Your medicine cabinet plays an important role in your daily routine. Since the mass production of medication, traditional medicine cabinets have become more widespread in homes across the nation. But today’s medicine cabinet does more than store medication. These cabinets are a common bathroom fixture mounted to the wall above the sink and used for storing medications, toiletries, hygiene products and other small bathroom necessities. Many are also affixed with a mirror and sometimes lighting.
With a medicine cabinet, you can reduce or even eliminate the clutter in your bathroom. The right cabinet can be customized to fit your home décor and to match the bathroom’s other features. With this guide, you can determine which is the right medicine cabinet for your home.
Types of Medicine Cabinets
There are a few types of medicine cabinets available to add style and extra storage to your bathroom:
- Framed cabinets: A framed medicine cabinet is built with a frame, and you can choose from several different designs and styles. A framed cabinet is durable and features an easy-open door and safe storage. The frame also covers the edges of the drywall opening to give your cabinet a clean, finished look.
- Mirrored cabinets: A mirrored medicine cabinet is great when you want some storage space without sacrificing the mirror above your sink.
- Frameless cabinets: Medicine cabinets can also be built without a frame. A frameless medicine cabinet helps save space in your bathroom. Since frameless cabinets are also mirrorless, they leave a small footprint while still giving you extra room for storage. If you’re looking for a cabinet without a mirror, a frameless cabinet could be a great option.
- Recessed cabinets: A recessed medicine cabinet is built into your bathroom wall. Though this requires cutting into your bathroom wall, it will save you space. If you’re looking for a more permanent bathroom storage solution, a recessed cabinet may be the right choice.
- On-the-wall cabinets: Also known as a wall-mounted medicine cabinet, this type of cabinet is the opposite of a recessed one. They come equipped with an easy-open door and internal shelving, and they extend out into the bathroom and directly attach to the wall. If you want a cabinet that isn’t permanent and remains movable if you choose to renovate, an on-the-wall cabinet is a great option.
To choose the right type of medicine cabinet for your bathroom, assess your space and storage needs. Take measurements and consult a professional at WG Wood Products for assistance.
Best Medicine Cabinet Material
The best medicine cabinet material for you depends on your aesthetic, durability and texture preferences. Medicine cabinet materials include wood, plastic, aluminum and stainless steel.
Wood is the best material for a medicine cabinet and arguably the most popular. This classic beauty is easy to repair if scratched and can be stained whatever shade you want. Wood has a distinct appearance due to the natural grain, which explains why wood-framed medicine cabinets are so popular. Oak is commonly used by manufacturers, but you can also opt for another species. The cabinet is finished with a moisture-resistant coating for protection.
If you want a cabinet that is versatile and classic, there’s no better choice than wood. At WG Wood Products, we ensure optimal durability by using the highest quality solid wood for our medicine cabinets.
If you want a budget-friendly option for your medicine cabinet, plastic may be a good choice. A high-quality plastic cabinet is resistant to heat and moisture, easy to clean and available in a wide variety of styles to resemble other materials like stone and wood. A plastic medicine cabinet can also maintain its appearance for years. The advantages of a plastic medicine cabinet can make it a great option for your bathroom, but lower-quality plastic can become brittle and discolored after just a couple of years.
Laminate and thermofoil cabinets are both made from plastic. Plastic laminate is glued to engineered wood like plywood, particleboard or fiberboard. You can easily clean plastic laminate and choose from a variety of textures, colors and styles. Plastic laminate cabinets are resistant to stains and nicks, but they cannot be fixed if damaged. Over time, they can also become unglued and loose. Similarly, thermofoil is made from layers of plastic and resembles solid wood but can scratch and chip easily without an easy way to fix the damages.
Medicine cabinets can also be stainless steel. You can opt to have your cabinet fitted with a mirror or trimmed with chrome. If you have a minimalist design or monochromatic color scheme, a stainless steel medicine cabinet can add a sleek look to your bathroom. Even in a hot, humid bathroom, stainless steel can maintain its shine and withstand moisture, rust and steam.
As long as the metal doesn’t encounter abrasives or harsh chemicals, it can retain its finish. To maintain the metal’s luster and remove stains and dirt, you can use a soft cloth and a stainless steel cleaner. However, the cabinet’s finish can become damaged, chipped or scratched. To restore it, you’ll need to sand out these scratches and use stainless steel polish.
Compared to stainless steel, aluminum is lighter but less resistant to corrosion. A medicine cabinet made from aluminum is waterproof, and the oxidized finish can prevent rust in a high-humidity bathroom. Aluminum can be a great option if you are looking for a medicine cabinet with the cleanliness and sleek appearance of a metal surface.
Sizing and Space
If you want a lot of extra storage space or need to conserve as much space in your bathroom as possible, you should calculate the optimal size for your medicine cabinet. Consider the following:
- Available bathroom space: Assess the size and available space in your bathroom to help you determine how a cabinet can benefit your home. The width of the cabinet can impact how much space you have left in your bathroom after the installation. If you don’t have a lot of space, you may want to opt for a recessed medicine cabinet. With custom sizing from WG Wood Products, we ensure your medicine cabinet fits in your space.
- Medicine cabinet dimensions: To determine how much space you have for a medicine cabinet, measure the wall where you want to place it. Consider the depth required, and assess the height between the faucet and the lights. If the cabinet will be placed over a vanity, it’s typically the same size or narrower. You want enough space to ensure the cabinet can take the shape you want, whether more square or rectangular. You can purchase our custom medicine cabinets in a variety of shapes and sizes.
For example, consider whether you want the extra space from a framed cabinet versus a frameless cabinet. You can get an additional 3/4-inch of space in the medicine cabinet due to the frame behind the door. Without this frame, you’ll have only the depth of the cabinet to store your items. A custom medicine cabinet is a perfect bathroom coordination and storage solution, offering both space efficiency and stylish bathroom organization.
Features of Bathroom Medicine Cabinets
You can choose from a wide array of features for your bathroom medicine cabinet, including:
- Pulls: Consider where you want the cabinet pull, or handle, mounted. A pull can be mounted on the front of the cabinet or hidden behind the mirror. You can also opt for a touch-open construction instead.
- Shelving: Shelving is important to your cabinet’s storage capacity. Luckily, shelving is also adjustable. Decide if you want to attach exposed shelving beneath the door so you can easily access everyday items like your vitamins and toothbrush.
- Doors: You can choose either a single door or multi-door design for your cabinet. Each door provides access to a different section of the cabinet’s interior shelves. Cabinets equipped with multiple doors have smaller doors.
- Mirror: Some medicine cabinets have a mirror and some do not. Similarly, others have no frame while some are all mirror. You can even choose to include a mirror inside the cabinet. Determining whether you want a mirror is an important consideration for your bathroom medicine cabinet, and the choice depends on your preferences.
- Hinges: You can choose which side of your medicine cabinet you want the hinges to be mounted and at what degree the hinges allow the door to swing. If you and a partner often use the sink simultaneously, you may want to select hinges that allow the door to open wider.
- Lights: You can also add lights to your cabinet. This extra lighting can free up space in your bathroom if you use different lighting on your counter.
Before you make your purchase, it’s essential to determine which features you want and how you want them to function with your cabinet.
Medicine Cabinet Style
A medicine cabinet can come in a modern or contemporary style to match your bathroom’s design. Solid wood medicine cabinets are a great option for either style and can complement your home decor. A frameless cabinet with a dark wood finish can give your bathroom a modern look. Alternatively, you can go classic by choosing a framed light wood for your cabinet.
The most standard style for a bathroom medicine cabinet is a mirrored door that conceals a few shelves. To figure out what style you want for your medicine cabinet, you can start with this standard style and adapt it to meet your unique needs and preferences. If you want a more rustic or vintage look, you could choose a farmhouse-style cabinet. You can diverge from the typical rectangular or square cabinet and select an arched, circular or oval style. No matter what you choose, WG Wood Products can customize a cabinet to your style preferences.
Tips For Choosing Your Medicine Cabinet
Once you understand all the different medicine cabinet types, materials, sizes, features and styles, it’s time to choose the best one for your bathroom. When choosing a medicine cabinet, follow the tips below:
- Estimate the weight: Estimate how much weight you anticipate hanging on your wall after installing the medicine cabinet. Large medicine cabinets can be heavy, particularly if they include a large mirror or are made from solid wood. Heavy cabinets should be anchored with a stud to avoid pulling out the screws or drywall. Remember to include the weight of the items you plan to store inside.
- Plan enough storage space: Consider how much storage space you want your cabinet to include, along with the storage space in your bathroom as a whole.
- Consider your vanity: If you have a bathroom vanity, consider whether you want your cabinet to be the same size or narrower. If you opt for a nontraditional shape, make sure that the widest part is no wider than the vanity.
- Locate wiring or pipes: Determine if there are any wires or pipes in the wall your cabinet will attach to, and be careful not to cut into them. If you’re unsure about your plumbing and wiring, now is the time to hire professionals to install your medicine cabinet.
- Call the professionals for installation: Concerns regarding weight, plumbing and wiring make DIY installation difficult and even dangerous. To install a cabinet yourself, you should be comfortable patching, spackling, painting, cutting into drywall and working with the tools and hardware necessary, such as a stud finder. The safest and easiest installation method is through a professional installation service.
These tips can help you choose your ideal medicine cabinet, but if you need further assistance, WG Wood Product is here to help.
Contact WG Wood Products to Get a New Medicine Cabinet
At WG Wood Products, our medicine cabinets are made in the USA and available in custom sizes. We offer free shipping and customizations for unique cabinets that cannot be found anywhere else. During our decades in the business, we have served more than a million customers.
We have many different products to solve many different storage space and organization solutions. When you choose WG Wood Products, you’ll get a quality, handcrafted product at a great price. Just let us know your needs and preferences, and we’ll go through the options and finishes we offer to customize your cabinets exactly as you want them. Contact WG Wood Products for help choosing a medicine cabinet or for more information today.