A Versatile Medicine Cabinet

versatile_medicine_cabinet_400 This medicine cabinet is part of a vanity that I’m currently building for a client. The cool thing about it is it’s easy to build, and it could be used in a variety of different bathroom configurations, or for storage in other parts of your house or shop. I customized this one to be used in my customer’s bathroom. I will show you that, plus other bathroom configurations. I will also explain how to wall mount it, and how to modify a side if you want to mount it in a corner.Thanks to my CAD (Computer Aided Design) software, I can show you the different possibilities, and even show you what the completed cabinets will look like in the customer’s home.

    Other Possible Uses:

  • In your shop for storing router bits, drill bits, parts, screws, tools, or sandpaper sheets if you made it a couple of inches deeper.
  • In your garage for whatever.
  • In your laundry room for soap and supplies.
  • In your kitchen for spices.
    • Construction Details:

  • The cabinet back is 1/2″ thick and screwed to the cabinet. This way you can screw through the cabinet back to mount the cabinet to a wall without needing any other hang strip or mounting ledger.
  • The face frame corners are mitered. It looks great, but that makes fitting the pieces much more difficult. The best way is to fit them is to do the bottom first, then the sides, and finish with the top.
  • The top molding is decorative. When there’s a soffit to butt the medicine cabinet up to, that molding can be scribed to fit. That’s the way it is in my customer’s bathroom.
  • The edges of the face frame pieces are rounded over with a 3/8″ radius. If you plan to add the top moldings, then be sure to stop the roundovers before the top ends of the face frame side pieces so the molding will lay flat on square edges there.
  • The door is mounted with 95° European hinges. They make the inset door stop before it hits the face frame, and they stop the handle from hitting the wall when the cabinet is mounted in a corner. You can use 107° hinges on non-corner mounted medicine cabinets.
  • The shelves can be wood or glass. 1/4″ thick glass is fine, but 3/8″ thick glass makes for a very rich look!
  • woodworking projects for the home Mounting to Walls. Use four mounting screws when you “hang” the cabinet on a wall. Screw through the 1/2″ back and into the wall. Put two mounting screws at the top near the corners, and two at the bottom near the corners. You’ll only be able to “catch” one stud, so you’ll need to use some type of wall fastener for the other two mounting screws. For these I like Toggler brand plastic toggle anchors, or their “Snaptoggle” heavy-duty toggle bolts.

    Mounting in Corners. If you plan to mount your medicine cabinet in a corner, then you’ll probably want to modify the cabinet to include scribe edges, which makes corner installation much easier. The way to do this is to shorten the lengths of the top and bottom by 1/4″, shift the cabinet side piece inward 1/4″, eliminate the back rabbet of that piece, shorten it by 3/4″ at the bottom, and increase the length of the false bottom by 3/4″. Also, don’t roundover the outside edge of the face frame that goes up against the wall. Instead, scribe that edge to make a nice and tight fit.

    medicine-cabinet-image-1 1) This is how my customer’s vanity and medicine cabinets will look. Everything is customized to fit their needs and space. The right medicine cabinet, and right vanity drawer cabinet, are set in the corner and scribed to fit against the right wall. There’s a 12″ tall soffit above the medicine cabinets, and the top moldings are scribed against that. Behind the mirror is a wooden box that moves the mirror out 3″ from the wall so it’s easier to see. Fancy tube lights are mounted on each side of the mirror, and the counter top will be granite. To finish it all off, the floor will be tiled up to the vanity base, and the wall will be tiled between the countertop, medicine cabinets, and mirror frame. You see that thing in the middle of the vanity base? It’s a wooden heat register. I’m going to have fun making that!

    medicine-cabinet-image-2 2) Single medicine cabinet and mirror configuration. Simple and basic. This is a left cabinet setup. For a right cabinet setup, just mount the hinges on the right side of the cabinet, and the handle on the left side of the door. This mirror is 24″ wide x 32″ tall.

    medicine-cabinet-image-3 3) Double medicine cabinet and mirror configuration. This is the most common configuration, and often one of the medicine cabinets is set in a corner. This mirror is 32″ wide x 36″ tall.

    Medicine Cabinet 4) Exploded View. This is how the medicine cabinet is assembled. Click here to see the full PDF.

    Versatile Medicine Cabinet Cut List 1 Versatile Medicine Cabinet Source List

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    12 Responses to “A Versatile Medicine Cabinet”

    1. William

      ‬ I have 13" x 27" cabinet doors and mirrors the same size. Can you recommend the best way to adhere the mirror to the door?

    2. Ronald Rickenbaugh

      i need plans for a 4 ft vanity not a medicine cabinet

    3. dtrelle

      Hello Bruce, I like the base cabinet. Do you have the details plans for that piece?

    4. Phil Welti

      Excellent plan layout -- really appreciate the PDF that expands to show construction detail. Will you be doing a similar plan/pdf for the cabinet base? I'm just finishing plans for a pair of vanities (hand drawn plan with spread-sheeet cut list) and would like to see construction details for your base project. Thanks for information/ideas already!

    5. Charles

      PDF Link does not work under any browser.

    6. Wayne

      I cant seem to download the PDF file, I keep getting an error message

    7. Daniel

      can't see the pdf file. Could anybody share it? Please

    8. Cliff

      I'm logged in with a Gold account. The images won't expand and the pdf says "Access denied".

    9. DrPcFix

      the link to the PDF does not work --- it only pulls up the tiny jpg

    10. Thai

      Wow. Awesome. You thought of everything. I wish I can see the plans better. It's really tiny on my screen I can't make anything out.