In a room where space is sparse but accessories are plentiful, a medicine cabinet is a much-needed bathroom storage addition. This hidden cabinet functions as both a mirror and extra storage, which makes it the ideal double-duty purchase. Besides being above all practical, a medicine cabinet can also function as part of your decor, if you pick the right look. As you get ready to make your purchase, be sure to consider all the tips below.
What kind of medicine cabinet should I buy?
Surprisingly, there are a wide variety of cabinet types available, and the one you pick depends on your space and overall style. Here are the most popular options:
Surface-Mount: Probably the easiest style of medicine cabinet to install, this type hangs on the wall like a picture frame. Although it is available in a variety of depths, most tend to average around 4 inches or so, which leaves plenty of space for all your bath accessories.
Recessed: This style requires a little extra work. It's installed by cutting a hole into the bathroom wall, which allows the mirror to sit almost flush against the wall and take up less space. It leads to a cleaner, custom look, but if you're cutting a new hole, be careful — check behind the drywall to make sure no ductwork or plumbing block the space.
Corner: If your space is truly small, or if you happen to have a corner sink, a corner medicine cabinet might be your best option. This style takes up less wall space, but its depth allows for just as much storage.
Tri-View: For the ultimate family storage space, these multiple mirrored panels will do the trick. Most units include three usable cabinets, though for some, the center is just a decorative mirror while the others slide or swing open.
What style medicine cabinet should I purchase?
Stylistically, they range from simple rectangular or oval-shaped mirrors to vintage or lighted medicine cabinets. While the mirror itself is important, also think about the frame. Most come in a wide variety of wood finishes, but more contemporary options are made of metal. In the end, think about the style you're going for in the bathroom and be sure your purchase reflects that.
What kind of features can a medicine cabinet have?
Your unit can be as decked out or a simple as you want it to be, depending on your budget and style preferences. Basic models are usually mirrored and have stationary shelves, while more complex models also come lighted or with adjustable shelving. When it comes to the doors, a single-paned cabinet will usually include a hinged door, while a larger tri-view might have either a hinged or sliding door. For ultimate luxury, install or find a unit with a fog-proof mirror.