Find the Perfect Medicine Cabinets
Medicine cabinets can help provide any bathroom with some additional space and lighting as well as greatly enhance the overall design of the bathroom. Available in a wide variety of sizes, shapes and styles, medicine cabinets can be incorporated into most bathroom decors. Because they are so useful and versatile, medicine cabinets should be of the highest build and design quality. Build quality is one of the most important elements of a medicine cabinet due to the dual functionality of serving as both storage and a bathroom mirror. Both the mirror and the storage space should be built well and able to handle heavy usage. In terms of design, a medicine cabinet should match well with the overall theme of your bathroom vanity area, as well as your bathroom design as a whole. A well designed medicine cabinet will bring cohesiveness and uniformity to any bathroom. Overall, a high quality and well designed bathroom medicine cabinet can serve as an amazing focal point of any bathroom design, making it an excellent inclusion for your specific style.
Types of Medicine Cabinets
Surface-mount Medicine Cabinets
Perhaps the most common type of medicine cabinet is the surface-mount medicine cabinet. This type of medicine cabinet is mounted directly on the wall with some type of mounting hardware. This mounting hardware will typically be included in the purchase of the surface-mount medicine cabinet. These medicine cabinets are easy to incorporate into any bathroom because they can simply be mounted on the wall above your bathroom sink or vanity. Depending on the model, they can also be mounted to the side of your bathroom vanity or sink if it is only being used for storage and not your main bathroom mirror. Surface-mount medicine cabinets just out from the wall as well, so it is important to understand that they will take up some wall space in your bathroom design.
Recessed Medicine Cabinets
For a more minimalist medicine cabinet, a recessed medicine cabinet will be the best way to go. Recessed medicine cabinets will be a bit more difficult to install, due to the nature of the specific fixture. Because they are recessed, they will be built into the wall with the surface of the mirror almost flush with the wall. Recessed medicine cabinets should be installed with extreme care. If you are not trained or do not have experience installing recessed bathroom fixtures, it is recommended that you contact a professional in order to get your recessed medicine cabinet installed properly and safely. This is especially important because recessed medicine cabinets need to avoid outside walls or walls with certain plumbing layouts. In general, if recessed medicine cabinets are properly installed, they can serve as elegant additions to a bathroom design.
Mirrored Medicine Cabinets
Medicine cabinets are extremely useful when combined with a mirror. This is a common feature of medicine cabinets, although not something found in every one. A mirrored medicine cabinet combines two incredibly useful bathroom fixtures into one, allowing you to save money and space in your bathroom. First of all, a bathroom mirror is one of the most important bathroom fixtures due to the amount of use it gets and the level of comfort and accessibility it adds in a bathroom design. When combined with built-in storage, a mirrored medicine cabinet becomes an incredibly efficient bathroom fixture. Mirrored medicine cabinets can be both recessed and surface-mount, giving you both options to consider. Mirrored medicine cabinets can be used as your main bathroom mirror or as a complement to your bathroom vanity area. In this case the mirrored medicine cabinet will likely be more slender or thin, serving as an additional storage element and a complementary mirror.
Non-Mirrored Medicine Cabinets
If you already have a beautiful bathroom mirror that you do not want to replace, a non-mirrored medicine cabinet can be just what you need to add some additional storage space. Non-mirrored medicine cabinets can be mounted essentially anywhere in your bathroom. However, they work best when mounted in close proximity to your bathroom vanity. Consider mourning it underneath or above your bathroom mirror if you have space. In addition, non-mirrored medicine cabinets can be used as complementary wall mounted storage solutions next to your bathroom vanity area. These medicine cabinets can be surface mounted or recessed, giving you all of the possible options to consider.
Medicine Cabinet Design Trends
Framed Medicine Cabinets
Framed medicine cabinets are traditional in design, generally featuring a bathroom mirror with a framed around it. This frame can be made of a variety of different materials, all of which complement the mirror beautifully. In general, the frame of the mirror will be made of the same material as the body of the medicine cabinet. For example, if the body of the medicine cabinet is stainless steel, the frame around the mirror will also likely be stainless steel. This is generally the case with framed medicine cabinets, but it is not a rule. In addition, framed medicine cabinets add an additional level of depth to a medicine cabinet that are not achieved from frameless medicine cabinets. Of course, there is also the additional level of design that a frame gives to a bathroom mirror and medicine cabinet as a whole.
Frameless Medicine Cabinets
For a minimalist touch to a bathroom design, a frameless medicine cabinet will be a perfect addition. Frameless medicine cabinets are sleek bathroom fixtures that feature a frameless mirror on a sturdy medicine cabinet body. The frameless mirror is a beautiful and elegant aspect of a bathroom that focuses on minimalist design elements as well as subtle accents. Frameless medicine cabinets can also be recessed or surface-mounted, giving you great options to consider for any type of bathroom. They generally use doors to access the medicine cabinet storage space, giving you access to all of your stored items easily and efficiently.
Lighted Medicine Cabinets
Lighted medicine cabinets can come in two main forms. First, a lighted medicine cabinet can have built in lighting. The lighting is typically built into the mirror or on the frame of the medicine cabinet. Lighted medicine cabinets with built-in lighting will increase visibility in your bathroom vanity area, which is incredibly important for the overall quality and comfort level of your bathroom design. If you do not want built-in lighting, consider adding a lighting fixture above your medicine cabinet. This is common for traditional bathroom mirrors. COnsider adding some spotlights or LED lighting bars in order to create a comfortable and visible area that promotes high levels of comfort and accessibility.
Round Medicine Cabinets
Many medicine cabinets tend to be more square or rectangular so rounded medicine cabinets are excellent changes of pace from the traditional shapes and styles. Rounded medicine cabinets are typically circular or in the shape of an oval, making them softer in terms of design and feel. These medicine cabinets can be either recessed or surface-mounted, with both options proving to be very useful and effective. In addition, they can be framed or frameless. In most cases, a frameless rounded medicine cabinet will be an excellent choice due to the minimalist yet elegant design that it brings into a bathroom design and vanity area.
Single Door Medicine Cabinets
Over the years, the simpler a medicine cabinet has looked in terms of design features, the more appealing it is as a bathroom fixture. If there are too many breaks in the mirror because of multiple doors being included, the more inconsistent a bathroom vanity area can look. By having a single door on your medicine cabinet, the surface of the mirror will be smooth and sleek, making it seem as though there isn;t even a medicine cabinet storage space present. This is especially true with recessed medicine cabinets because the only visible part of the fixture is the mirror itself. This is something to consider in all bathroom designs, especially with modern bathroom trends shifting in this general direction.
Sliding Door Medicine Cabinets
Similar to a single door medicine cabinet, a sliding door medicine cabinet will keep your mirror sleek and smooth while allowing easy access to your stored items. Sliding door medicine cabinets are incredibly useful for both large and small bathrooms, due to the great mechanic of how the doors open. The sliding doors generally open up from either or both sides of the medicine cabinet, giving you access to the items you need. Because of this, sliding door medicine cabinets can really only be surface-mount. This shouldn’t be a problem for most bathroom designs, but if you prefer a recessed medicine cabinet, a sliding door medicine cabinet may not be the choice for you.
Important Features of Medicine Cabinets
One of the most important and effective features of a medicine cabinet is the increased storage space it brings into a bathroom design. This is especially important for smaller bathroom designs that can tend to struggle with space. Of course, medicine cabinets can only hold smaller bathroom items and accessories. Because of this, you shouldn’t rely on it for a main source of storage, but they are great for holding your vanity items that may be taking up excess space on your countertop. This additional storage space is great when recessed because it hides the actual storage space behind the wall, making it seem as though there is no visible storage space.
A High Quality Mirror
A medicine cabinet is most effective when it is combined with a high quality bathroom mirror. The inclusion of a high quality bathroom mirror will increase the overall utility of your bathroom design, while allowing you to efficiently go about your bathroom routine comfortably. When choosing a medicine cabinet, a mirror can be one solid mirror that doubles as a single door, or two or more separate mirrors that can be multiple or sliding doors. Whichever option so go with, make sure your mirror is comfortable for usage. If you are using this medicine cabinet as your main bathroom mirror, this is especially important.
An Appropriate Size
It is crucial that your medicine cabinet is the right size for your specific bathroom. If your medicine cabinet is being used as your main bathroom mirror, it should be the same width as your bathroom vanity. This will create a uniform combination for your bathroom. Of course, a smaller bathroom will require smaller medicine cabinets and larger bathrooms can accommodate larger medicine cabinets. Whether they are recessed or surface-mount may also depend on the size of your bathroom. Because smaller bathrooms are tighter on space, recessed medicine cabinets may be the way to go, provided there are no complications with plumbing or outside walls.
Locks or Magnets
Some medicine cabinets hold items that should be kept out of reach of others, including children. If this is something that is concerning for you, consider a medicine cabinet with some type of lock. Locks on the doors of a medicine cabinet maximize the security of the stored items, which can be very important. This is especially true when the items are drugs or medicines that can be dangerous to others. Magnetic strips can be used as well to help secure the doors and close them tightly. However, magnetic strips will not completely secure the doors, so a lock will be preferable for maximum security.
Organized Interior Storage
Along with storage space, it is important that you can organize your items easily as well. A high quality medicine cabinet will have shelves that comfortably hold your bathroom items and accessories while keeping them very accessible. Some medicine cabinet interiors have magnets that can hold things like bobby pins, combs or other small metal items. Carefully consider the organization capabilities of a medicine cabinet before you make any purchases.
Tips for Choosing the Perfect Medicine Cabinet
Choose the Right Size
The size of your medicine cabinet will typically depend on the size of your bathroom as well as the size of your bathroom vanity or sink. The medicine cabinet should be the same width as your vanity in order to make the area look as clean as possible. For small bathrooms, this is especially important. In larger bathroom designs, you will have a bit more freedom to choose different sized medicine cabinets. You can go with a medicine cabinet above you vanity in tandem with a complementary medicine cabinet elsewhere in your bathroom.
Choose the Right Design
Your medicine cabinet should fit seamlessly into your bathroom design in terms of visual design aesthetic. If you have a modern bathroom design, consider incorporating a frameless medicine cabinet that radiates a modern or minimalist design. This same line of thinking should apply no matter what type of bathroom design you have. The last thing you want is a bathroom fixture that does not fit comfortably into your current bathroom design. If you are unsure, consider a neutral medicine cabinet with not distinct design features that make it stand out.
Choose the Right Installation Method
Choosing the right installation method is incredibly important because every bathroom will be somewhat different. Recessed medicine cabinets should be thoroughly researched before you purchase one. This is because in order to install one, you have to know the ins and outs of your bathroom schematics. Know where your plumbing is, what is on the other side of your wall and any other issues you may run into. Surface-mount medicine cabinets are much easier to plan for, as long as you have space and a solid surface to mount it.
Make Sure it has the Right Features
It is extremely important to make sure your medicine cabinet has all of the right features that you need. This could be the type of doors it has, how many doors it has, whether or not it has a mirror and several other possible factors. Do not rush out to buy one just because you need one, but take your time to find the medicine cabinet that can accommodate your needs perfectly. Quality is important for a bathroom fixture that will be used so often, so it is in your best interest to choose one that will give you the most comfort and accessibility.
Decide if it will be Used as Your Main Bathroom Mirror
If you already have a bathroom mirror that you love, you probably won’t want to replace it easily. If you have a bathroom mirror that you are unsure about, a medicine cabinet can be an incredible replacement. Because it is two fixtures in one, this will be an excellent option to consider in essentially any bathroom design. Medicine cabinets should really only be used as single bathroom mirrors however, and not replacements for larger double bathroom mirrors.