

Retail Questions

Dealer Questions


General Questions

What’s the best way to care for and clean a mirror?

There are two main rules to always remember about mirrors: Moisture is the enemy of any mirror, and Simple is best.

The very best and safest cleaner for any mirror is clean, warm water applied with a soft, lint-free cloth and dried with a clean, soft, lint-free cloth.

However, if that fails to work, a store-bought cleaner can work. There are few restrictions: Never use cleaners that contain ammonia, vinegar or any acid or alkali cleanser. All of these can attack the front surface, edges and backing of the mirror resulting in “black edge” or “housekeeper’s mark” – a black corrosion that occurs when the metal layers have been corrupted with moisture or harsh chemicals.

Care should always be taken to avoid getting the edges and backing of the mirror wet. Cleaners should never be sprayed directly onto the face of a mirror. Always first spray any cleaner onto a soft, lint-free cloth first, and then wipe the mirror dry. Should the edges or joints get wet, they should be dried off immediately and completely. Never let moisture pool at the bottom edge or run down the face of a mirror to the edge. Always make sure there is proper ventilation in bathrooms where mirrors are installed to prevent mirrors from ‘sweating’ and having moisture condense and pool at the edge.

Never use abrasive cleaners on any mirror surface; they will scratch the glass.

To remove surface marks or stubborn dirt, use 0000 oil-free steel wool or a single-sided razor blade at an angle to gently scrape off any offending marks. (use like a painter removes paint from a window during clean-up) Take care not to gouge the mirror.

How is a mirror made?

All Gardner Glass Products mirrors are created using a “wet deposition” method. The process begins with “mirror quality” glass, which is a higher grade of glass than glass used in windows or doors. The annealed (non-tempered) or tempered glass is first cleaned by the application of a cleanser called cerium, which makes the glass as clean as possible. It is scrubbed to perfection with oscillating scrub brushes. After the glass is rinsed, the surface of the glass is sensitized with a diluted solution of tin chloride. This surface treatment prepares the surface for the deposition of silver. Silver nitrate  (yes, that’s REAL silver) is then sprayed onto the sensitized surface with a closely monitored thickness for uniformity.

Once the silver layer is on the glass, a layer of copper is then applied directly onto the silver and both layers are covered by protective mirror backing paint. The mirror backing paint protects the metal layers from corrosion and from scratching during transit or installation. The paint is applied by passing the glass through a curtain of paint – called ‘curtain-coating’.

Finally, the mirror is cured in specially regulated ovens to allow the metal layers and the backing paint to harden to a strong, smooth surface. Then the mirrors are fabricated, edged, and either packed up for further fabrication, or are packaged into end-use products.

What are some basic mirror types and terms?

Visit MirrorLink to see some of the industry standard terms and definitions.

Retail Questions

I’m missing hardware from a recent retail purchase from Lowe’s – how can I get some replacement parts?

Please contact Mandy by clicking here, and describe the part you need. If possible, include a model # of the purchased item as well as your contact information.

What are the best ways to install a mirror?

Always use gloves and goggles when handling any mirror to prevent damage to the face or backing  as well as to protect yourself. Wear closed toe shoes and long sleeves and pants. Mirrors are glass and glass can be very dangerous if handled improperly. Please use extreme caution.

Never install mirrors on new plaster, new masonry or freshly painted walls without proper sealing. Also do not install in construction areas when airborne solvents and heavy-duty cleaners are in the air. Mirrors should be one of the last items installed in new construction after final cleanup. In humid climates wait until the air-conditioning is operating before installing mirrors. Never install mirrors outdoors without additional engineered protection for the backing of the mirror.

Set mirrors off the wall with an open air space behind to provide ventilation for the backing whenever possible. Mechanical hardware, like clips and screws or j-channel allow this small space naturally.

If mirror mastic or mirror-mounting tape must be used be sure it is approved for mirror use. Mechanical fastening devices should always be used with mirror mastic or mirror-mounting tape. This can help prevent injury or damage from the mirror in the event of the mastic failing.

Be certain that the room or space in which the mirror is to be installed is properly ventilated during and after installation. Never permit edges of the mirror to be exposed to “puddling” conditions. If butting together the edges of two mirrors, be sure there are adequate tolerances between installed mirrors to avoid later problems as the building settles.

Dealer Questions

I’m interested in becoming a dealer – how can I apply?

We look forward to hearing from you and having you become part of the Gardner Glass Products family. Click here to start a dialogue with our customer service department and to request the proper credit applications and forms.

What sort of delivery options are available?

It all depends on your location. Common carrier, Gardner roll-top truck, rack truck, boom truck, and in certain cases even FedEx is possible. Contact your customer service rep to learn the specifics for your need.

I need to request a quote, how do I contact my nearest sales rep?

Click here to be put in touch with Gardner Glass Products’ customer service department at our NC headquarters, they can direct your internet inquiry to the proper sales rep depending on your location.