Choosing the Best Medicine Cabinet

Most people spend a considerable amount of time in their bathrooms-all the more reason to make sure it is an environment which is pleasing to the eye. You probably give little thought to the medicine cabinet which hangs on your wall; it is simply a storage space for toiletries and medications with a mirror that is relatively handy for applying makeup or combing hair. You may be so accustomed to looking at your medicine cabinet that you may not even realize how much it can impact the overall look of your bathroom. If you want to give your bathroom an uplifting facelift, changing out your medicine cabinet can be a fairly easy and inexpensive way to do so.

Medicine Cabinet Styles

There are two basic styles you can choose from when you are choosing a new medicine cabinet. You may either decide to go with the surface mount medicine cabinet which is definitely the easiest to install, or the recessed cabinet which sits back into a hole cut in your wall, making the mirror nearly flush with the wall. The surface mount hangs on your wall, much like a more complicated picture frame. Surface mount medicine cabinets come in a large array of styles and depths, with the "normal" depth being about 4". If you are replacing a recessed medicine cabinet with another recessed style, your job will be much easier. If you are going from a surface mount to a recessed, however, you will probably want to hire a professional to install the medicine cabinet. If you are removing a smaller recessed medicine cabinet with the intention of changing over to a surface mount, you can fill the hole with insulation and place the larger surface mount over the hole. Although they can be more difficult to find, a corner medicine cabinet can give you a great way to use limited space in an effective manner.

Other Features to Consider

Once you've chosen the basic style of medicine cabinet you want, you will have multiple features to choose from. If you go to your home improvement store, you will see the many varieties such as hinged or sliding mirrored doors, different lighting options, and adjustable shelving. Your goal will be to choose a medicine cabinet you love, while also ensuring it will be functional for your bathroom. The high-humidity environment in your bathroom means you should choose a medicine cabinet made of wood, plastic or aluminum, although most newer metal cabinets are coated with an enamel finish which will render them rust-resistant. If you choose a larger medicine cabinet, look for exceptionally strong hinges such as scissor or piano styles.

Make sure to check your measurements twice before going to the home improvement store; the "standard" height of a medicine cabinet for the home is 30". You can change the look of a relatively plain medicine cabinet by painting it a complementary color to harmonize with your bathroom, or by adding decorative knobs or pulls. Consider the application as far as which bathroom the medicine cabinet will grace; you will likely choose differently for a bathroom used primarily by children than you will for a guest bathroom which is more rarely used.