When searching for our first home, it was no surprise that the house we decided to purchase had outdated décor because it was 30 years old at that time. I am amazed at how fast time goes by and at how many little things we put off changing because we are so busy. One item that lasted longer than most in our home was the medicine cabinet in our bathroom. Replacing a recessed medicine cabinet is a quick, easy way to change the entire look of a bathroom; however, we always put something else on our remodeling list ahead of the bathroom medicine cabinet. I did manage to paint the plastic trim a nice hunter green not long after we moved in because the Pepto-Bismol pink was just too much to handle (the hunter green also helped to hide the raised rose pattern in the plastic trim). I vowed another year would not end with the same bathroom cabinet so this week I purchased a new medicine cabinet and vowed to check that item off our home remodeling list.
Replacing a recessed medicine or bathroom cabinet is not that difficult provided you purchase the same size cabinet. Unfortunately, our home is so old that the newer cabinets were off by just an inch. To hide that fact, we just found a model that had an oversized mirror as the door and used wooden shimmies to fill in the inch on one side. The basics of replacing or installing a recessed medicine cabinet are fairly simple and standard.
Removing the existing medicine cabinet
Remove everything from inside the medicine cabinet, including the shelves if possible, before you begin to remove the screws holding the cabinet in place. Removing the shelves allows you easier access to the screws and avoids the possibility that a glass shelf will slide out and break during the removal.
Check the screws to see if you need a Phillips head or flat screwdriver to remove the screws. A hand drill with a bit or a cordless screwdriver makes the job a little less challenging but there are usually only four to six screws holding in the medicine cabinet.
Once you have removed the screws, slide the medicine cabinet out. I was shocked at how much dirt and debris was there so I quickly cleaned up the area before going any further.
Now that the old medicine cabinet is out, measure the height and width of the recess to take with you when you shop for your new medicine cabinet. Forgetting to measure the recess before you go to the home improvement store will cost you a wasted trip or even a trip to return the new cabinet because it does not fit.
Installing the new medicine cabinet
You are now ready to replace your medicine cabinet. If you are a man, just pull it out of the box and shove it in; however, if you are a woman like me you will read the directions first to make sure you do not need to assemble anything before installation.
Provided there is no assembly, the new medicine cabinet should slide into the recess. You will need a drill for installing the screws, as you will likely not be lucky enough to use the same holes as the old cabinet. Once you have secured the screws in place, install the shelves and admire you new medicine cabinet.