How to Select the Perfect Medicine Cabinet
There is no such thing as too much storage when it comes to a bathroom! A great place to get additional storage is with the use of a medicine cabinet. Storage needs, size of the bath, design and lifestyle preferences are the primary factors influencing a customer’s decision to place a medicine/mirrored cabinet in the bath. Homeowners in the Upper Valley tend to choose medicine cabinets over wall-hung mirrors just for that reason.
The medicine cabinets featured in our showroom are distinguished by both their functional superiority and innovative design. Cabinets can be made of wood, metal, polymers or just about any other material. They are differentiated by their shape, size and mirror design. They can be framed, frameless, arched, square or multisided, and can use beveled or nonbeveled glass. Shelving inside of the cabinet may be made from glass, plastic or metal, and the shelves may be adjustable or nonadjustable.
Medicine cabinets of today are quite different than what you may have seen in the past. They are chock full of beneficial features, such as electric and USB outlets for charging your toothbrush or electric razor and defoggers to keep the mirror fog-free for immediate use after a shower. Some even have interior lighting!
The selection of cabinets requires a delicate balance between form and function. Location may dictate the cabinet’s function, and cabinets can be either surface-mounted or recessed into the wall. In most instances, recessed is the preferred mounting option for customers in the Upper Valley. However, a recessed cabinet may not always be feasible due to the placement of pipes or ducts in the wall. Bylaws of condominiums or co-ops may not permit an owner to recess a cabinet into a common area wall. It may not be practical to recess a cabinet in a poured concrete or plaster wall because of the cost and difficulty of carving out space. A showroom professional will help identify the intended location of the cabinet and determine if there may be restrictions that would prevent recessing a cabinet.
When using a surface-mounted cabinet, keep in mind that the entire body of the cabinet will be exposed. If the edge is not concealed, a popular option is to cover the sides with mirrors or wood that matches your vanity. In addition to the aesthetic differences, most customers in the Upper Valley prefer the space-saving advantages afforded by recessing cabinets into walls.
The most common depth of a medicine cabinet is 4 inches, although many manufacturers also offer 6- and 8-inch depths. Storage needs and capabilities often influence the depth of a cabinet. A 4-inch cabinet cannot hold a standard-sized roll of toilet paper, while a 6-inch deep cabinet, whether recessed, semi-recessed or surface-mounted, can store toilet paper and more. If space can accommodate an 8-inch deep cabinet, customers can use the space to hold hand towels, wash clothes and even a hairdryer. As you can see, depth is an important consideration when selecting a cabinet. The width of the cabinet also needs to be considered from both function and aesthetic points of view. Cabinets are available in widths ranging from 12 to 60 inches, and often cabinets can be ganged together to make it as large as needed. If you are staying with the existing size cabinet, the issue of width, depth and height should not pose a problem. However, if you want to add a deeper or wider cabinet to an existing space, then there could be obstacles that have to be addressed. Most walls have studs that are 16 inches on center. When you evaluate cabinet dimensions, you need to look at both the overall width and the rough-in dimensions. The width of a cabinet refers to the width of the glass, while the rough-in dimension refers to the width of the box. The width of the box specifies the size of the hole that needs to be cut into the wall to accommodate the cabinet when using a recessed application.
If you are replacing an existing cabinet with one that is wider, or for a new construction or a renovation project, arrangements need to be made to frame the wall to accommodate the size of the cabinet. There are numerous options that are dictated by balancing form and function. What’s the best cabinet choice for your new bath? Give us a call at 603-448-9700 or visit our showroom at 105 Hanover Street, Lebanon to learn how you can pick the perfect medicine cabinet for your bath.