Installing a medicine cabinet is all about the details. It may seem complicated at first, but there are some easy tricks to help you know how to install your medicine cabinet in relation to the other parts of your bathroom.
Standard Medicine Cabinet Dimensions
Although there is no set size or universal standard for medicine cabinet dimensions, many are in the 15-by-30-inch range, sometimes smaller or larger.
An accurate medicine cabinet measurement comes from removing the cabinet door and unscrewing the cabinet from the framing. You should then measure the height, width and depth of the cabinet’s cavity.
Though there are typical medicine cabinet dimensions, that doesn’t mean you have to force something that doesn’t fit into the space you have. Every bathroom is different, and you have options to help you customize a cabinet to fit your needs.
How Do You Measure a Medicine Cabinet?
There are two main types of medicine cabinets to choose from. You can select a surface mount medicine cabinet or a recessed cabinet.
Surface Mount Medicine Cabinet
A surface mount medicine cabinet is a great way to save space in your bathroom while providing the storage you need. The wall-mounted option comes in a variety of eye-catching designs and is built with solid wood, making them a durable and stylish option.
Surface mount cabinets have internal shelving and a door that is easy to open. They attach directly to the wall and come out into the room, requiring little planning to install.
Recessed Medicine Cabinets
A recessed cabinet can be more aesthetically pleasing than a surface mount cabinet because it is built into the wall, jutting out less than a surface mount. They often come in more variety because there are fewer design limitations based on placement. They can be a great choice for compact rooms.
However, they are much more labor-intensive when installing and often require outside hires, which increases their cost. It also could be harder to see your reflection in them, depending on the size of your vanity, since they are the same distance away as the wall.
You can also purchase dual-mount medicine cabinets to use as either a surface mount or recessed cabinet if you are unsure which will work best when you are purchasing.
Other Considerations When Replacing an Old Cabinet
There are some other considerations to keep in mind when installing a medicine cabinet:
- Wall: You should install a surface mount medicine cabinet if your wall is flat so you know you have properly secured it to the wall studs.
- Wall studs: For both recessed and partially recessed cabinets, it is important to know where the wall studs are and remove studs if necessary. This should be one of the first steps you take in the process, so you do not get too far in and get stuck because of the wall studs’ locations.
- Mirror: If you decide you want a mirror, consider which direction it will swing out and if there will be two doors. You can even add heated mirrors that allow you to see yourself through steam.
- Dominant hand: The medicine cabinet door should swing out the way that will be most natural for you based on which hand is your dominant hand.
- Replacing: If you are replacing your medicine cabinet, be aware that you can upsize. You just need to fill the holes with insulation and replace the wall studs and drywall.
Measuring the Space for Your Medicine Cabinet
Choosing the medicine cabinet size that is right for you requires busting out your tape measure and getting to work measuring your bathroom’s current state:
- Width: Determine the width of your medicine cabinet by measuring your vanity. Your medicine cabinet should be the same width or narrower.
- Height: Measure the distance between your lights and the faucet. There should be a decent amount of space between the fixtures and the ends of your medicine cabinet. Your medicine cabinet should be a few feet above the top of the toilet.
- Depth: The depth you choose for your medicine cabinet is ultimately up to you and how much storage you are looking to have. You should also think about how much you are willing for your medicine cabinet to extend from the wall if you are looking into a surface mount cabinet.
When you’re measuring the medicine cabinet itself, remove the door and unscrew the cabinet from the frame. Know which way your cabinet door will swing and if it could be hindered by anything.
Replacing Your Medicine Cabinet
You can update your medicine cabinet without replacing it. Taking steps such as removing the old light, building up the box, adding crown molding to the top, installing new lighting and painting the cabinet can give it a refresh that saves you money. If you choose to replace your medicine cabinet completely, there is a certain set of steps to follow:
- Remove the existing cabinet: The first step in the process is to remove the current cabinet by removing the screws that are likely located on both sides of the cabinet’s interior.
- Measure the rough opening: The existing cabinet will leave a lot of unfinished plaster and drywall exposed. This is called a rough opening, which you should measure to determine the maximum size of the new cabinet.
- Adjust the opening: If the opening is larger or smaller than the new cabinet you are looking to install, you will need to adjust the size to accommodate for the new cabinet by adding strips of lumber or plywood or removing wall studs that are in the way.
Contact WG Wood Products for Custom Design Options
With WG Wood Products’ custom design options, free shipping and American-made products, your medicine cabinet needs will be well taken care of. Our medicine cabinets are made with solid wood and can make a statement unique to your bathroom with our custom design and sizing capabilities. You’re not tied down to one specific size of medicine cabinet, and we’re happy to work with you to create the size you need for your home.
Contact us today to get more information and get started on your renovation project!