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, it can act as the primary mirror for the room. Despite its 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 you can easily replace an old medicine cabinet.
Step 1: Select the Type of Medicine Cabinet Fit for Your Home
Most medicine cabinets are either surface- mounted (screwed to the wall) or recessed (inset into the wall). If you’re installing a new cabinet, it’s important to choose one that’s less than 30 inches wide to avoid cutting more than one stud. To gain more shelf space, pick one that’s taller rather than wider. There are two types of recessed cabinets available – framed or frameless. Framed cabinets use a wood frame which will overhang 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” of projection. On the flip side, you’ll gain the extra space of the wood frame inside for even deeper depth. Frameless cabinets exchange the thick wood frame for a very thin material such as a plastic trim surround. This still cover 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.
Step 2: Remove Old Materials
Before you make holes in the wall, prep the area by plugging the drain and lining the sink and floors. Remove the screws that hold the cabinet sides to the frame and pull the old medicine cabinet free from the wall. Depending on the age of the cabinet and screws, you may need to cut through caulk between the drywall and the cabinet frame with a utility knife. If this is the case, turn off the circuit breaker before you begin.
Fixtures vary, but most have screws inside which will attach it to the studs on either side of the stud bay. Loosen the screws and the cabinet will pull right out of the wall.
Step 3: Mount and Insert the New Cabinet
A new cabinet should be the same size, if not slightly larger than the older one. An inside-mounted cabinet the same size as the old one can be slipped into the existing rough opening and anchored to a stud. However, a new cabinet that is a surface mount, can be mounted directly on wall, but needs to be anchored by at least one stud or use drywall anchors to screw it into.
If new inside-mount cabinet is larger than old one, a second person is required to help hold it in place and outline it on wall. If your home has wires and plumbing on the inside of the walls, its best to hang surface mount cabinets. Out of 2×4 boards, cut horizontal and vertical framing for new opening and nail horizontals at the top and bottom to studs.
Freshen Up Your Bathroom with WG Wood Products
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. For more information on our products, visit us online or contact us with questions at 913-829-6000.