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Buying The Right Medicine Cabinet

19 January, 2017
/ in Blog

When renovating, choosing the right medicine cabinet can be one of the most important decisions you’ll have to make in order to make sure that your new space perfectly meets your needs. Even though it may initially seem like a very simple thing to do, choosing the right medicine cabinet can be quite daunting. After all, if you don’t know how to choose one, then you may end up with a cabinet (or more) that don’t meet your needs. With that in mind, here are the things you need to consider when choosing a medicine cabinet.

What to consider before buying a medicine cabinet:

1. Type.

2. Shape.

3. Finish.

4. Standard or lockable door(s).

5. Surface mount or recessed.

6. Hardware.

Types of Medicine Cabinets

One of the first things you need to think about when you want to buy a medicine cabinet is whether you’d like to get a surface mount unit or a recessed unit. If you have a recessed medicine cabinet and plan on replacing it, then installing another recessed model that fits in the old cabinet’s cutout is a breeze. However, if the new cabinet you plan on getting is large, then you should carefully change the holes so it fits. Some people may prefer the wall-mount type and if this is true for you, then the cutout has to be filled with insulation and only then can you install the new cabinet over it. To make sure you won’t make any (costly) mistakes, always try to measure carefully prior to buying.

Surface Mount Or Recessed?

At this point, you’ll need to think about whether you’d like your new cabinet to be recessed into the wall or hung on the surface of the wall. In general, making a choice in this regard depends on the extent of your renovation. If you want to fully gut your bathroom, then you can easily install a recessed cabinet. On the other hand, if you’re just adding several new accessories and a coat of paint, then you may want to opt for a medicine cabinet that you can mount on the wall.

Surface-Mount Medicine Cabinets

Surface mount cabinets are quite popular and in fact, many people choose to get them because they like their features and how they look. We recommend that you opt for one such cabinet if the wall you’d like to mount it on features internal wiring and plumbing. Not only can surface mount cabinets add a lot to the room’s decor, but at the same time they also come in a wide range of sizes and are very simple to install. While this sounds great, they come with one caveat: compared to recessed models, they protrude a lot more into your bathroom space.

Buying Considerations

Features and style are some of the 2 most important factors that will influence your decision on the type of cabinet you wish to buy. However, there are also other factors that will contribute to taking a final decision, including how the cabinet fits in your bathroom’s decor, how you’ll use the cabinet, and who will use it. A wide range of medicine cabinets are a neutral or white color, yet if you look hard enough, then you can also find models available in vivid hues.


You can find medicine cabinets in a wide range of sizes and shapes. You can easily find rectangular cabinets, but there are also cabinets that feature very complex and interesting designs. For instance, a circular or a classic oval cabinet may be more appealing to you than a rectangular cabinet. Prior to choosing a medicine cabinet (its shape), you may want to consider your bathroom project’s decorating scheme. One thing to keep in mind is that rectangular medicine cabinets not only turn more freely on their hinges, but they also have more storage space.

Cupboard or Mirror

If you’d like the door of your medicine cabinet to match the rest of the cupboards in your bathroom, then you have to carefully consider the location of the cabinet. If you’d like to install it over the sink, then you should certainly go for a mirror option. If you want to install it off the side, then you need to ensure that the rest of the cabinetry in the bathroom is matched.


Once you decide to get a mirror door for your cabinet, you’ll not have to worry about the cabinet’s finish that much. The majority of medicine cabinets with mirrors are usually wall-mountable and feature shelving and painted steel sides. If you want to ensure consistency, then we recommend that you use a single company to make and install not only your medicine cabinet, but also rest of your bathroom cabinetry.


Some people may think that this is not important, but the truth is that the overall look you may target with your bathroom renovation may be negatively impacted if you choose the wrong hardware for your medicine cabinet. The hinges and knobs of your medicine cabinet need to match the hardware you have installed in your bathroom. Since you’ll be using the medicine cabinet on a daily basis, you should not opt for cheap parts or else you may find yourself paying a lot more for repairs and replacements.


If you choose to get a traditional medicine cabinet, there is a great chance that it features swing doors. If you love large cabinets, then one thing you need to check is whether the larger one you get features sturdy hinges that can support its weight. The hinges should also be sturdy enough to support the frequent swinging of the cabinet’s heavy door. There are also models that may feature sliding doors.

In general, models are available with 1, 2 or 3 doors. If you don’t like fingerprints, then you can get push-button doors. Some people, especially those who have kids, may want to get a cabinet that features a lockable door. This is especially the case if they want to store medicine or pills and want to make sure kids cannot access them. However, you also need to keep in mind that medicines are best stored in humid free and dark areas that are a lot more secure than the bathroom.

Choosing the right medicine cabinet is not as difficult as it seems. Now that you know what to look for, getting the best one that fully meets your needs will be a lot easier.

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