Whether a medicine cabinet is being installed into a brand new master bathroom or simply replacing an old guest bath model, there is no shortage in selection and style for every personal taste. When shopping for a new cabinet there are several general types and choices to consider.
Medicine cabinets have a plethora of options when it comes to door, lighting, and mirror styles. Some have simple mirrored doors while others are more elaborately framed with beveled edges and decorative etching. Doors also come reversible in many cases to accommodate a left- or right-handed person. Some cabinets have built-in lighting that helps provide optimum illumination. Side lighting, lighting from above, or even spot-lighting are all options which are readily available for medicine cabinets.
There are three basic types of medicine cabinets: surface mounted, recessed, and semi-recessed. Surface mounted ones are the easiest to install but are more visible and intrusive. Recessed and semi-recessed cabinets are well hidden and stylish yet require slightly more installation prep work and labor. Surface mount ones are hung like any large picture or mirror. The cabinet is hung by screwing it into wall studs. No framing or cutting into the drywall is necessary. These cabinets come in a wide variety of styles and sizes, anywhere from 12 to 48 inches across.
Recessed cabinets require slightly more work because they are actually placed between studs with the body of the cabinet inside the wall. Prep work for this specific type of medicine cabinet includes cutting a space in the drywall and removing any insulation to house the new one. If it is larger than the space between two studs, the studs may need to be trimmed out also. In order to comply with housing code, some reinforcement of the wall may be necessary around the unit. Despite the work, the recessed cabinet is worth it if sleek, slim lines are what you are trying to achieve in your bathroom.
Semi-recessed units are the same basic installation process as the fully sunk-in ones but they are not flush with the wall. These units are a good choice when considering a deeper unit than normal. Typical cabinets run approximately four inches deep but a semi-sunk-in cabinet can measure up to eight inches deep, providing for significantly more storage room.
The ultimate decision depends on how much installation work is desired and how much money is spent. Whether recessed or surface mounted, elegant or basic, the medicine cabinet will provide extra storage and style to any bathroom.