How to Install Recessed Medicine Cabinet Like a Pro

How to Install Recessed Medicine Cabinet?

To install a recessed medicine cabinet, begin by checking inside the wall for any obstacles that cannot be moved.

Determine the exact placement of the cabinet and cut away part of a stud if necessary.

Install horizontal and vertical framing for support and cut a hole in the wall for the cabinet.

Slide the cabinet into the hole and anchor it to the framing with screws.

Finish the installation by attaching the door trim and any additional features.

It is recommended to buy a pre-assembled cabinet for easier installation.

The process requires 2×4 blocking, which ties into the existing wall framing for stability.

Ensure to inspect the wall cavity for obstructions using a stud finder and mark the position of the cabinet before cutting.

Cut along the outline with a keyhole saw, being careful not to damage the remaining wall.

Clear the opening of debris and cut the stud flush with the opening at the top and bottom.

Install blocking by sliding a horizontal 2×4 into the opening and securing it between the studs.

Attach the blocking using construction adhesive and screws.

Mount the cabinet by fitting it inside the blocking and securing it with drywall screws.

Caulk around the edges of the cabinet for a finished look.

Reattach the cabinet door, attach hardware, and install shelves before stocking the cabinet.

Key Points:

  • Check for obstacles inside the wall before installing the recessed medicine cabinet
  • Determine the placement of the cabinet and cut away part of a stud if necessary
  • Install horizontal and vertical framing for support and cut a hole in the wall for the cabinet
  • Slide the cabinet into the hole and anchor it to the framing with screws
  • Attach the door trim and any additional features to finish the installation
  • Consider buying a pre-assembled cabinet for easier installation


Did You Know?

1. Did you know that recessed medicine cabinets were first invented in the late 19th century by a German physician named Ernst Metzger?

2. The term “recessed” refers to the fact that the cabinet is installed into a wall cavity, creating a streamlined look that saves space in the bathroom.

3. In the 1940s, mirrored doors became a popular addition to recessed medicine cabinets, allowing users to easily see their reflections while accessing medications or toiletries.

4. Recessed medicine cabinets are often equipped with adjustable shelves, allowing users to customize the interior storage space to their needs.

5. Some recessed medicine cabinets come with built-in electrical outlets, providing a convenient space to plug in electric toothbrushes, razors, or other bathroom gadgets.

Benefits Of A Recessed Medicine Cabinet

A recessed medicine cabinet offers numerous benefits that make it a popular choice for bathroom storage. Some of the main advantages include:

  • Neatly organizes bathroom items, keeping them easily accessible yet out of sight. This helps to maintain a clutter-free and organized bathroom space.
  • Provides valuable storage space in the bathroom with multiple shelves and compartments. It offers ample room to store items such as medications, toiletries, and other essentials.
  • Adds a new mirror to the bathroom, which is especially useful for households with a single mirror. The added mirror provides convenience for multiple users and allows individuals to focus on their grooming and self-care routines.
  • Eliminates the risk of accidentally hitting one’s head. Unlike surface-mounted cabinets, recessed cabinets are installed within the wall, making them flush with the surface. This prevents any protrusions that may pose a hazard and ensures a safer and more comfortable experience in the bathroom.
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Installation Process

Installing a recessed medicine cabinet may seem daunting, but with the right skills and tools, it can be done effectively. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to install a recessed medicine cabinet:

1. Check for obstacles: Before starting, check inside the wall for obstacles that cannot be moved such as electrical wires, studs in a non-load-bearing wall, plumbing supply lines, large vent pipes, or load-bearing framing. It is crucial to determine if any of these elements will interfere with the installation process.

2. Determine placement: Decide on the exact placement of the cabinet. The general rule is to have the top of the cabinet 72 inches off the floor. However, adjust the placement to ensure proper visibility in the mirror and enough space for items on the sink or toothbrush holder.

3. Accommodate width: If necessary, cut away part of a stud to accommodate the width of the cabinet. This step may require careful planning and precision to ensure that the structural integrity of the wall is not compromised.

4. Install framing: Install horizontal and vertical framing to create a support structure for the cabinet. This framing provides stability and ensures the cabinet is securely anchored within the wall.

5. Cut a hole: Use appropriate tools to cut a hole in the wall for the cabinet. Follow the designated dimensions and guidelines provided by the cabinet manufacturer to ensure a proper fit.

6. Anchor the cabinet: Slide the cabinet into the hole and anchor it to the framing with screws. Carefully position and align the cabinet to ensure a seamless and secure installation.

7. Finish the installation: Attach the door trim and any additional features to complete the installation. This final step adds the finishing touches to the cabinet and enhances its overall appearance.

Recommended To Buy A Pre-Assembled Cabinet

For easier installation, it is highly recommended to buy a pre-assembled recessed medicine cabinet.

Pre-assembled cabinets come ready to be installed, saving time and effort compared to assembling the cabinet yourself.

Pre-assembled cabinets are designed and manufactured by professionals, ensuring high-quality construction and precise measurements. This significantly reduces the risk of installation errors and ensures a seamless fit within the wall.

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Furthermore, pre-assembled cabinets often come with detailed installation instructions provided by the manufacturer. These instructions guide you through the process, making it easier to follow the necessary steps and complete the installation successfully.

Overall, purchasing a pre-assembled recessed medicine cabinet not only simplifies the installation process but also guarantees a professional and aesthetically pleasing outcome.

Required Materials For Installation

To install a recessed medicine cabinet, gather the following materials:

  • Recessed medicine cabinet
  • Stud finder
  • Keyhole saw
  • Screwdriver/drill
  • Screws
  • Construction adhesive
  • Shims (if necessary for leveling)
  • Door trim
  • Caulking
  • Level

It is crucial to gather all the necessary materials before starting the installation to ensure a smooth and efficient process. Having all the tools and supplies readily available will save time and prevent any unnecessary delays.

Mounting The Cabinet

Mounting the recessed medicine cabinet involves securing it within the wall and ensuring it is properly aligned and stable. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to mount the cabinet:

  • Step 1: Remove the cabinet door for easier handling during installation. This will also prevent any damage to the door or hinges.
  • Step 2: Fit the cabinet inside the pre-installed framing or blocking and press its face frame against the wall. This step requires careful positioning to ensure proper alignment.
  • Step 3: Use drywall screws to secure the cabinet to the framing or blocking. Place one screw at each corner of the cabinet to provide stability.
  • Step 4: Apply caulking around the edges of the cabinet to conceal any irregularities in the wall and provide a finished look.
  • Step 5: Reattach the cabinet door, making sure not to bend the hinges or cause any damage to the door or frame.
  • Step 6: Attach any necessary hardware such as knobs or handles to the cabinet. This step adds a final touch of functionality and aesthetics to the installation.
  • Step 7: Install the shelves within the cabinet and arrange them to accommodate your storage needs. This step completes the installation and allows you to start utilizing the cabinet immediately.

Considerations For Cabinet Dimensions

When installing a recessed medicine cabinet, it is essential to consider both functional and aesthetic aspects, particularly the cabinet’s dimensions. Here are a few considerations to keep in mind:

  • Cabinet Width: Recessed medicine cabinets come in various widths ranging from 12 to 60 inches. It is crucial to select a width that suits your space and storage requirements. Cabinets can also be joined together to create a larger unit if needed.
  • Cabinet Depth: The typical depth of a recessed medicine cabinet is 4 inches. However, options with greater depths, such as 6 and 8 inches, are also available. The depth of the cabinet directly influences its storage capacity, so choose accordingly based on your storage needs.
  • Stud Spacing: Most walls have studs spaced 16 inches apart. When evaluating cabinet dimensions, consider both the overall width and the rough-in dimensions. The overall width refers to the width of the glass, while the rough-in dimension refers to the width of the box. The box’s size determines the hole that needs to be cut in the wall to accommodate the cabinet during a recessed installation.
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Frequently Asked Questions

Can you recess a medicine cabinet?

Yes, it is possible to recess a medicine cabinet. This type of installation involves creating a cavity within the wall to accommodate the cabinet, giving it a built-in and streamlined appearance. Recessed mount medicine cabinets offer the advantage of deeper shelves, allowing for greater storage capacity while maintaining a sleek and subtle design that seamlessly integrates into the wall. The recessed installation option presents a practical and aesthetically pleasing solution for organizing and accessing essential medications and toiletries in your bathroom or any other desired location.

What is the standard opening for a recessed medicine cabinet?

The standard opening for a recessed medicine cabinet is a rough opening of 30″ wide x 26″ high, accommodating the outside dimensions of our standard double door cabinets which are 32″ wide x 28″ high. To ensure proper installation, you have the option to choose a depth of 3 3/4″, 4″, 5 3/4″, or 6″. This allows for a flexible and personalized fit within your bathroom space.

How deep can a recessed medicine cabinet be?

The depth of a recessed medicine cabinet can vary depending on storage needs and manufacturer options. While the most common depth is 4 inches, there are also options available with depths of 6 and 8 inches. These different depths allow individuals to choose a cabinet that best suits their storage requirements. Whether you need a shallower cabinet for minimal storage or a deeper one to accommodate larger items, there are various options to meet your needs.

What is recessed mount medicine cabinet?

A recessed mount medicine cabinet is a type of medicine cabinet that is specifically designed to be installed directly into the wall. Unlike other mounts, which are attached to the wall’s surface, a recessed mount medicine cabinet is anchored inside the wall itself. This allows the cabinet to sit flush with the surrounding wall, creating a seamless and visually appealing appearance. It is a practical and space-saving solution for storing medications and personal care items while maintaining a clean and uncluttered bathroom aesthetic.

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