Mirror Shatters To Floor, Installer Shrugs

Alan and his wife awoke to a giant crash from their bathroom. Their 3.5′x5′ plate glass mirror they had professionals install 12 years ago had fallen, shattering all over the tile.

When he called up the company they had bought it from and that had installed it, using only glue and no support clips, the glass guys couldn’t care less. (According to the Glass Association of North America, if glue is used it must be approved for mirror use, and fastening devices should always be used in conjunction with the glue.
) With no apologies or expressions of concern, they said it rarely happens and Alan should have been inspecting it all this time. Perhaps humidity played a factor, they postulated. Yes, perhaps while it was in the bathroom where people shower and bathe it came into contact with moisture. Ace detective work.

Alan asked if the installer would pay for a new mirror. The company said they would pay for 10% of it.

Alan says he will soon be putting support clips on all his mirrors, including the new one for the bathroom, which he will not be purchasing from the glass company.

Comments

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  1. fdamstra says:

    Wow, 12 years ago? Yeah, I think the company’s liability is over.

    • scratchie says:

      Why? How long is a permanent fixture supposed to last? This wasn’t a banner for a yard sale they were installing, it was a bathroom mirror in a home that was presumably going to still be standing 12 years later?

      • DariusC says:

        You are defending the people for expecting something to last more than 12 years? The glue probably deteriorated over time.

        Do you expect when best buy mounts the TV on your wall that it doesn’t crash down if you dont touch it 12 years later? You need to check and maintain…

        • scratchie says:

          Um, yeah, that’s exactly what I’m doing. Maybe this is considered reasonable by the shit-ass standards of new construction today, but I’ve spent virtually my whole life living in houses that were much older than 12 years, without fixtures falling off of the walls.

          Also, in this case, the installation was clearly shoddy by any reasonable standard (i.e. using glue and nothing else in a high-moisture environment).

          Also, to WR Johnston, there’s a big difference between an appliance working and a fixture falling off the wall. I wouldn’t be surprised if my circa 1970s dishwasher broke down tomorrow, but the actual installation is still secure (i.e., it doesn’t vibrate out into the middle of the kitchen when it’s running). Get the difference?

          • trey says:

            tell that to a judge when you sue the installer and see what they say about this installation.

            12 years is completely reasonable, they should be thankful that they weren’t under it when it fell.

          • johnyg30518 says:

            There is a difference. Said appliance has an expected life span, but it is estimated. If it dies during a time frame that the manufacturer says it should still be good, that’s what the warranty is to cover. In construction, to install that same appliance, there is no guarantee beyond the initial installation. Why? Simple. Wood warps over time, the floorboards will expand and contract and move the appliance for you. Eventually it will break loose from the moorings and needs to be put back in place. Hell, if the floors are okay, how about the wiring and piping behind the appliance?

            Point being, we only heard about the glue from the OP. Nothing about drying wood (which degrades the glue’s performance) or maybe nails from the studs protruding through to push the mirror outwards to the point where the glue doesn’t support the weight. Point is, there are other factors. That’s why installers usually only have a year or 3 to guarantee any sort of installation. After that and it’s a cost of homeownership.

            • DariusC says:

              Not only that, but what about high winds, earthquakes, etc? Houses are constantly moving due to winds and seisemic activity (Sorry for the poor spelling).

          • akacrash says:

            For all anyone knows, the glue held fine for 12 years and the wall to which it was afixed fell apart.

            The installer may have not done a perfect job, but to expect them to even answer the phone for this 12 years later is absurd.

      • nova3930 says:

        Incontrovertible fact of structures is that as soon as you drive the last nail they start falling apart around you. There is no such thing as a permanent fixture that will never require maintenance and/or replacement when it comes to a home.

      • wrjohnston91283 says:

        How long is a permanent fixture supposed to last?

        Depends on the fixture. I would argue that a dishwasher is a “permanent” fixture, yet if my 11 year old dishwasher dies tonight, I’m not calling GE up and trying to get a new one.

        Unless the installer warrented that the installation would last for X number of years, I’m with the blame the OP crowd.

        • BStu78 says:

          Yeah, but if 12 years in your cabinets fell out of the wall, who would you react? I think the mirror has more in common with fixtures than appliances and you certainly would expect your fixtures to last longer than 12 years.

          • kujospam says:

            I would still blame the home owner. I just bought a house and it needs tons of repair work, all of it minor, but still annoying. Chances are the homeowner failed to do his regular maintenance on things and then stuff fails. I don’t know a single person that maintained everything they have perfectly all the time.

      • The Porkchop Express says:

        permanent fixture does not always mean “lasts forever”. Everything has a “life span”. 12 years is pretty long for anything really. I wouldn’t have been overly suprised to find out the dry wall gave out after 12 years, not that it should mind you, but everything degrades after some time.

    • Griking says:

      The mirror hung ok for 12 years before it eventually fell. 12 years. Is it really fair to say that the installers should still be liable? What other laborer warrants an installation for 10 or more years?

      • JayPhat says:

        I’ve heard of roof jobs that are warrantied for 20 years.

        • lockdog says:

          Plenty of shingles are warrantied for 20-30 years, but don’t expect to ever make a claim on it, even if the manufacturer is still in business. They’ll send a rep out and find anything from a few missed nails, large overhanging trees, or problems with the roof deck or framing that they will use to invalidate your entire claim. I’ve rarely heard of anyone getting a shingle warranty honored beyond 5 years, no matter what warranty is stamped on the package.

    • EnergyStarr says:

      oh good grief. 12 years?

    • zaku2s274 says:

      12 years? Oh please, I would be surprised if the company still had records of this customer on their system.

    • Nisun says:

      +1

    • mythago says:

      Because if you screw up an installation and get away with it long enough, you’re home free? The issue wasn’t 12 years, it was that it was installed wrong in the first place.

    • sonneillon says:

      Probably unless they didn’t follow manufacturer specifications, but even then you usually only have a couple of years. Now if they have a lifetime warranty you can sue to enforce that.

    • burgeab says:

      You can see the glue in the picture they are circular globs. The “professionals” should have used a zig-zag pattern and clips. Damn lucky it lasted the 12 years! I would make a counter offer of 50% off

      • bwcbwc says:

        SImilar story here except no where near as annoying: The mirror supported only by circular globs of glue, but it was only 1/2″ above the countertop of the bathroom sink, so when it came undone it slid down almost gracefully behind the faucet. I still haven’t bothered to glue it back up.

        There was a time when it was “the look” to have mirrors without support clips, and combined with the slight reduction in labor cost for not using clips it became pretty popular.

        I have to say that after 12 years, 10% back is in the right ballpark, if they threw in doing the cleanup work. 20% would be needed for them to keep my business though.

    • infected says:

      Agreed, 12 years later would be a big ole “Tough Shit”.

  2. womynist says:

    Luckily nobody was in the bathroom when the mirror shattered, otherwise this could be a much more grim tale…

    • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

      Yeah, I can only imagine how terrible it would have been if it crashed while somebody was getting out of the shower. They probably wont get any money but at least nobody was hurt.

    • The hand that feeds, now with more bacon says:

      That happened to my cousin when he was a child. He’s got a few scars each between 6″ and a foot in length. He’s lucky to have survived.

      An improperly mounted mirror poses a huge threat to the safety of anyone in the house.

    • Warren - aka The Piddler on the Roof says:

      Bingo. 12 years or not, this could have killed someone, cut ‘em right in half or impaled ‘em through the skull. Did the installer warn the people that the job would need to be redone properly after, say, 10 years? I doubt it.

      There’s not statute of limitations for electrical work (at least I don’t think there is), there shouldn’t be for a potentially deadly fixture like this either.

  3. semperAR says:

    …twelve years? We’re supposed to get indignant about a mirror fixture that collapsed after over a decade? I notice that aspect of the timeline is left out of this post’s title.

    • womynist says:

      I think it’s totally unprofessional that the installers only used glue with no supports on the mirror, however I’m not sure that after 12 years they should be liable for a replacement. How long is a mirror supposed to last anyway?

      • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

        Mirror? Longer than you or I will live. The adhesive they used, however, should last for less. But how much less?

        Did the company guarantee the lifespan of the adhesive? Did they provide an estimated useless lifespan?

        These are important questions.

        • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

          If the adhesive had a guarantee, I doubt it would apply to incorrect installations.

      • apd09 says:

        There is a bit of difference between this case and the case of ceiling panel that fell in the tunnel in boston and killed that woman but to me the spirit of the case is the same. In the big dig the group used a low level epoxy to secure bolts holding the concrete panel in place and ultimately the epoxy failed and the panel crushed a car and killed a woman. In this instance the installer did not even use the clips in conjunction with the glue that they already admitted was probably going to deteriorate due to the moisture in the air so they knew that eventually the glue could fail and there was no safety in place to stop the mirror from falling.

        I think that the person has a good case against them to take them to small claims court and cite the big dig case as a precedent where an item was installed incorrectly with substandard materials.

        IANAL, but I would absolutely file a case against them and try for a settlement to off set the cost of the new mirror and installation.

      • Dallas_shopper says:

        The mirror in my master bathroom was installed in 1957. It has support clips, as all wall-mounted bathroom mirrors I have ever seen do.

    • myCatCracksMeUp says:

      I think what’s wrong with the company is that they installed the mirror wrong. Mirrors aren’t supposed to be installed using only glue.

      • skylar.sutton says:

        I think what’s wrong is it was installed TWELVE FLIPPING YEARS AGO. News flash: old things go bad, consumer is liable.

        • DoubleEcho says:

          Can I install a mirror in your bathroom with only glue to hold it up? Can I also interest you in a Kevlar shower curtain?

  4. speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

    Yeah, 12 years? No case. By this time, it’s more the homeowner’s liability for failing to have support clips installed.

    • speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

      Based on another commenter’s argument on another of my comments below, I do agree the contractor still bears some liability. Probably more than ten percent, but far less than 90 percent.

    • trentblase says:

      Clips are ugly, which is probably why they were omitted in the first place (it’s not like they are expensive). Well, maybe non-ugly clips are expensive but I’m thinking of the plastic dealy-jobs.

  5. cosmic.charlie says:

    12 years… give me a break.

    Next time hire an engineer to approve the installation design. Then maybe you will have some recourse.

    Yes, I am blaming the OP.

  6. TuxthePenguin says:

    And here I thought the mirror shattered while being installed…

    NOT 12 YEARS LATER!

  7. Hrustar says:

    Sure, they should have probably used clips (in which case you don’t even need glue), but after 12 years I don’t see a reason to complain. Hell, even the best US Presidents can only hang around 8 years.

    • drizzt380 says:

      What about the one who drug us out the depression, and led us during WWII. He stuck around for 12 years. And we still wanted him for another 4.

      Then again, this mirror lasted as long as the longest lasting president.

  8. deadandy says:

    A hubcap just fell off my 72 Pinto hatchback. Anyone have the number for Ford’s complaint department?

    • Michaela says:

      My ’96 Plymouth Neon had an air vent that fell out in 2007. Could I have called Chrysler and gotten a new air system?

      • xnihilx says:

        My 01 Neon has a sqeeky/rattling noise for a few weeks that I have yet to identify. The dealership I bought it from is gone. Can I call Chrysler too? (chuckle)

      • koalabare says:

        Well, my ’90 Accord had an issue with the power seatbelt and I took it to Honda and they fixed it for free, along with a bunch of other things.

  9. NarcolepticGirl says:

    Sorry. I’m with the others. 12 years ago… They must have known what they were doing – because it lasted 12 years in a bathroom where humidity can really screw things up.

    Plus, in the last 12 years, is it possible the “Glass Association of North America” and other organizations have revised their standards? Also, is the company even part of the Association?

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      Really? You don’t think professionals would/should use adhesive that can withstand moisture when installed in a bathroom? “For life” adhesives exist, and should have been used. I’m guessing the installers cut corners.

      • meske says:

        Cmon. 12 years ago, this may have been the right thing to do. The adhesive may have been a
        “lifetime, moisture resistant” adhesive. We don’t know. And the homeowner dosen’t know unless they know exactly what was used to adhere the mirror to the wall.

        There’s a reason codes and building methods change every few years. Things get better, and long term defects are identified in past products.

        Don’t get me wrong, I’d be pissed too, but I’m sure what they did then was a common practice.

        Note to self: check all mirrors in house to make sure they are still properly fastened.

      • Ixnayer says:

        no adhesive is going to last a lifetime, exspecially in a bathroom. Go to your local auto parts store and ask an employee how many people come in for rear view mirror adhesive. It would astound you how many rear view mirrors fall off in the summer time due to the high heat and humidity (much like a bathroom). The fact that the company is willing to pay 10% is more then they have to do so be thankful.

  10. Frankz says:

    new post title:
    “12 year old mirror falls off wall, Installer from 12 years ago shrugs”.

    Ben Popkin posts useless post to Consumerist.
    Consumerist readers shrug, and wonder why Ben Popkin, Alan & wife, thinks this is newsworthy.

    • pop top says:

      Consumerist readers wonder why Frankz has to be insulting for no reason.

      • HomegrownSilky says:

        There doesn’t seem to be any insult in his post at all.

        • Magspie says:

          We’re only allowed to be mean to Phil, not Ben.

          • Conformist138 says:

            I admit, when I read the details of the post, I went right for the byline. I was so expecting it to be Phil, that Ben’s name almost looked like alien runes for a second. It made no sense. This has Phil written all over it. I suspect Dr. Farnsworth’s Mind Switcher is behind this.

  11. speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

    Oh, I get it! The consumer in this case whose cause we are supposed to be supporting is the installer, who the homeowner is trying to rip off. Right? Like someone who bought a pair of shoes six months ago to wear every day to work, and is now trying to get their money back because the strap buckle came off? Right?

    • nbs2 says:

      Or, perhaps more akin to the person who bought a pair of Doc Martens and put them on after a year, only to see gasoline leak through the sole. In both cases, there would have been no wear and tear from use (mirrors don’t wear down), but age based deterioration could exist. Even with the age, in both cases, the product, if properly assembled, should not have failed. Proper shoe assembly should have yielded petrol resistance. Proper installation should have had the mirror still hanging. If clips should have been used per industry guidelines, then the installer should make good. If not, then installer is in the right.

      Remember, latent defects are still defects.

      • speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

        OK. I see your point. Based on the facts of the case, I think we would have to find some sort of split liability.

      • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

        Mirrors may not wear down, but I beg to differ that glue does, not to mention if the wall was painted and the paint bond to the drywall may have been the failing point.

  12. masodark says:

    Gotta agree with the other posters. 12 days and it fell, sure that’s a problem. 12 weeks, yeah the company who installed it should be held accountable. 12 months, well yeah maybe sure.

    But 12 years? Give me a break. The guy is lucky the company he got it from is still in business and are willing to give him a discount on a new one. It is certainly unfortunate and lucky no one was hurt, but I fail to see why this merits outrage.

  13. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    Was there supposed to be any kind of warranty/guarantee on the work done?

  14. savvy9999 says:

    After 12 years they probably should have had the bathroom remodeled anyways. Installers did the homeowner a favor, installed a timed, self-destructing head!

    Our realtor friend is an ace at guessing a home’s age by the color of the bathroom tile. powder blue & chrome = 50s. Yellows and pinks = 60s. mirrors and gold accents = 70s. Oak and white ceramics = 80s. Fake travertine = 90s.

    • Rectilinear Propagation says:

      After 12 years they probably should have had the bathroom remodeled anyways

      …Why? It’s not like anything else in the bathroom broke, just the mirror.

      • savvy9999 says:

        but while it’s broken, why not update the faucets, lighting fixtures, towel bars, and maybe even the commode? Splash on some more modern colors….

        point being, what was in style 12 years ago is no longer the case now. I get it, some people become very accustomed to what’s in their house and see no reason to update it. Ever.

        Which is why people wonder when they go to sell it, why buyers don’t offer them top dollar for their house with 15/20/50-year outdated stuff bolted into it.

        • aloria says:

          …because that shit is really expensive?

        • JulesNoctambule says:

          I’d gladly take a sledgehammer to my three-year-old bathroom tiles and fixtures if I could replace it with some of the same era as my 1950s ranch. They may not be in fashion, but I loathe the styles that are.

    • Dallas_shopper says:

      People always guess 60s or even 70s for my 1957 pink bathroom, which is 100% original.

      No plans to pull it out and remodel, either. 12 years? Mine’s been in situ for 53 years and will probably be there as long as I own the house.

  15. rpm773 says:

    Whoa. What bad luck!

  16. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    Lots of blaming the OP and claims that 12 years is beyond a liability and that the OP should have installed clips.

    Why should the OP have installed clips? He had a professional install it. Shouldn’t the professional know what needs to be done and DO IT? That’s what you pay them for.

    Twelve years does not excuse liability if the adhesive was promised to last beyond 12 years.

    • Griking says:

      Perhaps 12 years ago it wasn’t part of the building code to include clips.

      • Wombatish says:

        “All mirrors exceeding 9 square feet installed on vertical walls shall be supported on the bottom and shall
        be securely affixed to the wall in accordance with the manufacturer’s specifications.”

        Straight out of the South Florida building code of 98-99. First decent one I found on google, but I’m sure there are other examples.

        http://www.ppines.com/fire/building/pdfs/buildingcode.pdf

        The fact is, the installer did a shoddy job and probably didn’t follow code.

        The fact also is that the statue of limitations in some states for written contracts and property damage is 10-15 years. If the OP is in one of those states, and saved his paperwork, he does have a case.

        Even if he doesn’t “have a case” the contractor did some shitty work. Since they did, and probably continue to do, shitty work, I’m not surprised they don’t care. It speaks to them more than anything.

        Yes 12 years is a long time, and probably contributed to the failure, but it’s no excuse for the original, sub-standard installation. At all.

        • Griking says:

          You quoted South Florida’s current building code. I suggested that perhaps 12 years ago it wasn’t in the code. I’m sure it’s updated from time to time.

          • SChance says:

            Read the very first page of the linked PDF – “Effective Date January 1, 1999″ – it is NOT the current code, but one in effect over a decade ago (as was mentioned in the very post to which you replied).

            Yes, with a little effort, you CAN haz reading comprehension!

    • Robofish says:

      All adhesives have a time limit from what I can tell. Besides I always double check work that a contractor does. We’ve gotten burned once or twice and had to call them to come back out and fix it. But 12 years is a bit much here.

    • Stiv says:

      “Twelve years does not excuse liability if the adhesive was promised to last beyond 12 years.”

      But was the adhesive promised to last beyond 12 years? You know, it’d sure be helpful to everyone here if we had some more details.

    • humphrmi says:

      Then what’s the limit? Shouldn’t the “professionals” have known not to install asbestos insulation in people’s attics 50 years ago? Shouldn’t the “professionals” have known not to paint houses with lead based paint 30 years ago?

      Construction and safety standards improve over the years, but they aren’t retroactive. It’s up to the homeowner to keep up with them and retrofit their houses as they see fit based on the risks.

    • IThinkThereforeIAm says:

      Or, more precisely, if the *installation* was guaranteed.

      Most homeowners (including myself) have no idea how to properly install a wall-to-wall mirror (and I don’t even care to learn it). That’s why we hire contractors whose job IS to know that.
      So it s their responsibility to install it in a way that will last.

    • NotEd says:

      Having just removed such a size mirror from a bathroom in a home built 30 years ago, I can say that it has been fairly standard to use clips or screws at least that long.
      Similar mirrors in older and newer home of family and friends also have something beside glue holding them up (as I recall) when I remembered to check them out. I had been paying attention to that because we had been planning on removing the miirror for at least a year before we did it.
      And ours had adhesive as well.

  17. Zanorfes says:

    Hey, how did the tp end up on top of the broken glass?

  18. CharlesFarley says:

    The Acme 10-Year glue lasted 2 years beyond spec. What is the complaint?

  19. TheGreySpectre says:

    12 years seems like a perfectly reasonable period of time for a mirror to remain in place, at least if it is mounted properly. All the bathroom mirrors at my parents house have been intact for over 30 years. I would expect a mirror mounting to last much longer then 12 years.

  20. italianbaby says:

    the owner should count his blessings that the mirror lasted 12 years. (with all the bath moisture from showering and all).
    i have a friend who just built a home recently. they had not moved in yet. she had a double sink mirror, over 5ft. long installed. needless to say, it came crashing down. the mirror people did replace it.
    idiot installers used glue and no clips or reinforcement. this liability did fall on the installers.
    they came and put a new mirror up and this time fastened it to the wall.

  21. NoThankYou says:

    Seriously? It was installed 12 years ago. A lot can happen to a house during that time. This is a “non item”. The homeowner needs to suck it up as the normal wear and tear of owning a home.

  22. mike says:

    I’ll jump on board here and blame the OP. After 12 years, anything could have cause the mirror to fall. If it fell maybe within 2 years, I’d understand.

    It’s difficult to prove liability.

    • bwcbwc says:

      Well, if properly installed, I would expect more like 20+, but 12 years is enough so that 10% back is reasonable compensation.

  23. ckspores says:

    I’m not sure why the owners feel they are entitled to lifetime repairs. The mirror was installed 12 years ago. At this point I think upkeep is the responsibility of the owner and not the builder. 12 years out of mirror glued to the ceiling is a pretty good amount of time.

    At what point to the owners feel they aren’t responsible? 15 years? 20 years? Never? Sounds like plain old entitlement to me.

    Thankfully no one was injured but at some point homeowners have to take responsibility for maintaining things and I’m sure if there was a heavy mirror that could shatter my skull on the ceiling I’d be checking it routinely to make sure the adhesive was secure.

    • GirlCat says:

      How would you feel if it had been a roof that was nailed on with dry-wall screws and blew off after 12 years? How the hell am I, a regular person with minimal construction knowledge, supposed to know that mirrors require clips as well as glue? I already have to be an expert in a million things I never studied in school or needed to know for my job–like medical billing and environmental toxins and taxes and law–just to avoid being screwed over or injured on a daily basis. Now I have to add general contractor to that list? The hell with that. Do your freaking job and stop shrugging it off with “You should have known.” I’m tired of having to micromanage all these “experts” just to make sure they’re doing their job right. I’m paying you to do something I can’t do/don’t know how to do myself; I’m not paying to be your supervisor.

      • NarcolepticGirl says:

        Well, if I had paperwork with a guarantee, then I would be upset.
        Otherwise, I would I wouldn’t care as much. I would clean it up and get a new one installed.

        The 20 year old banister on our stairs started to fall apart in the last place I lived. Was i supposed to find out who the contractor was, call them and demand they replace it?

        You also have to remember that this was over a decade ago. Codes change frequently throughout the year. Maybe they DID install it correctly.

      • ZJM says:

        Also if shingles were installed using drywall screws, they wouldn’t blow off…ever… and it would one hell of a day unscrewing every shingle to get it replaced. Just saying.

        • GirlCat says:

          You just proved my point–I don’t know what the hell I’m talking about when it comes to home construction, so why am I expected to know enough to supervise supposed experts. And for everyone claiming “standards may have changed in the last 12 years,” I’m pretty sure GRAVITY and HUMIDITY and their effects on CONSTRUCTION ADHESIVES haven’t changed that much. It was 1998, not the Pleistocene era.

  24. ScubaSteve says:

    Yes, it’s tough to get indignant after 12 years, but I’ll try:

    1) Someone could have been in the bathroom and if they were, they could have been hurt seriously…or even killed.

    2) They hired a professional installer and had every reason to expect a professional installation.

    3) The installers appeared to use the wrong glue. They also failed to use clips, which are apparently a professional standard in their industry.

    4) The homeowner paid for professionals to do the job, so it shouldn’t have been their responsibility to do the research and realize that they needed clips.

    If your roof collapsed after 12 years due to the original builder’s failure to follow building code, would you be posting “12 years, give me a break!” now?

    • ScubaSteve says:

      BTW, I agree, the headline is very misleading. I expected the installer to be standing in the bathroom.

    • NarcolepticGirl says:

      Numbers 2-4 – This was over a decade ago. The standards may have changed about a dozen times since then.

      • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

        “The standards may have changed about a dozen times since then.”

        It probably depends on the jurisdiction but when we installed a bathroom mirror ~20 years ago during a renovation, we had to use clips AND adhesive for the inspector to sign off on it. The manufacturer’s instructions called for the same thing. I remember it well since it was a huge pain to do correctly.

        Contractors (of all types) like to cut corners to save money because they know it may take many years for problems to surface.

      • Brunette Bookworm says:

        That’s what I was thinking. Yeah, you expect a mirror to stay up but what were the installation recommendations 12 years ago when this was put in? If they didn’t follow those then maybe I can see the homeowner deserving some kind of compensation. If the recommendations at that time were followed then be thankful no one was hurt and than recommendations are better now.

      • scratchie says:

        The standards for how to hang a fucking mirror have not changed in the last 12 years.

    • GirlCat says:

      Dude, you stole my roof analogy–and outrage! Of course, I hit Submit after you, so I can’t prove it. Maybe I can sue you for emotional damages?

    • Doubts42 says:

      There is a huge difference between a building code and a guideline from a private organization.
      “According to the Glass Association”. Anyone can create an association. I could create “the American Internet Comment poster Association”, then i could issue a guideline that all comments should be in comic sans.

  25. DrGirlfriend says:

    12 years is a long time and I’m not so sure about asking them to pay for a new mirror. However, a lot of bathroom mirrors last way longer than that without falling to the ground and shattering in a thousand very sharp, very dangerous pieces. I don’t think most people expect that, after some time, their mirrors will just fall off the wall. Nor would I think that professional installers want it getting around that they consider this sort of dangerous situation normal on one of their jobs.

    The installers definitely didn’t do a thorough job. It’s hard to say how liable, legally, they are 12 years laterater, because we don’t know what and if they guarantee. I think that the OP was right to call them because at the very least this informs the installers that they should be using clips and not just glue in a high-humidity environment. I mean, that seems like something professionals would know?

  26. woolygator says:

    12 years are you kidding me. Grow up and get a new one.

  27. smo0 says:

    Dude…. take the 10%… it’s a “my bad” for not using supports….

    move on…

    • 99 1/2 Days says:

      Why is it “my bad” when it’s the contractor that didn’t use the supports? Why was the OP expected to do part of the job himself?

  28. Rocket says:

    12 years. Anyway, sh*t happens. It broke, get a new one.

  29. Admiral_John says:

    I read the headline and thought a contractor in the house installed it.

    But to put it in perspective, my son is now in college. A mirror that was installed when he was in FIRST GRADE fell off of the wall and shattered. And the OP seriously wants the company to do something about it? Hell, they were being generous in offering to pay him 10% of a new mirror; most companies would (righteously so) have told the OP to jump off a cliff.

    Seriously, people, sometimes things break and sometimes it’s not the company’s fault.

  30. LightningUsagi says:

    I’d be interested in seeing pictures of the wall it fell off of. It could be that it was not the glue that wore out, but what it was adhered to.

    Also I’ve lived in plenty of places where mirrors were hung without supports, so I’m not sure when this ‘rule’ was put into play.

  31. Doubts42 says:

    Even if the company is completely in the wrong, and the guidelines for the clips and adhesives were identical 12 years ago the company still should not pay. They have no way of tracking how that mirror was maintained or treated in the 12 years. Who is to say that the original contractor didn’t use both clips and glue. % years later the OP decides to repaint the bathroom and goes to take the mirror down. once he has removed the clips he sees that there is also an adhesive and decides to keep it up. he never replaces the clips and 7 years later the glue gives out. It would be nice to be able to trust the OP, but it isn’t feasible.

  32. Buckus says:

    12 years? Are you kidding me? Myabe 12 days and I’d get indignant. 12 years is expected life span of the adhesive, especially considering the environment. And, yeah, if they didn’t install it with clips, which probably cost 50 cents each, that’s a little cheap. But that was 12 years ago. They’ve had plenty of time to inspect it and make sure it wasn’t a safety hazard since then.

  33. segfault, registered cat offender says:

    I think you can use a chrome rail around the edges of the mirror instead of the plastic clips that you see everywhere (I think those are unsightly).

  34. esp13 has a pony named Steve says:

    You can clearly see where the glue is still attached in huge globs to the pieces of mirror with what appears to be the brown paper from the drywall. Who’s to blame? Who knows, but 12 years is a long time. I would never had thought to call the installer or the Glass Assoc of America…

  35. tz says:

    And if it had support clips that also worked loose?

    12 years of good luck, now 7 years of bad.

    Mirror, mirror on the floor, shattered cause the glue was poor.

    Though it looks like the glue held – to the mirror. The wall seems to be the culprit.

  36. OnePumpChump says:

    Name the company. The piss will never come out of the pool.

  37. dolemite says:

    I’m pretty amazed at 12 years if it was glue only. You’ve got to imagine…a bathroom goes from hot to cold and back and forth several times a day. Steamy shower, then cooldown, another shower…cooldown. Pretty good.

    This reminds me of the old lady that called my dad because some of the posts he installed to make her deck split slightly after several years. Which is absolutely normal for something that is exposed to the sun on a daily basis.

  38. kylere1 says:

    I want to be able to sue over entropy!

  39. oldwiz65 says:

    I had a friend in Florida who had a new house built in an expensive senior citizen community, and when she first put her dishes in the over counter cabinets the entire row of cabinets came off the wall and crashed to the floor, destroying all the dishes. The builder said it was the owners fault for putting in heavy dishes.

  40. MrMagoo is usually sarcastic says:

    Wear & tear – clean it up, buy a new mirror, and go on. Sometimes bad things happen, and nobody is too blame. I can’t think of anything off the top of my head which has a 12 year warranty on installation. Looking at the size of the glue blobs in the picture, it looks like more than one must have failed, and I would bet that the mirror has been loose for some time, with one corner or side gapping away from the wall.

    (OP: I would recommend throwing away that roll of toilet paper on the floor. Glass slivers are no fun!)

    The OP acts like being offered a mirror 10% is insulting. I think the company is being generous, or maybe the company is mirrorly trying to get a little extra business.

    Unfortunately this post mirrors many I’ve seen recently on the consumerist: “xxxx happened, and I’m inconvenienced! Please commiserate with me!”

  41. holden190 says:

    Slow news day, Ben? C’mon, this item is worthless.

    Me thinks you know this couple.

  42. Dallas_shopper says:

    Over 12 years it should have dawned on him that other peoples’ bathroom mirrors have clips and his doesn’t.

    After 12 years I wouldn’t even offer him 10% off; the installation may have been improper but he should have said something years ago. I’m no expert but I try to get familiarized with at least the basics of what I’m getting someone to do and I watch them while they do it. Not breathing down their neck, but I do watch. And I sometimes question them about their materials or techniques. I’m not trying to be assy or difficult, I just want to make sure it’s being done right.

  43. plumbob says:

    Suck it up complainy pants

  44. TVGenius says:

    Yeah, it happens. My parents fell off the wall, but by some incredible stroke of luck dropped two inches, landed on the formica lip of the backsplash, and stayed there, leaned against the wall, without so much as a chip or crack in it.

    • MrMagoo is usually sarcastic says:

      What were your parents doing on the wall? And why would a two inch fall hurt anyone anyway?

  45. lchen says:

    After 12 years of something being installed, having it fall off your walls and possibly severely injuring you is reasonable? That’s insane and indefensible.

  46. dg says:

    12 yrs? Wow. Sounds like the surface of the drywall weakened from the weight of the mirror, and because there were no support clips to hold it, gravity overtook the sheer strength of the drywall surface, the mirror tore, and crashed to the ground… Time to sue:

    * G-d – For creating gravity

    * Drywall mfr – for not warning against affixing a heavy mirror to a wall w/o support clips. And for not making drywall which could stand up to more than 11.9 years of humidity

    * Mirror mfr for not using shatterproof glass or support clips

    * Tile mfr for being too stiff and unforgiving when things fall on it. If it’d been designed and padded properly, the mirror might have bounced and not broken…

    Seriously folks – this is a non-story. These people are clueless and have been living dangerously for over a decade. MAYBE, if something had happened within a few months of installation the installer would have some liability – but 12 yrs later? I’d say “Who are you again? Sorry, we don’t have any records going back that far… Want a new mirror?”

    Crazy…

  47. brianisthegreatest says:

    Seriously? This is upsetting that they can’t get a new mirror for free? It has been fine for 12 years. If the owner noticed no clips were used, they should probably have done something about it. If they asked for them to be left out of the installation for the sake of looks, then it’s really his own fault.

  48. donovanr says:

    I agree. Something like this should stay up for hundreds of years. It’s not like a roof or a lightbulb that is expected to wear out. Even narcissism won’t shorten the lifetime of a mirror. I would be equally upset if a ceiling just fell in and it turned out to have been put up with glue instead of screws as any halfwit would use.

    And as for the car analogy if something wears out boo hoo but if it were negligently built then they have to fix it. Even 12 year old cars get recalls.

    The obvious route here is to keep naming and shaming until they cry uncle. I suspect it will be easy to get to the top of the google searches for this company’s name.

  49. There's room to move as a fry cook says:

    First of all…. kudos to the homeowner for keeping records for 12 years!

    They could go to court but would have to prove that the mirror fell because of poor workmanship, there were no contributing factors (mold, children, renovations….) and that they had not asked for no clips.

  50. psm321 says:

    Legally, I doubt they have any liability (though IANAL). Morally, I think it depends a lot on whether another professional 12 years ago would have considered that installation shoddy (being shoddy by today’s standards doesn’t necessarily mean it was considered bad back then). Also, whether the customer requested a clip-less installation and was warned of any risks. If the glue was supposed to stand up to bathroom conditions without clips, then perhaps the glue manufacturer is at fault and should be liable.

  51. Warren - aka The Piddler on the Roof says:

    Man drives truck through mirror installer’s living room, shrugs.

  52. vastrightwing says:

    Normally you’d get seven years bad luck, I can get you five.

  53. I just blue myself says:

    I’m just glad nobody was hurt.

  54. lehmann says:

    I am a glass installer (glazier) it looks like they used construction adhesive. the right mirror glue is black. secondly its never a good idea to put glass on a ceiling. it been done but it will always fall sonner or later. even if the glue had held the paper on the drywall wont hold forever.

  55. Holybalheadedchrist! says:

    Who puts these in bathrooms? I thought the bedroom was where these belonged? (insert lots of eyebrow waggling)

  56. jaredwilliams says:

    come on man…this guy is a loser if he expects anything after 12 years, 10% is more than gracious. Whether with or without clips 12 years is a long time.

  57. FrugalFreak says:

    12 years you CALLED??? do you think everything comes with lifetime warranty?

  58. Santas Little Helper says:

    Yawn. This is a lame article.

  59. AustinTXProgrammer says:

    12 years is a long time, but if they negligently installed the mirror in a dangerous manner their liability doesn’t just expire.

    • 99 1/2 Days says:

      Sure it does! Apparently, mirrors are falling off walls all the time in the other posters’ houses. Just comes with the territory.

  60. Sardis says:

    So what is the written warranty period on the labor?

  61. shadowboxer524 says:

    I guess I’m in the minority here, but I side with the OP. I think the thing to remember about this is expectation. With appliances, cars, etc, there’s an expectation of maintenance and that there’s a limited lifetime for those things. A car lasts about a decade before it’s in the best interest of the owner to get a new one.

    I think mirrors are different. NO ONE expects for their mirror to come crashing down off the wall. Why? Because it doesn’t happen that often! Obviously, most contractors do this the right way. Otherwise, there’d be more cases of falling mirrors, and people would be saying, “I’d better replace my 12 year old mirror. I just know it’s going to fall soon.”

    I think that it happened 12 years ago is immaterial. I don’t necessarily think that 100 years is reasonable, but 12 definitely is. The mirror in my parents’ house has been there for at least 40 years. It’s not like the OP’s mirror was installed 70 years ago.

    Again, I think this is about expectation. It’s a reasonable expectation that a mirror installed today will still be on the wall 12 years from now.

  62. sopmodm14 says:

    if they screwed up the install, they should be responsible for damages

    however, equipment and parts do fail from time to time, and the fact that its been there for over a decade with no other problems could just mean tough luck for him

    all warrantied work expires sometime

  63. slimeburg says:

    This reminds me of the people on ripoff report who buy a 12 year old car with 500,000 miles on it and then think they have been really done wrong when after 6 months it needs repairs. 12 years ago I was in much better shape than I am today – who should I blame?

  64. meg99 says:

    It was up for 12 years. How could they expect a company to fix it for free?

  65. KyBash says:

    Why has no one considered that the homeowner may have a far more serious problem?

    Mastic alone is a poor installation because it cannot accommodate changes — settling can seriously warp a wall. Clips would still support the mirror because each one moves independently, but the mastic would be trying to hold a rigid plane against a moving one and is bound to fail.

    Don’t be surprised if a few years from now the homeowner begins screaming because of cracks in the walls or ceilings.

  66. lockdog says:

    Okay, most mirror and glass manufacturers recommend you use clips or some other support for mirrors, but it’s far from universally done unless you are ion a jurisdiction where the building inspectors require it. I’d say few than 5% of the homes I’ve been in with the large mirrors that were really popular about 10 years ago are supported by clips. In many instances just the fact that the mirror is supported by the backsplash on the sink is considered enough. It’s often the case that what the manufacturer suggests is completely overridden by what the designer demands. Mirror clips tend to either be there really ugly plastic things or small pieces of steel channel that would have started to rust after 10-12 years anyways.

    The only thing I do see in the picture is that they used nowhere near enough adhesive, just puddled it on instead of using a notched trowel(a common shortcut), and while I can’t say for sure but it looks like liquid nails and not mirror mastic was used…definitely a big no no.

  67. radio1 says:

    Their bathroom looks a lot newer than 12 years old.

    Feces occurs. This is a novel problem and may even be something for small claims court. But seriously, who would have the time for 12 year old install?

    If I was the OP, I would have counter-offered a free install if I purchased the replacement from them… That would seem reasonable.

  68. Sam Rabin says:

    This happened in the main upstairs bathroom at my house. My brother was alone in the house, in his room near the bathroom, when it happened. It scared the crap out of him and he locked his door and cowered in his room for two hours, holding a giant Mag-Light like some kind of weapon. Obviously not funny… Except to an older brother.

    Didn’t think to blame the company that installed it twenty years before.

  69. nacoran says:

    What would the statute of limitations for a lawsuit have been if fell on someone?

  70. george69 says:

    it was 12 years ago !!!!

    I would not have offered them the 10%

  71. biloxiboxer says:

    the installer did not perform his job in a workmanlike manner, probably did not follow building or safety code, and, regardless of how long it’s been, that does not change the fact he did not do his job properly and that the mirror broke as a result, it would not have broken otherwise and the direct cause was the installer’s poor installation work, with clips, it does not fall

  72. JonBoy470 says:

    I’m surprised the original contractor was still in business, and gave the OP the time of day…

  73. soj4life says:

    12 years? let me sue the builder of my condo of 20 years and 5 owners ago for the titles in my kitchen for being crappy.

  74. fredmertz says:

    A new high water mark in mundanity?

  75. StevePierce says:

    How stupid is this that they are complaining about work done 12 years ago, surprised the company is still in business. This isn’t the businesses fault, the homeowner should call their property insurance company if they want someone else to pay for the mirror. Just remember, their rates will then go up, oh and there is a deductible.

    After all that the offer of 10% from the company may actually be cheaper than filing an insurance claim.

  76. Ryan L says:

    I really can’t side with the customer on this one… 12 years is just far too long to hold a company liable for something like this.

    It seems that the owner was also aware that the mirror was installed using only glue, and no clips. If that was the case, why wouldn’t he have just installed the clips himself at some point during those 12 years?

  77. Stuph says:

    Seriously…12 years ago? Come on Consumerist, how does this rate notice? You damage your collective credibility posting stuff like this.

  78. borgia says:

    I agree the the note about humidity. I have known lots of people who never use the bathroom fan when in the shower. That builds up a lot more humidity than a lot of fixtures are meant to handle and will damage the bathroom. As a side note 10% is a reasonable offer. The home owner has received 12 years of value out of this mirror.

  79. crazydavythe1st says:

    I can’t believe I’m actually taking the op’s side with everything that has been posted here lately, but if you install something incorrectly and because of that it fails, you’re liable regardless of the amount of time that has passed. If you know anything about this stuff, you’ll know that it is a freakin’ miracle that it lasted twelve years just being glued to the wall. This guy probably paid a decent amount of money for them to install it too, and they just ended up using a quarters worth of glue. Completely unacceptable.

  80. CapZap says:

    Pay for 10%? After 12 years, I’d expect no rebate and wouldn’t even contact the installer. If you don’t regularly inspect your own home, you shouldn’t own one. What happened to make us all expect someone else to take responsibility for our own mistakes? This country used to value self reliance.

  81. Patriot says:

    I thought for sure that the installer dropped the mirror while installing it and then refused to pay for it. However, what really happens is the OP wants us to be sad that the mirror broke after 12 years and he even states that it didn’t have support clips, meaning he knew it should have and was too lazy to put any support clips on himself.