I used white stained glass here because of the white walls and ceiling.

My Nether Portal Room, complete with a reflective glass floor.

First of all, a needless confession: I didn’t invent the technique that follows. I first encountered this idea on Pinterest (here). But like I said, the confession was needless, because does anyone really think reflective floors were waiting around for me to invent them over seven years after the game was first made public? Of course not. That would give me some pretty good nerd cred. But if you are looking for nerd cred I can tell you I don’t have any, but what I do have are a very particular set of screenshots and writing skills, skills I have acquired by writing a lot of term papers, skills that make me amusing and perhaps bit useful for people like you. If you click away now, that’ll be the end of it. I will not look for you, I will not pursue you. But if you don’t, I will look for you, I will find you, and I will teach you how to make a reflective floor in Minecraft.

Now a second confession: these floors don’t really reflect. It’s all smoke and mirrors. Without the mirrors. And actually without the smoke, too. So I guess it’s all and. Yeah. These floors are all and.

Essentially, to make a reflective floor, you need to build a flipped version of a room below it. It isn’t hard, but there are some things to consider, and I’ll share with you some things I’ve discovered make the effect more convincing. But first, let’s look at building a reflective floor step-by-step.

Step 1: Dig out your area, or make the frame

You can build these as big or as small as you like. I find, though, that medium sized rooms just look best. So the frame that I have built in the pictures below is 13x13x14. This produces an interior area of 11x11x12. That means that my room-to-be-reflected-in-a-shiny-floor will be 6 blocks high.

This frame will contain both the room and its "mirror" version below. This frame is made from coal blocks. It is 13x13x14. The height needs to be an even number.

This frame will contain both the room and its “mirror” version below. This frame is made from coal blocks. It is 13x13x14. The height needs to be an even number.

What I actually did is build a 13x13x7 frame and then doubled it. So you can see that the middle band of coal blocks is two blocks high. I use this to figure out where to put the floor.

The height of the frame is even. This is very important.

The height of the frame is even. This is very important.

It is important that your total work area have an even height rather than an odd one. Why? Mathematics and stuff. In the real world, a reflective surface is a flat plane sitting between two “areas” – the real world and the reflected world. In Minecraft, our “reflective surface” is actually one block thick – stained glass, to be specific (I’ve seen this done with ice blocks, but I personally like the effect of stained glass). That block must actually occupy a part of the “reflected” space. An odd number of blocks in our vertical dimension would mean that our reflective surface would have to sit in the middle of the blocks in the vertical center, which is impossible in Minecraft. If that doesn’t make sense to you, go ahead and try it. You’ll eventually see what I’m talking about.

This is why the height must be even: the "mirror" occupies the first reflected y-level rather than the plane between reality and the reflection.

This is why the height must be even: the “mirror” occupies the first reflected y-level rather than the plane between reality and the reflection.

Step 2: Lay out your floor and fill in your upper walls.

Now we build our room and lay out the reflective surface. In this project I started off with white stained glass. It looks fine, but I have discovered that the floor really starts looking sharp when you match the color of the glass to the walls and ceiling. Below you’ll see that I changed it to black stained glass, and it was a good change. In my Nether Portal room (first picture above, and see below) the walls and ceiling are white, so I used white stained glass.

I used white stained glass to start with.

I used white stained glass to start with.

Notice that the glass is even with the bottom row of the doubled band of coal blocks, meaning it is at y-level 7 out of the 14 block high frame.

Next I fill in the walls with just a little detail. We’ll add more details later.

Walls filled in above. Here I've used coal blocks and Sea Lanterns. Notice that the bottom Sea Lanterns are one block above the floor.

Walls filled in above. Here I’ve used coal blocks and Sea Lanterns. Notice that the bottom Sea Lanterns are one block above the floor.

Step 3: Reflect the walls

When you go to make the walls of the “reflection” remember that your reflective surface occupies a block, so you’ll actually put details one block closer to the glass.

The reflected room has to start a block closer to the glass, since the "mirror" occupies a full block height.

The reflected room has to start a block closer to the glass, since the “mirror” occupies a full block height.

Placing the bottom room one block closer to the glass blocks produces just the right effect.

Placing the bottom room one block closer to the glass blocks produces just the right effect.

I swapped out the white reflective glass for black reflective glass, since my walls were dark. Either one works pretty well, but I find that black doesn't work as well with lighter colored walls.

I swapped out the white reflective glass for black reflective glass, since my walls were dark. Either one works pretty well, but I find that black doesn’t work as well with lighter colored walls.

Step 4: Add details

Now that we have the basic room built, we need more details. The more details you have, the more convincing the illusion of reflection is. The first thing I did here was add some crown moulding in the form of upside down nether quartz stairs.

Now we add details. Details are important for increasing the effectiveness of the illusion.

Now we add details. Details are important for increasing the effectiveness of the illusion.

The crown moulding in the room above must be matched by steps in the bottom room.

The crown moulding in the room above must be matched by steps in the bottom room.

See? The details help the illusion.

See? The details help the illusion.

We need a way into the room. So let’s add a door.

Doors are a great detail to add, but you cannot add the door right on the floor. It would have to sit on another door, and Minecraft won't allow that.

Doors are a great detail to add, but you cannot add the door right on the floor. It would have to sit on another door, and Minecraft won’t allow that.

Doors must be placed one block above the glass floor. Make sure your two doors are facing the same direction.

Doors must be placed one block above the glass floor. Make sure your two doors are facing the same direction.

Of course, you'll need some steps to get up to the door.

Of course, you’ll need some steps to get up to the door.

To reflect something that sits directly on the floor, you have to replace the glass block of the floor with the block itself.

To reflect something that sits directly on the floor, you have to replace the glass block of the floor with the block itself.

The steps are now reflected.

The steps are now reflected.

Next, let’s add a focal point for this room. How about a 3×3 pool of water?

More details! Now we'll add a little 3x3 pool.

More details! Now we’ll add a little 3×3 pool.

I will replace the 3x3 area of the floor of the pool with more nether quartz. This won't be visible from above.

I will replace the 3×3 area of the floor of the pool with more nether quartz. This won’t be visible from above.

The pool looks like this from above.

The pool looks like this from above.

Now to reflect the edge of the pool by replacing the glass with the reflected blocks.

Now to reflect the edge of the pool by replacing the glass with the reflected blocks.

The pool from below.

The pool from below.

The pool from above, with its reflection creating a perfect illusion.

The pool from above, with its reflection creating a perfect illusion.

Another look at the pool, the crown moulding, the door, and the step up to the door.

Another look at the pool, the crown moulding, the door, and the step up to the door.

Finally, I added one final detail: a Sea Lantern chandelier.

One more detail: a Sea Lantern chandelier.

One more detail: a Sea Lantern chandelier.

My Portal Room

Like I said, you might want to change the color glass to match the walls and ceiling. Here are some pics of a room I built in survival to house my Nether Portal.

I used white stained glass here because of the white walls and ceiling.

I used white stained glass here because of the white walls and ceiling.

At the moment I am using purple stained glass panes in the reflected portal. This is because I kept coming back to the overworld in the reflected room rather than the original room. I'll fix this and then activate the portal below.

At the moment I am using purple stained glass panes in the reflected portal. This is because I kept coming back to the overworld in the reflected room rather than the original room. I’ll fix this and then activate the portal below.

Looking back at the entrance.

Looking back at the entrance.

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