Medicine cabinets have developed a lot over the years, and they aren’t just for medication anymore. In today’s modern home, they function as a store all and catchall for all bathroom necessities. Plus, with a central location, they can act as the primary mirror for the room. Despite their increased value and flexible functionality, medicine cabinets are often pushed further down on the home renovation list.
If you’re looking at your medicine cabinet thinking it’s finally time for an update, keep reading because we have great tips on how to replace a medicine cabinet.
1. Choose the Right Medicine Cabinet for Your Home
When considering an upgrade, it’s important to choose the right medicine cabinet that suits the function of your bathroom space while complementing your home’s design. You’ll need to consider the type of medicine cabinet you want and what style works best in your existing space.
Types of Medicine Cabinets
Most medicine cabinets are either surface-mounted, meaning they are screwed to the wall, or recessed into the wall. Surface-mounted medicine cabinets may have a simpler installation, while recessed medicine cabinets take up less space. There are two types of recessed cabinets available — framed or frameless:
- Framed medicine cabinets: Framed cabinets use a wood frame, which overhangs the box insert. This overhang is there to cover the rough edges of the opening in the drywall. However, this means that you will have a frame and door on the outside of the wall surface, which can mean up to 1.5 inches of projection. On the flip side, you’ll gain the extra space of the wood frame inside for even deeper depth.
- Frameless medicine cabinets: Frameless cabinets exchange the thick wood frame for a very thin material, such as a plastic trim surround. This still covers the rough edges, but allows for the door to sit as flush against the wall as possible. The only downside to frameless cabinets is that you only get the depth of the box insert itself. Either one will be very easy to install since they typically screw to the studs on each side. However, installation can also be as simple as using construction adhesive on the back of that frame overhang, and then pushing the unit into the wall.
Style and Finish
Another important consideration is how the style and finish of your new medicine cabinet complement your bathroom space. If you’re conducting a full remodel, consider the new paint colors, tile, countertops and fixtures you are planning on when selecting a medicine cabinet. You want your medicine cabinet to stand out for its quality and functionality rather than how it clashes with the room’s design.
If you opt for cooler tones in the bathroom, such as a light blue wall and gray granite countertop, a white medicine cabinet with silver hardware will work best. If your bathroom will have natural tones like greens, go with a pine or maple wood medicine cabinet.
2. Remove Your Original Medicine Cabinet
To remove an old medicine cabinet, you’ll need sturdy gloves, safety glasses, a screwdriver and a utility knife. If you are removing a recessed medicine cabinet, it’s a good idea to turn off the circuit breaker before you begin as a precaution.
Before you remove the cabinet, you will want to prep the area by plugging the drain and lining the sink and floors with a plastic tarp or old sheet. Remove the screws that hold the cabinet sides to the frame, and pull it away from the wall. Depending on the age of the cabinet and screws, you may need to use a utility knife to cut the caulk between the drywall and the cabinet frame.
Fixtures vary, but most have screws inside which will attach to the studs on either side of the stud bay. Loosen the screws and the cabinet will pull right out of the wall.
What to Do With an Old Medicine Cabinet
Before you throw out your old medicine cabinet, consider these options:
- Reuse it: If you have another room in the house that could use extra storage space, you can move the medicine cabinet there to get more use from it.
- Repurpose it: A medicine cabinet doesn’t have to store medicine — you can repurpose your old medicine cabinet as a spice rack for your kitchen or a handy storage nook in a closet or garage workshop.
- Donate it: If your old medicine cabinet is in good condition, consider donating it to a local charity organization. Nonprofits like Habitat for Humanity often accept furniture and building material donations and may even come pick them up for you.
3. Mount Your New Cabinet
Once the old cabinet is removed, you can prepare to mount your new one. The size of the new medicine cabinet should be your first consideration, as it will influence many other steps in the process.
Aim for a new cabinet that is the same size or slightly larger than the older one. A recessed cabinet the same size as the old one can be slipped into the existing rough opening and anchored to a stud. If you choose a slightly larger one, you may need to adjust the drywall opening. A new surface-mounted cabinet can be mounted directly on the wall, but it needs to be anchored by at least one stud or with drywall anchors.
For larger recessed and surface-mounted cabinets, it’s a good idea to have a second pair of hands to help lift the cabinet and hold it steady for screwing and measuring. If your home has wires and plumbing on the inside of the walls, it’s best to hang surface-mount cabinets.
Choose WG Wood Products for a Beautiful Bathroom
Finding the perfect medicine cabinet style that fits your needs, as well as the style of the home, is not an easy task. From basic shaker cabinet designs to more antique finishes, our handcrafted medicine cabinets at WG Wood Products are uniquely affordable and offer plenty of variety.
One of our latest innovations is our sliding door cabinets that can be made to go in the wall or on the wall. These cabinets are perfect for places where you would like a cabinet but don’t have the space to open a swinging door.
We offer an unmatched selection, and all of our cabinets are constructed from solid wood, so you know you’re getting the best quality. Request a quote on a custom medicine cabinet for your bathroom, visit us online or contact us with questions at 913-829-6000.