Mirror acrylic in garden design: fixing rules and placement errors

The ability of mirrors to create additional space and unusual accents using the glare game is used not only in interior styles. Mirror decoration is also used at the sites, both for the purpose of visual deception, to expand the boundaries of the territory, and to decorate small architectural forms and paths. But the mirror is not cheap material, and fixing it is quite difficult. And if there are children in the family, then such a decor may not be safe at all. That's why some owners prefer mirror acrylic - a type of plastic that is much lighter and safer than regular mirrors. Let's see how convenient this material is for landscape design, and how to use it correctly on the site.

Advantages and disadvantages of mirror plastic

Polymeric materials, which include acrylic, annually expand the range of applications. If originally mirrored plastic was produced only for indoor use, today species are created that are not afraid of changes in street temperatures, bad weather and the scorching sun. At first they were used for outdoor advertising, but landscape designers quickly appreciated all the benefits of new items in comparison with conventional mirrors.

The main advantage of acrylic is its lightness and impact resistance. Such mirrors can be suspended at any point of the site without creating a solid support and not be afraid that a stone accidentally thrown by a child will smash them to smithereens. Even if the acrylic surface crack, it will not crumble into fragments, creating a traumatic situation, but will remain in place.

The image quality on mirror acrylic is slightly inferior to a conventional mirror, and this material wins in terms of safety and ease of installation

In terms of aesthetic characteristics, the polymer material differs little from an ordinary mirror, as it has a high reflectivity (over 92%). True, there is a slight degree of image distortion, but for design this factor is absolutely not important.

The color scheme is also pleasing. So, you can find on sale acrylic sheets of not only standard silver-gold shades, but also all colors of the rainbow. This allows you to use plastic in monochrome landscapes, where the owners withstand the entire design in one or more close color tones.

But I must say about the "skeleton in the closet": mirror acrylic is very easily scratched, which is why the effective appearance of the coating is lost. Therefore, when cutting and mounting, you must be very careful. Another nuance - requires personal care. Dust, raindrops, etc., reduce reflective properties. Therefore, you must constantly monitor the condition of the mirror surface, clean it with special liquid non-abrasive products.

How to use acrylic in the design of the site?

The most common place that is decorated with mirror acrylic is a fence. You can completely sheathe the inner surface of the old railing with plastic and thus hide the borders of the plot, making the space infinite. Some owners cover with plastic panels a joint fence with neighbors, the style of which does not match the design of the site (and at the same time hide themselves from prying eyes, because the coating is solid!).

Solid sheets of acrylic can be deformed over time, but thin planks glued on a flat base retain their aesthetic appearance for many years.

But most often the fence is partially decorated, creating mirror openings that mimic the path on the other side of the site. Arches that call into the distance, false windows that reflect greenery and the sky - all this creates the illusion of unlimited space, which is very much appreciated in narrow and limited territories.

It is possible to sheathe arbors, terraces with acrylic, make edging for flowerbeds and rabatok, but as a floor covering this material is absolutely unsuitable. Of the pieces of mirrors create mosaic panels on paths and parties, but with acrylic such a number will not work. Too quickly it will get scratched and lose its outer gloss. In a word, mirror plastic should be placed vertically or on the ceiling of the gazebo, but not underfoot.

You can study examples of decorating the site in more detail in the article on mirrors, but we will focus on the rules for fixing acrylic and analyze the most common errors in its placement.

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Plexiglass mounting methods

Since acrylic is an unbreakable and lightweight material, there are several options for attaching it. The simplest is for liquid nails. A plate or a cut piece is spotted on the entire back surface and fixed to a solid base. One BUT! The base should be perfectly smooth, otherwise waves and swings will be noticeable. True, this problem can be avoided if you buy a thicker sheet: not 2 mm, but 3 mm. It is tight, bends badly, which means it will not adapt to the base.

Sheets of mirror acrylic are 2 mm thin. They can easily decorate convex forms, but for fencing it is better to buy plastic thicker

If you design the site with mirrored windows, then you can take them on the U-shaped mounts equipped with rubber gaskets. Fastenings are fixed to the concrete fence with dowels, and to the tree it is possible with self-tapping screws, closing with top caps. True, it’s still better to frame the acrylic around the perimeter, since thin sheets "play" a little at temperature extremes, expanding and narrowing, and may not return to their original shape. And the frame will serve as a frame from which the mirror will not jump out.

Using p-shaped fasteners, it is convenient to fix the mirror acrylic cut in the form of squares and rectangles and framed around the perimeter with a decorative frame

It is possible to fix small sheets (1200 by 2500) with hidden fasteners in the form of plates. Usually, such a fastener is used if a monolithic mirror surface is created from several sheets placed end-to-end to each other.

Errors of placement of a mirror decor

If you are not a designer, but an ordinary summer resident, accustomed to decorating your site without the help of specialists, pay attention to the following problems that may arise when mirror fragments are not correctly placed.

Error # 1 - placing mirrors on the west side of the fence

From morning to noon they will be beaten by a bright sun. With such a high reflectivity of acrylic, all rays will become enemies of plants located next to the mirror. They simply burn out, because mirror plastic accumulates and enhances the effects of rays, like a magnifying glass. The same thing will happen with wooden surfaces: an armchair, a table, etc., which fall into the radius of reflection of acrylic sheets.

The tree will turn black, and even thin plastic can melt in the heat (for example, children's toys). And if a flowerbed or bed is covered by a spanbond nearby, then consider that your shelter will not survive the season, as it will instantly be perforated.

Error # 2 - places of bird accumulation are not taken into account

Bird mirrors are just off-site passes. And they often crash to their deaths, trying to break through the chest an invisible barrier. If you do not want to collect the corpses of sparrows and other birds every morning, do not install the mirror decor in too open a space to be visible from afar.

It is better to put in places where a meter and a half before the mirror there is a tree, a bush or some kind of sculpture, a fountain, etc. If you really like the idea of ​​open space, then you can cover the acrylic with translucent gratings, and even better - hang a scarecrow next to it or a bird of prey figure, like a raven. Small birds are afraid of predators and will gradually stop flying in that direction of the site.

If you create false windows from mirror plastic, you can cover them with natural decorative lattices for naturalness, which will save many birds

Error # 3 - placement without taking into account the angle

A mirror surface only in that case will give the desired image effect if it is placed at a certain angle, for example, by slightly bending or turning to the side. It is necessary to direct the perspective on the green spaces growing in front of the mirror window, a path or other landscape objects. When looking at acrylic it will seem that the site continues, and on the other side opens a new landscape. You can bring the angle to the sky. Then the mirror element will reflect celestial landscapes: clouds, sunsets, etc.

If you attach the frame strictly vertically, that is, there is a risk of losing the effect of continuation of the landscape, since nothing can grow in front of the mirror itself and it will have nothing to reflect. From afar, acrylic will seem like an empty frame.

Even a slight tilt of the mirror window can dramatically change the picture inside, so look for the most successful angle before installation, which creates the illusion of a continuation of the landscape

An exception is the fence, which is completely upholstered with a polymer coating. In this case, the mirror surface is so vast that it can catch and reflect most of the decor and plantings of your site.

If you are interested in mirror elements, start with acrylic. It is easier to manage with him, and if something fails, then it is easier to dismantle. Ordinary mirrors are too heavy and require experience in cutting and shaping them.

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