Helpful tips and tricks from a professional custom framer on how to measure your space for the perfect large wall mirror, ornate mirror, real silver leaf mirror or picture frame.
· Get a tape measure and measure the height and width of the space you need to fill. Height is the length from top to bottom, and width is the length from side to side. Let’s say you measure your space and you get a 24 inch width and a 30 inch length. In this case, it would be considered a 24×30 space measurement. Now you have a measurement to go by that we can work backwards from.
· Why do you need to work backwards from this? For large wall mirrors, most all wood constructed frames come in standard sizes, which are derived from the size of the opening of the frame, not the outside dimensions. The opening of the frame can hold a mirror, or a picture that is equal to the standard size. For example, the standard size 24×30 framed large wall mirror contains a frame moulding that is so many inches thick plus a mirror that is 24×30. Thus a 24×30 mirror with a 3″ moulding is actually 24″ + 3″ (moulding width) + 3″ (moulding width) = 30″ in actual width of outside measurement. A 24×30 mirror with a 4″ moulding would be calculated as follows:
24+4+4= 32 and 30+4+4=38 The outside measurement is 32×38, the actual width and height.
· Standard popular sizes for frames are 8×10, 11×14, 12×16, 14×18, 16×20, 20×24, 24×30, 24×36, 30×40, and 36×48. That’s why we sometimes have to work backwards.
· Using the above example, if you pick a frame that is 3-1/2 ” moulding width, then you will use that moulding width in figuring what size mirror you need to fill your space. In the above example, we said that we measured 24×30 as the space you need to fill. You prefer the moulding that is 3-1/2″ in width, so let’s use those measurements and work backwards to find the right order size.
24 minus 3-1/2 minus 3-1/2 = 16″
30 minus 3-1/2 minus 3-1/2 = 23″
16×23 is the exact dimension you need.
· Of the standard sizes, the 16×20 most closely reflects your size demands, even though the 20″ length is three inches short of your target. You might go a bit bigger and order the 20×24, but the 20″ width is 4″ wider than you need, and the 24″ is one inch longer. Check your space. Would it be best to go with a frame sized a bit bigger, or smaller?
You can consider ordering custom sizes, if getting your exact measurement is crucial. Custom sizes are special order but it can be well worth it to get the the exact size you require. Look for more tips and tricks in the future, and happy shopping for your perfect mirror!